Posts Tagged ‘Washington’


Monday, October 5th, 2015

The dedication ceremony at Wessyngton Plantation was a wonderful event!  There were more than 250 individuals who came together to pay tribute to the 446 African Americans enslaved on the estate from 1796 to 1865.  Many descendants of the slaves were there (Washingtons, Cheathams, Terrys, Gardners, Green, Scotts, and Lewises) as well as descendants of the Washington family.  Wessyngton Monument Back

Washington Surname Most Common among African Americans in America—and in Robertson County, Tennessee

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

According to an interesting article by Jesse Washington of the Associated Press  entitled “Washington Named the ‘Blackest Name’ in America,”

Based on the 2000 U. S. census, Washington is the most prominent surname among African Americans.  90% of  163,036 individuals with the Washington surname are African Americans, a far greater percentage than any other name.

The descendants of  African Americans once enslaved on Wessyngton Plantation are part of this group.  Before and after Emancipation, they chose to use the Washington surname—the surname of the slaveholding Washington family (were distant cousins of the president). 

At the onset of the Civil War there were nearly 300 African Americans on Wessyngton Plantation.  In 1870, 212 former slaves and their descendants from Wessyngton in Robertson County carried the Washington surname.  This was nearly 5% of the total number of African Americans in the county.

In the years following the Civil War hundreds of Washingtons from Robertson County migrated out of the area.  Today there are still African Americans in the area who carry the Washington surname (although far fewer than decades earlier), and  some African American Washingtons throughout the country are descended from the Wessyngton Washingtons.






Radio Interview:The African American Literary Review

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

I invite you to listen to an indepth interview: The African American Literary Review Presents an Evening With John F. Baker Jr.  with host Tracey Ricks Foster.

Wessyngton Descendants at Borders Book Signing

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

On March 7th I had a book signing at Borders in Nashville.  The event was well attended by many family members and friends.   I met several new cousins there.  The event also brought together descendants of Wessyngton’s founder Joseph Washington, and African American descendants, whose ancestors came from the plantation.  A group photograph was taken of both families.

Wessyngton Descendants at Borders Book Signing

Wessyngton Descendants at Borders Book Signing

Wessyngton Research-Video

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

I invite you to watch a short video in which I describe my research:

Wessyngton Plantation Research