Posts Tagged ‘Arrowheads’

Slave Descendant Walks in Ancestors’ Footsteps on Wessyngton Plantation

Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Archaeological Dig at Wessyngton Slave Cabin Site

Archaeological Dig at Wessyngton Slave Cabin Site

In 1991, I had an opportunity that few historians or genealogists ever have; to literally walk in your ancestors’ footsteps.  In 1989 I was approached by the president of the Bloomington-Normal black history Project and director of the Midwestern archaeological research Center, about the potential investigations of the salve cabin area on Wessyngton Plantation to get an interpretation of slave life there.  Similar digs have been conducted at the Hermitage, Mt. Vernon, and Monticello. 

The actual digging at Wessyngton did not start until 1991.  The thought of actually walking in my ancestors’ footsteps and holding objects they used in their everyday lives one hundred years earlier was surreal to me.  Three sections of the slave cabin area were selected for exploration.  One site was where the cabin of my great-great-grandparents Emanuel and Henny Washington once stood.

The dig yielded fragments of pottery and dishes used by my ancestors as well as coins and arrowheads made by Native Americans. 

The photograph above shows the site of the archaeological dig on Wessyngton Plantation where my ancestors once lived.

Native Americans on Wessyngton Plantation

Friday, May 1st, 2009
Native American Arrowheads found at Wessyngton

Native American Arrowheads found at Wessyngton

Based on arrowheads found on Wessyngton Plantation, Native Americans lived in the area thousands of years ago.  Arrowheads and other Native American artifacts have been found at Wessyngton by farmers plowing the fields for many years.

During the Cherokee removal known as the Trail of Tears during the 1830s, hundreds of Native Americans passed through Robertson County, Tennessee.   Descendants of the Washington family and African Americans who lived at Wessyngton told their descendants that Native Americans came to the Wessyngton mansion to get food and water enroute to Port Royal.  They were marched from Port Royal  to Hopkinsville, Kentucky where they spent the winter of 1838-39.  From Hopkinsville they were forced on to the reservations in Oklahoma.