This Sunday, the Tennessee State Museum will be hosting a special viewing of Nashville Public Television’s documentary “Wessyngton Plantation: A Family’s Road to Freedom.”
The program follows the lives of the Washington families, black and white, from the years of slavery to freedom after the Civil War through artifacts currently on display in the museum’s Wessyngton exhibit.
A Sumner County grammar school used to be named Wesssington and whether you spell it Wessyngton, Wessington or Washington, it still refers to the same clan as George, "Father of Our County" Washington. In this case, however, Wessynton Plantation was not in Virginia, but Middle Tennessee, although Like George's farm it too grew Tobacco and like George's it too had slaves.
What makes our Wessyngton interesting is that the population of the plantation, black and white, was relatively stable over a long period of time. Even after the abolition of slavery, much of the African American community there remained in the area, so Wessyngton is one of the better documented institutions: its former residents, black and white, are not just numbers on a page, but to a large extent we know them as individuals.
Using the exhibition and the book written about the plantation, NPT has produced a short film on this unique community of Tennesseans and it promises to be worth a look see. There is no admission charge for the viewing on Sunday, but a reservation ticket is required for seating. Seating is limited to 150 chairs and is available on a first-come, first-served basis to those visitors with reservations. The State Museum is on Deaderick Street downtown, well hidden by the state owned Polk Building. Come see the underground museum, the exhibit and the movie on Sunday. Y'all come.