Show reveals facts about the ‘caged’

Processing pork at Wessyngton Plantation, about 1890.  Taken after emancipation, this photograph conveys the work that was performed by formerly enslaved women at Wessyngton.  Courtesy of the Washington Family private collection.

Processing pork at Wessyngton Plantation, about 1890. Taken after emancipation, this photograph conveys the work that was performed by formerly enslaved women at Wessyngton. Courtesy of the Washington Family private collection.

This groundbreaking exhibit about the slaves and slaveholders, who worked and resided at a distinctive plantation in Tennessee is on view through Aug. 31, 2014 at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville. The exhibit, “Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation” looks at the lives of both the enslaved African Americans and their white owners on the 13,000 acre plantation in Robertson County, Tennessee.

     Through first and third person accounts, the exhibit will reconstruct the lives of several enslaved people, giving them names, faces and the details of what happened to them before, during and after the Civil War. Among the slaves profiled in the exhibit is Jenny Blow Washington. The founder of Wessyngton Plantation, Joseph Washington, purchased 10-year-old Jenny and her sister from a Virginia planter in 1802. The sisters traveled to the plantation in Tennessee with Washington, never to see their mother again. Although slaves could not legally marry, Jenny had a lifelong relationship with a slave named Godfrey Washington and gave birth to at least nine children.  Jenny and her family performed the chores involved with maintaining the large Washington house.  Her known descendants number in the thousands.

      “Most museum exhibits cannot provide an in-depth look at individual enslaved people because there is little information available,” says museum’s executive director Lois Riggins Ezzell. “But because of fortunate circumstances of record-keeping and photography by the Wessyngton owners and a wealth of research and oral history by one of the slave descendants, we are able to bring these otherwise forgotten people to life.”

     For more in depth on this exhibit, see: www.tnmuseum.org/custpage.cfm/frm/50767/sec_id/50767 

About

The Tennessee State Museum currently occupies three floors, covering approximately 120,000 square feet with more than 60,000 square feet devoted to exhibits. It is located at Fifth and Deaderick in downtown Nashville, Tennessee and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The museum’s Civil War holdings of uniforms, battle flags and weapons are among the finest in the nation. For more information please visit: www.tnmuseum.org




Published by on May 2014. Filed under Art-to-Art Palette NewsWire/AAPNW, At the Museums dept, News (Time related), PaletteBoards Section, Tennessee. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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