Slavery at Wessyngton in Robertson County and the Tennessee Slave Trade
- Slave traders operated in Tennessee from Elizabethton to Memphis.
- Because of the nuances of Tennessee law, many slaveholders made trips to Maryland/Virginia to purchase slaves rather than buy them in the state.
- Banks were up to their necks in the slave trade.
- Most professional slave traders got their slaves from chancery court officials, who sold thousands of slaves at courthouses.
- The wealthiest slave trader in America was a Tennessean, a Sumner County resident named Isaac Franklin, who bought more than 15,000 slaves in Maryland and Virginia and sold them in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Wessyngton Plantation in Robertson County, Tennessee:
The main house was built in 1815, for Joseph and Mary Cheathan Washington and still stands at 3021 Wessington Rd in Cedar Hill, Tn 37902. Joseph was the second cousin of US President George Washington. The Washington tobacco plantation was recognized as the largest tobacco plantation in the United States. In 1860 the plantation owned 274 slaves. Joseph’s son George and grandson Joseph participated in politics in the footsteps of their uncle and great-uncle Pres. George Washington.
The next Tennessee History for Kids will be on Thursday, Feb. 17. The subject will be