Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
Volume 114 / Number 2
Freedom Without Independence: The Story of a Former Slave and Her Family
- Ellen Eslinger, pp. 262–91
Maria Cooper was liberated with her family from slavery in 1851 through the will of Ruhannah Buck of Warren County, Virginia. In addition Buck had provided Maria Cooper with funds to purchase a house. Since Virginia law required former slaves to leave the state within one year, the Coopers left Warren County, finding a new home in Washington, in western Pennsylvania. The Coopers quickly settled into their new community. Maria Cooper's efforts to obtain the money for a house, however, proved difficult. It was not easy to deal with unresponsive executors from a distance. A series of remarkable letters reveal how this determined woman pursued her rights and eventually prevailed.
• Index to Volume 114