On October 12, 1825, Minor married William Blackford, a Fredericksburg attorney, in Caroline County. She suffered for virtually her entire adult life from a debilitating back problem and often spent long intervals in bed. Nonetheless, during her first fifteen years of marriage she had six sons and two daughters, all but one of whom lived to maturity under her watchful eye. Although she descended from prominent Virginia landed families and married the son of a prosperous iron manufacturer, Blackford was never wealthy. She inherited relatively little from her father, and her husband, an able, hard-working man, never made much money. Until 1846 they lived in Fredericksburg, where William Blackford edited and published a Whig newspaper, although he spent the period from 1842 to 1845 in Bogotá as chargé d'affaires to New Granada, leaving her to care for the children and supervise the household. After his return to the United States they moved to Lynchburg, where he edited another Whig newspaper for several years and then served as cashier of the Exchange Bank of Lynchburg.
Advocate for Colonization
December 2, 1802 - Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford is born in Fredericksburg.
October 12, 1825 - William Blackford and Mary Berkeley Minor are married in Caroline County.
1829 - Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford founds the Fredericksburg and Falmouth Female Auxiliary to the American Colonization Society.
Autumn 1832 - Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford begins a journal, "Notes Illustrative of the Wrongs of Slavery."
1834 - Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford founds the Ladies' Society of Fredericksburg and Falmouth, for the Promotion of Female Education in Africa.
1842–1845 - William Blackford serves as chargé d'affaires to New Grananda.
1846 - William Blackford and his wife Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford move from Fredericksburg to Lynchburg.
April 14 or 15, 1864 - William Blackford dies during the night at his home in Lynchburg.
September 15, 1896 - Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford dies at the home of her son in Alexandria. She is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Lynchburg.
Cite This Entry
- APA Citation:
Tarter, B., & the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford (1802–1896). (2017, August 8). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Blackford_Mary_Berkeley_Minor_1802-1896.
- MLA Citation:
Tarter, Brent and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. "Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford (1802–1896)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 8 Aug. 2017. Web. READ_DATE.
First published: April 12, 2017 | Last modified: August 8, 2017