Works published by UVA Librarian Jean Cooper’s Shortwood Press win Phillis Wheatley Awards

Two titles published by Metadata Librarian Jean Cooper’s Shortwood Press are recipients of this year’s Phillis Wheatley book awards given to five books published within the last five years covering the topic of slavery. The awards are presented by the Sons & Daughters of the United States Middle Passage, “a lineage society dedicated to the memory of our freed and enslaved ancestors and to the education and historic preservation of the artifacts and landmarks of slavery in the United States.”

The 2019 award-winning Shortwood titles are:

Freedmen of the Frontier Volume 1: Selected Cherokee, Choctaw, & Chickasaw Freedmen Families by Angela Y. Walton-Raji—contains the author’s research on 52 families, originally presented in 2017 in her blog documenting the lives of African Americans in post-Civil War Oklahoma who were formerly enslaved by the Native American Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole nations.

Tracing Their Steps by Bernice Alexander Bennett—oral history opens the door to the facts of how the author’s great-great-grandfather acquired 159 acres in Maurepas, Louisiana under the Homestead Act of 1862 and what happened to the land in the 20th century.

Cooper founded the Shortwood Press as a way to publish quality books on topics of historical interest and as a means of sharing scholarly discourse among researchers who strive to recover Virginia’s past and “inform today’s understanding in preparation for tomorrow.” She is the author of:

  • A Guide to Historic Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia (History Press, 2007)
  • Index to Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations. 2nd ed. (McFarland Publishing, 2009)
  • Index of Students of the University of Virginia, 1825-1874 (Shortwood Press, 2011)
  • Cohabitation Register of Louisa County, Virginia (Shortwood Press, 2016)
  • A Challenge Was Given (Shortwood Press, 2017)

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