Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2023

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History and American Studies

Department Chair or Program Director

Claudine Ferrell

First Advisor

Will Mackintosh

Major or Concentration



Part of the same family but with a generation dividing them, Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford and her grandson, Launcelot Minor Blackford Junior, shared much of the same sentiment toward the American Colonization Society (ACS). Mary, active in the ACS before the Civil War, supported the organization despite criticisms wielded by abolitionists of the period. Mary looked to the ACS for salvation from discussions about the morality of enslavement while enjoying the comforts that the thought of an all-white America brought her. Launcelot, writing fifty years after Mary’s passing at the beginning of an emerging national conversation about Black civil rights, looked to the memory of Mary to absolve his family of contributions to the Confederate cause and combat new conversations about race in America. Mary and Launcelot, though from different periods in American history, looked to the ACS and its memory to imagine a world where they had no complicity in racial oppression while supporting a movement that’s main mission resisted Black perspectives and progress in the United States.