Elizabeth Simpson Cooper Memoirs Collection, 1840-1932Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

By Jaime Janda

Collection Overview

Title: Elizabeth Simpson Cooper Memoirs Collection, 1840-1932Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Predominant Dates: 1840-1865
ID: 01/ HM.0029
Primary Creator: Cooper, Elizabeth Simpson (1840-1935)
Extent: 1.0 Folders
Arrangement: Information in the memoir is arranged roughly chronologically, with groupings by subject.
Date Acquired: 00/00/1977. More info below under Accruals.
Forms of Material: Memoirs
Languages: English


Collection of materials which document Elizabeth Simpson Cooper's life before and during the Civil War in Kansas. Also included in Cooper's memoirs are descriptions of experiences in Virginia.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists entirely of a 41-page typed memoir by Elizabeth Simpson Cooper, written for her family in 1931 and 1932 when she was 91 years old and living in Nebraska City, Nebraska. In her memoir, entitled, "Memories of My Life," Cooper describes her early life and experiences from 1840 to 1865 and provides a little more information about her life in select years of the early 20th century. She writes about her school days in Virginia, the run of typhoid fever that decimated her family, her involvement with church, the Cooper family history, "Bleeding Kansas" (the period of conflict over deciding if Kansas would be a free or slave state), and the Civil War in Kansas. She specifically mentions the Lawrence Massacre and notes the savagery of Quantrill's band of bushwackers, who killed nearly every male in town they suspected of abolitionist support and vigilante activity. Also included in her memoir are her memories of personal encounters with Native Americans in Kansas and her trip back to visit her old home in Virginia in 1932.  Sections of the memoir include: "Thoughts of my Early Life, Memories of Childhood and Youth;" "Family;" "School Days;" "Church;" "Christmas Season;" "Days of 1854;" "My Mother's People, Robert Ralston;" "Year of 1857, Commencement of a New Life;" "The New Home;" "1859;" "1860;" "1861;" "1861-'62-'63;" "Biography Father Cooper's Family;" "1861;" "1863;" "Indian Story of the Years '57-'58 and '59;" "1904-1919-1921;" "Memory of the Absent Ones," "1932;" "My Visit East;" and "On Memory."

Biographical Note

Elizabeth Simpson Cooper was born July 4, 1840 in Virginia, and spent her childhood on a farm in Virginia before moving westward with her family in 1857 to a farm near Pleasant Run Creek, in Kansas. She married George R. Cooper in 1860, after a three-year acquaintance, and together they had nine children. Religion was a large part of her life as a woman and pioneer. She was a witness to some of the strife and turmoil around the issues of slavery in Kansas, as well as interactions with Native Americans. George Cooper died in 1904.  In 1931 she began to write her memoirs, and in 1932 she made a trip to visit her original home in Virginia, seeing relatives and places she had lived and grown up around. Elizabeth passed away on March 10, 1935 in Kansas.

Subject/Index Terms

Access Information

Access Restrictions:

This collection is not restricted.

Use Restrictions:

Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Special Collections department. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Physical Access Note:

This collection is stored off-site and requires a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to use.

Reading Room or Duplication Requests

Depending on any access restrictions noted above, you may be able to request items be delivered to our reading room, or that we make reproductions for you. Just click on either the or icons in the listings below to be routed to our request form.

Administrative Information

Repository: University of North Texas Special Collections
Accruals: 77-008,1977-030
Acquisition Source: Mrs. August Schreiber
Acquisition Method: Gift
Related Materials: Digital surrogates of items from this collection are available in the Portal to Texas History. For more information please see http://texashistory.unt.edu/explore/collections/CWADP/browse/?fq=str_title_serial%3AThe+Elizabeth+Simpson+Cooper+Memoirs%2C+1931-1932.
Preferred Citation: Elizabeth Simpson Cooper Memoirs Collection, University of North Texas Special Collections
Processing Information: April 2018 by Nicole Yatsonsky - fixed dates; added Arrangements, Scope/Contents, and Historical Note from previous version of finding aid


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