Live Chautauqua Presentation!

Written & Performed by Sheila Arnold

Presentation followed by Q & A in character & with scholar/performer.

Sponsored by:
The Jacksonville Convention and Visitors’ Bureau
About this Webinar
Freedom! Or Not? - Sarah Cooper’s Story

Written & Performed By Sheila Arnold

On September 5, 1791, Robert Carter III of Nomini Hall in Westmoreland
County, Virginia, recorded a deed of emancipation to gradually free 452
enslaved people he owned in the Tidewater and Shenandoah. After Carter's death in 1804, his son George tried to stop the process. Experience the
court challenges and family intrigue surrounding this historic act as
told through the eyes of former slave Sarah, wife of George "Carterman."
In 1805, Sarah's enslaved children were still awaiting freedom. Sarah
shares the heartache and fear for their status, along with her joys and
the difficulties of being a free woman in Virginia.

Sarah Cooper was born an enslaved person in colonial America. The man
who claimed ownership, if one can own another, was one of the men who
ratified the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution.
As he wrestled with ideas within our these documents he decided to
emancipate 452 enslaved people, the largest single act of emancipation
until Lincoln issued his proclamation. But just as Sarah and her
children were about to be freed there was a legal roadblock. Sarah tells
her story about life before and after the American Revolution, before
and after slavery.

  • 8:00PM (CST) Presentation followed by Q & A
  • 1598059650-526fb04c7c4c20ea
    Sheila Arnold
    Scholar & Performer
    Ms. Sheila as she is fondly called ( has been performing since age eight. She presents Storytelling Programs, Historic Character Presentations, Christian Monologues, Professional Development for Educators and Inspirational/Motivational Speaking for schools, churches and organizations throughout the US. She also manages and contracts new business for History's Alive!, which mentors and provides opportunities and guidance to performers. Ms. Sheila, has been performing full-time since 2003, and travels nationally each year. Sheila has received the honor of being selected as a Mt. Vernon Research Fellow and a 2019 Hewnoaks Artist Colony summer residence Noted Artist. In the past she has worked as a Drama Ministry Director; Colonial Williamsburg employee; Substitute Teacher; and Social Worker for aggressive teens with emotional problems. Sheila lives in Hampton, VA, near her son, Krisstopher; her grandson, Brooklyn; and, her father and stepmother, Wallace & Vera Arnold. She communicates often with her Atlanta-based sister, Stephanie.