Brown, Hallie Q.
|DINAH COX -- 1804--1909|
Dinah Cox was born in Roanoke, Virginia. She was the slave of John Randolph, and was freed by the terms of his will when he died in 1833. The first item of that famous document reads as follows:
"I give and bequeath to all my slaves their freedom, heartily regretting that I have ever been the owner of one."
He also provided that a portion of his wealth be given to them namely:
"Forty acres of land and to each slave a portion of the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars."
After fourteen years of litigation caused by relatives who sought to break the will, the Executors purchased a tract of land in Mercer County, Ohio, and the slaves prepared to start for their future home.
Aunt Dinah, as she was called by every one, was a fearless leader among the people. She was also famous for her knitting and quilting. An incident occurred which showed her spirit. She was told that she would have to go out to work to help herself and family get ready to move. She said, "Oh, no, John Randolph left enough for me, and besides, I must get my children's clothes ready. I won't have time to work." There were more than three hundred in the party, men, women and children.