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Old 12-22-2008, 09:34 AM   #1
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Cather, Willa: Sapphira and the Slave Girl. V1. 22 Dec 2008

Willa Sibert Cather (December 7, 1873 – April 24, 1947) was an American author who grew up in Nebraska. She is best known for her depictions of frontier life on the Great Plains in novels such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and The Song of the Lark.

Cather received both national and state honors. In 1973, the United States Postal Service honored Willa Cather by using her image on a postage stamp. In 1981 the US Mint created the Willa Cather medallion, a half-ounce gold coin.

Cather was elected to the Nebraska Hall of Fame. In 1986, Cather was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Her alma mater, the University of Nebraska-incoln, named residence halls after both Cather and her college friend Louise Pound. Pound had a lifelong career as professor of English at the university and was the first woman president of the Modern Language Association.

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Sapphira was a fashionable young woman in Winchester when she married Henry Colbert, a man beneath her station, and moved to a rugged backwoods village, where they have lived for more than 30 years. Twenty of Sapphira's slaves came with them. This caused somewhat of a sensation among the poor, non-slave owning population of the region, where even to this day the Colberts are admired but not well-liked. Henry successfully took over the village grinding mill, while Sapphira assumed the role of local granddame. They had three daughters, all of whom married and moved away. However, Rachel's husband died, and she returned to Back Creek with her two young children.
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