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The Archibald Cooper Papers


The Archibald Cooper Papers comprises of documents relating to the Maroons of Accompong, from the parish of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. There are handwritten and typed field notes and partial analyses prepared by Cooper and his wife, genealogical records, diagrams, maps, photographs, and letters.

Archibald Cooper was a doctoral student in anthropology at the University of Chicago. He and his wife, Elizabeth “Peachy” Marriott Cooper, both spent ten months resident among the Accompong Maroons, between late 1938 and October 1939. He interrrupted work on his thesis to serve in World War II, and though he lived for many years after the war, he never finished his thesis nor published any of his material.

The Papers were deposited by noted anthropologist McKim Marriot, (Mrs. Cooper’s brother), in 1975. Barbara Kopytoff, a reseacher of Maroon culture, helped to organize the field notes for scholarly use while undertaking research for her doctoral dissertation. Letters written by Mrs. Cooper to her mother in the United States, during the period, were added in 1977. The documents describe Maroon society in Jamaica at the bicentenary of the signing of a Treaty between the Maroons and the British. There is also an account of the June 1939, visit of then Governor, Sir Arthur Richards, to the village.

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