In 1829 Blackford founded the Fredericksburg and Falmouth Female Auxiliary and raised funds to assist free African Americans and recently freed slaves in immigrating to Liberia. During the 1830s she reorganized the auxiliary to become the Ladies' Society of Fredericksburg and Falmouth, for the Promotion of Female Education in Africa, which helped fund an academy for girls in Liberia.
In the aftermath of Nat Turner's rebellion, the Virginia General Assembly received a number of petitions to end slavery in the state. Blackford drafted a petition during the winter of 1831–1832 on behalf of Fredericksburg's female residents. In it she called on legislators to make provisions for gradual emancipation. She ultimately decided not to submit her petition. In 1832 she began keeping a journal entitled Notes Illustrative of the Wrongs of Slavery, in which she recorded her personal feelings about the horrors of slavery. Blackford later moved with her family to Lynchburg, where her public work largely ended and she became increasingly alienated from the state's proslavery sectionalism before the Civil War.
Reprinted with permission of the Library of Virginia.