from the journal of William Campbell as they journey from Virginia, through Kentucky, to Missouri, with Archer Alexander…
Traveled 17 miles. Passed over Fleming River into Nicholas County. County and roads rough. Crossed Licking River. Passed through the county town of Nickolas County, a handsome town with a fine courthouse..*
This region of Kentucky is noted for its scenic beauty, history, horse farms and hospitality. Nicholas County has a picturesque, rural character. Its rolling countryside is typical of the Bluegrass belt where winding roads lead past manicured farms, through wooded glades and small villages. Daniel Boone’s last Kentucky home place is also located in Nicholas County, the Historic marker is located on US HWY 68 just past the traffic islands heading north. While in Nicholas County, Boone lived on the Brushy Fork of Hinkston Creek in a cabin owned by his son Daniel Morgan Boone. Built by Boone in 1795, Boone and his family resided in the one room cabin until 1799. Boone, and his family moved to Saint Charles County Missouri in September of that year.
Boone was initially prosperous, owning seven slaves by 1787 (a relatively large number for Kentucky at the time), but began to have financial troubles while living in Kentucky. The Spanish were eager to promote settlement in the sparsely populated regions of what would become Missouri. There the Spanish governor appointed Boone as judge (syndic) and commandant (military leader) of the Femme Osage district. Boone served as both until 1804, when what become Missouri became part of the United States following the Louisiana Purchase. When the War of 1812 came to Missouri, Boone’s sons Daniel Morgan Boone and Nathan Boone took part, but by that time Boone was much too old for militia duty. Boone spent his final years in Missouri, often in the company of children and grandchildren, where he continued to hunt and trap as much as his health and energy levels permitted.
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park is a park located partly in Nicholas County that encompasses 148 acres and features a monument commemorating the August 19, 1782. The Battle of the Blue Licks which was regarded as the final battle of the American Revolutionary War. https://parks.ky.gov/carlisle/parks/historic/blue-licks-battlefield-state-resort-park
Archer was born enslaved by the Alexander family in Rockbridge County Virginia in 1806. In 1829, the Alexander family moved from Virginia to Dardenne Prairie in Saint Charles County, in Missouri. He lived there enslaved for over thirty years, working first in the brickyards of St. Louis, and then as a carpenter. By 1844, he had been sold to David Pitman, while his wife Louisa lived a few miles away. In the winter of 1863, Archer would risk his life to inform the Union Army that his owner had sabotaged the nearby railroad bridge. With his owner and a lynch mob in pursuit, he used a well known route of the Underground Railroad, to make his way to St. Louis. There he was taken in by William Greenleaf Eliot, a Unitarian minister, founder of Washington University, and a member of the Western Sanitary Commission. When Eliot’s close friend James Yeatman shared Charlotte Scott’s dream for a memorial to Lincoln in 1865, it would be another American hero Archer Alexander seen rising from his broken shackles alongside Lincoln on the Emancipation Monument in 1876. Today, the Emancipation Monument in Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln Park is in danger of being removed. This Federal Monument, was paid for entirely by the former enslaved people, as a memorial to President Lincoln. To sign the petition to keep it in place see https://www.change.org/EmancipationMonumentDC
*This is the journal of William Campbell (1805-1849) leading four families from Lexington, in Rockbridge County, Virginia to St. Charles County Missouri, written in 1829. There are 55 people in this caravan, 25 of which are enslaved. Among the enslaved is Archer Alexander.\This journal is located in the collections of the Leyburn Library, Special Collections and Archives, located at the Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia, and for which we are deeply indebted to Lisa McCown. Editor and author is Dorris Keeven-Franke.
The next entry in Campbell’s journal is September 18, 1829.