A community is knitted together by many things, sometimes something as simple as a road. In 1832 the “Booneslick” road threaded its’ way westward from old Saint Charles to the old salt lick owned by James Morrison and Daniel Boone’s sons Nathan and Daniel Morgan in Howard County. As it winds its way past the village named Cottleville it rises up and crosses a beautiful prairie named Dardenne, after the stream that flows through that area. Smaller streams with names like Hickory Creek branch off from the Dardenne making it a great place to settle.
Along the Dardenne, several prominent families from Virginia, and then Kentucky would establish themselves. First were the Zumwalts, Audrains and the Keithleys. Closer to the Dardenne were the Pitmans, Bates, McCluers, Campbells, and the Alexanders. Naylor would establish a Post Office. Gill would establish a mill. Watson was the minister at the Presbyterian church, where many of the area families belonged. Farms were large and often hundreds of acres. These families had brought their enslaved. Missouri was a slave state that the great orator Henry Clay had compromised with over 10,000 enslaved people when it reached statehood.
There was the home of James Alexander on the north side of ‘the road’ along what was then called Hickory Creek. Alexander owned Archer, his wife Louisa, and her sister Mary. Over at the McCluer’s place was Louisa’s brother Sam. Their role in this communtiy was to cook, and care for the children. Men like Sam would work the fields, while Archer’s skills were carpentry and building. All necessary and essential skills needed by any community.
Archer Alexander is the former enslaved man rising beneath President Lincoln on the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C.. Hickory Creek is today named Archer Alexander Creek as it crosses the Boone’s Lick Road (Today’s Mo State Hwy N) in St. Charles County Missouri.