Category: ArcherAlexander

What would you do?

Imagine yourself enslaved in a state that is caught between two hostile forces. On a cold winter’s night in Missouri in January 1863, Archer Alexander overheard his enslaver Richard Pitman holding a secret meeting in the back room of the local Postmaster and storeowner James Naylor, in his mercantile on the Boone’s Lick Road in St. Charles County.  Area slave owners were plotting the destruction of a vital rail link for the Union Army at the Peruque Creek Bridge, about five miles away. Without a word to his wife Louisa, who was enslaved by Naylor, he took off in the dark for the Union troop’s guardhouse, to warn them of the impending danger and what he knew.

JUNETEENTH

Juneteenth or Freedom Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery. It was on June 19, 1865 that Union soldiers, led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, landed in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that all slaves were free. Seventy-five years later, Archer Alexander is the second African American to be featured on a U.S. Postal Stamp commemorating the event.

Christmas 1862

For Archer Alexander, Christmas of 1862 would be the same. For hundreds of thousands of slaves across the United States. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was a new pathway to freedom beginning January 1st, 1863. But not for Archer Alexander and his wife Louisa…

A son named James

This is the story of two men named James Alexander, one white, one black. One was the owner of Archer Alexander, one was his son. This son lived and died in St. Charles County.

JUNETEENTH

Over 600,000 heroic lives, both black and white, would be lost to bring this country to that moment. Today thousands will celebrate that moment now nationally recognized as Juneteenth.

Sunday visits

Archer’s wife was Louisa, property of Nancy McCluer, James Alexander’s wife. James and Nancy Alexander lived together with their four children in their cabin which was on the Boone’s Lick Road.

Muhammad Ali’s Ancestor was once in St. Louis Slave Pen

In March of 1863, Muhammad Ali’s ancestor Archer Alexander was brutally beaten and thrown in the St. Louis slave pens, to be sold south.

The Emancipation Monument

The Emancipation Monument “Freedom’s Memorial” was paid for entirely by funds from the formerly enslaved. It sits in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C. today. It was dedicated by Frederick Douglass on April 14, 1876.

October 8, 1829 – the final entry

When Archer arrived in Dardenne Prairie in Saint Charles County on October 8th in 1829, he was 23 years old. Born in 1806, his parents Aleck and Chloe were the property of the Alexander family. He was owned by James Alexander of Rockbridge County, near Lexington, in Virginia. His wife Louisa, born as property of the McCluer family, and was part of the dowry of James’ wife Nancy. Together Archer and Louisa would have ten children, Ralph, Nellie, Wesley, Eliza, Mary Ann, Archer, Jim, Aleck, Lucinda, and John.

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