An American Hero

Archer can still be seen today, rising from his knees, his shackles broken, looking up towards Lincoln. Archer Alexander is no longer just a local boy, as he rises next to Lincoln on the Emancipation Memorial today, in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C.. Please sign the Petition to save the monument .

Save the Emancipation Memorial in DC

It is said that those that do not know their history, are doomed to repeat it. Let us all rise up, by learning the truth of our history. Our ancestors, fought side by side to put an end to slavery. There are those of us that are willing to stand side by side, to once again raise our voices and take a risk for something we all believe in.

Keep the Emancipation Memorial Statue

Who was Keith Winstead’s ancestor Archer Alexander? In 1863, he was a man who chose to do the right thing. When he overheard his master plotting to sabotage the local railroad bridge, he risked being lynched and reported it. He fled from St Charles County to St. Louis, where he was taken into the home of Eliot, who worked to see Archey emancipated. Eliot wrote “His freedom came directly from the hand of President Lincoln”. When Archey saw a picture of the final monument his words were “Now I’se free.”*

Eyes of the Time

It would take years, but in 1876, with the help of the Western Sanitary Commission, that monument would become a reality. That simple bronze monument, with two figures, a tall white man, and a black man rising on one knee, alongside him. The first ever to include a black person in our Nation’s Capital.

St. Louis

When Lincoln, a personal friend to Eliot, was assassinated, the formerly enslaved wanted a monument to Lincoln, and St. Louis’ former slave, Archer Alexander would be the one, to represent them, rising up and as Eliot says “breaking his own chains”.

Entry 34 -37 – Date 2nd of October 1829

This is the journal of William Massilon Campbell written from August 20, 1829 until October 8, 1829, describing a journey from Rockbridge County Virginia to St. Charles County Missouri. The transcript is located in the collections of Leyburn Library, Special Collections and Archives, at Washington and Lee University in Lexington Virginia. We are deeply indebted to the Library, and Lisa McCown. Editor is Dorris Keeven-Franke.