Archer Alexander was born enslaved in Rockbridge County Virginia and taken from Virginia to Missouri in 1829. He spent the next thirty years living in St. Charles County, Missouri. In the winter of 1863, he overheard the area men plotting an attack. He risked his own life and heroically chose to inform the local Union troops of what was about to happen, saving hundreds of lives. When it was realized that he was the informant, he had to flee using the Network to Freedom and make his way to St. Louis. There he was taken in by a Unitarian minister, William Greenleaf Eliot and provided safety. On September 24, 1863, Archer would become a free man due to his brave acts of military aid, and the treasonous behavior of his enslaver. In 1876, he became the formerly enslaved man, on the Emancipation Monument in Washington, D.C. the first monument dedicated to President Lincoln to be entirely paid for by the formerly enslaved. In 1880, he died and was buried in an unmarked grave in St. Peters U.C.C. Church in St. Louis, (Normandy) Missouri.
Author Dorris Keeven-Franke‘s next book, The Untold Story of An American Hero sheds new light on the life of Archer Alexander.
“Gradually the mists of partial knowledge clear away; but it will be many years yet before the North and South will thoroughly understand each other, either as to the past history of or the present relations of the negro and white races. Meanwhile mutual forbearance may lead to increasing mutual affection and respect.” William Greenleaf Eliot