Upcoming events on September 24th

Imagine yourself trapped between two hostile forces during the Civil War in Missouri. Caught in this huge conflict the enslaved Archer Alexander would earn his freedom, because of his brave act at the Peruque Creek bridge in St. Charles County. When he learned of his enslaver’s plot to destroy the vital railroad bridge, he rushed to inform the Union Troops stationed at the guardhouse. This critical knowledge would save hundreds of lives, and precious military supplies. With the local area’s men in hot pursuit, Archer fled for his life, via the network to freedom, otherwise known as the Underground Railroad. He would find safety in the home of a Unitarian minister, and founder of Washington University in St. Louis, William Greenleaf Eliot. It would be dangerous to harbor a fugitive slave and though given protection by the military, Archer would be hidden in Alton, Illinois until his emancipation was announced in the newspapers on September 24, 1863. Eliot and Archer would develop a friendship that would transform both of their lives and span generations. Eliot is the grandfather of poet T.S. Eliot.

Now over 150 years later we will honor the life of this hero with two important events, on Saturday, September 24, 2022.  Saint Charles City and County will recognize Archer Alexander at 10 am in front of the OPO Startups at 119 South Main, where the courthouse stood in 1863. At 1 pm, that afternoon, his family invites the public to join them for a Memorial Service for this heroic man’s life, in the St. Peters UCC Cemetery at 2101 Lucas and Hunt Cemetery in St. Louis County (Normandy).

Archer Alexander is known as the face of freedom on the Emancipation Monument in Washington, D.C., a monument erected and dedicated by the formerly enslaved people and the U.S. Colored Troops in 1876.  His descendants will gather to celebrate their brave ancestor, who is also the great-great-great grandfather of Muhammad Ali. The public is invited to share in both special events. For more information about these events, contact us using the form to your right.

  • 10:00 AM          119 South Main Street, St. Charles, MO
  •                         Angela da Silva… Mistress of Ceremonies, Director of Mary Meachum Network to Freedom Site
  •                         Dorris Keeven-Franke…Archer Alexander, Author of Archer Alexander: The Untold Story
  •                         Martin Aubuchon.. Union Soldier (re-enactor Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War- Department of MO
  •                         Steve Elhmann…Proclamation from St. Charles County, St. Charles County…County-Executive Administrator
  •                         Dan Borgmeyer…Proclamation from City of St. Charles, City of St. Charles…Mayor of the City of St. Charles
  •                         Keith Winstead…Great-Great-Great Grandson of Archer Alexander, Descendants of the family of Archer Alexander
  •                         Angela da Silva…Close
  • 1:00 PM             2101 Lucas & Hunt Road (Normandy)
  •                         St. Peters United Church of Christ Cemetery
    • Jade Harrell…Mistress of Ceremonies, St. Louis Public Radio – Emmy Award winning speaker
  •                         Evergreens…Washington University Treble Acapella Group, Song…Down to the River to Pray…1867 Gospel Music
    • Dorris Keeven-Franke…Archer Alexander, Author of Archer Alexander: The Untold Story
  •                         Lynne Jackson…Presenting Proclamation from the City of St. Louis, Descendant and Director of the Dred Scott Foundation
  •                         Keith Winstead… Great-Great-Great Grandson of Archer Alexander, Descendants of the family of Archer Alexander
  •                         Peggy Neely Harris…Performing Artist, Singer and Actor, Song…Steel Away…African American Spiritual written in 1862
  •                         Rev. Kim Mason, First Unitarian Church of St. Louis
  •                         Rev. Dr. Anthony Witherspoon, Washington Metropolitan AME Zion Church…est. St. Louis 1865
  •                         Jade Harrell… in closing, St. Louis Public Radio – Emmy Award winning speaker
  •                         Peggy Neely Harris…Performing Artist, Singer and Actor, Song…Oh Freedom! The Audience is invited to join in
The Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C. See https://www.nps.gov/places/000/emancipation-memorial.htm


4 responses to “Upcoming events on September 24th”

  1. stephaniedeutsch Avatar

    Thanks so much. This is beautiful!! Wish I could be there. Stephanie


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Dorris Keeven Franke and commented:

    Recognizing a hero…


  3. Congratulations Dorris. We need more truthful history keepers like yourself. And bravo to all those who supported your noble effort. Marcia

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] On Saturday September 24, 2022, a Black Civil War hero, Archer Alexander will be honored for his role in saving men that the Confederates tried to kill. The city of St. Charles in Missouri has declared September 24 Archer Alexander Day. According to organizers: […]


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