This “uppity” slave named Archer Alexander after his owner, was known to his family and friends as Archey. He was born in Virginia, and brought to Missouri in 1829. In 1863, he took a brave step forward. Risking his life, he fled five miles in the dark of night, to the Union troops to report his master’s and others plan to sabotage the railroad bridge that the troops would soon cross. Caught up by his own actions, he made his way to St. Louis and the home of William Greenleaf Eliot, a Unitarian Minister, founder of Washington University, and head of the Western Sanitary Commission.
Years later, at the close of the Civil War, the former enslaved of the United States raised funds to erect a monument to Abraham Lincoln. And today, the Emancipation Memorial, often called the Freedmans Memorial, in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C., portrays Archer Alexander kneeling before Lincoln as he breaks his chains that have bound him. Working together. This is the first African-American monument in America, erected by African-Americans that chose him to portray these two men together and to share the story of their Emancipation in this manner in 1876. Archer’s life was first shared in 1885, by his benefactor Eliot with his book “The Story of Archer Alexander – From Slavery to Freedom – March 30, 1863″.
This website, with the advancement of modern science and historical research, we hope to update, document and share this story for all ages. From grade schools to Senior citizens, this is a story we need to remember. For all those who still want to hear the story of an American hero” we know “the further we look back, the further we can see forward”. Winston Churchill