The story of Archer Alexander is the story of an American Hero who was enslaved. When he reported the secessionists plans to undermine the Union railroad bridge at Peruque Creek, he was caught up in the web of St. Louis politics during the Civil War. Radical Abolitionist William Greenleaf Eliot, who was a Unitarian Minister and founder of Washington University would become his closest friend and benefactor.
Archey was later memorialized on the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park in Washington DC, by sculptor Thomas Ball, becoming the first such monument featuring an African American, seen rising after breaking his chains that was fully paid for by the former enslaved. In 1885, Eliot would share Archey’s story in his book The Story of Archer Alexander – From Slavery to Freedom. However, at the advice of a close friend and fellow member of the Western Sanitary Commission he would alter the identities of some of the individuals involved.
When historian Dorris Keeven-Franke and other researchers began looking for the grave site as described in Eliot’s book, they began to discover the discrepancies. This program will share the true story and introduce descendants of Archer Alexander from all across America. Please join us, and for more information please call 636-221-1524.
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