Muhammad Ali’s Ancestor was once in St. Louis Slave Pen

These sites need to be marked….


In March of 1863, a fugitive slave named Archer Alexander, perhaps the last fugitive slave in St. Louis, had fled a lynch mob in Saint Charles County after exposing his owner’s sabotage of the local railroad bridge. Local Confederates had sawn the timbers, and were waiting for the next train to pass on this vital link for the Union Army. Using the underground railroad, he fled to St. Louis and had been taken in by St. Louis’ Unitarian minister, William Greenleaf Eliot, founder of Washington University. Eliot had attempted to purchase Alexander from his owner Richard Pitman, in order to emancipate him, using Judge Barton Bates as an intermediary. Pitman’s reply was to send two slave catchers to Eliot’s home, and in front of Eliot’s children and their nanny, viciously beat Alexander senseless and take him to the slave pen where he was to be sold. Eliot would let the…

View original post 189 more words

%d bloggers like this: