#Archer Alexander was born into #slavery around 1810 in Richmond, Virginia. He was the son of Aleck and Chloe, who were both slave property of the Delaney family. The family moved to Missouri after the death of Delaney; they then became the property of his son Thomas. Alexander was often hired out to do handyman chores, and brick laying before moving yet again with his owner to a farm in St. Charles County. While on the new farm he met his wife Louisa, and they had 10 children. Alexander was eventually sold to the same farm as his wife after Delaney decided to move to Louisiana.
Alexander was considered a good worker and so he reached overseer status on the Hollman farm. Although slavery was legal in Missouri, there were a lot of people who were opposed to it. Alexander wanted freedom and had been exposed to many abolitionists’ ideas. One night Alexander became aware of his owners and a pro-slavery groups treachery. The group destroyed supporting timbers under a railroad bridge in 1863 so that it would collapse as a Union troop train passed. Alexander walked 5 miles to alert Union supports, the army was alerted and the bridge repaired before an accident could take place. The dangers for Alexander soon began because the pro-slavery group found out it he was the one who told the Union army about what they had done to the bridge.
Alexander ran away and made it to St. Louis where he worked as a farmhand for William Greenleaf Eliot. Eliot found out Alexander was a runaway slave and contacted Hollman anonymously to purchase his freedom at market price. However, Hollman found out where Alexander was and he was taken from Eliot’s home and beaten by bounty hunters. Eliot was able to get Alexander back and he then sent him out of the state to Illinois. Alexander eventually returned to Missouri after the Emancipation Proclamation he reunited with his wife and teenaged daughter. The family and other slaves received full emancipation in Missouri in January 1865. A sculpture was created by former slaves of Lincoln. Eliot knew what the slaves were doing and asked the sculpture to include a model of Alexander. The #black man modeled at the feet of Lincoln is that of Alexander. The Black man is supposed to be shown as a person who is full of emotion after being set free. Alexander died in 1879.