Anthony Burns Photo

Anthony Burns

Born: May 31, 1834

Death: Jul 17, 1862

Birthplace: Stafford County

Nationality: United States

Anthony Burns

Date of Birth : May 31, 1834
Date of Death : Jul 17, 1862
Birth Place : Stafford County

Anthony Burns was born a slave in Stafford County, Virginia. As a young man, he became a Baptist and a "slave preacher" at the Falmouth Union Church in Falmouth, Virginia. In 1853 he escaped from slavery and reached Boston, where he started working. The following year, he was captured under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and tried under the law in Boston. The law was fiercely resisted in Boston, and the case attracted national publicity, large demonstrations, protests and an attack on US Marshals at the courthouse. Federal troops were used to ensure Burns was transported to a ship for return to Virginia after the trial. He was eventually ransomed from slavery, with his freedom purchased by Boston sympathizers. Afterward he was educated at Oberlin College and became a Baptist preacher, moving to Upper Canada for a position.

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