Anthony Burns

daguereotype Anthony Burns (May 31, 1834 – July 17, 1862) was an African-American man who escaped from slavery in Virginia in 1854. His capture and trial in Boston, and transport back to Virginia, generated wide-scale public outrage in the North and increased support for abolition.

Burns was born enslaved in Stafford County, Virginia. As a young man, he became a Baptist and a "slave preacher" at the Falmouth Union Church in Falmouth, Virginia. He was frequently hired out by his master and learned to read and write in his various assignments. In 1853, he escaped from slavery and reached the free state of Massachusetts. He started working in Boston.

The following year, he was captured under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and tried in court in Boston. The Fugitive Slave Act was despised and fiercely resisted in Boston, and Burns's case attracted national publicity, including large demonstrations, protests, attacks, and violence. Federal troops were used in the city to ensure Burns was transported without interference to a ship sailing to Virginia post-trial.

Burns was eventually ransomed from slavery, with his freedom purchased by Boston sympathizers. He was educated at Oberlin Collegiate Institute and became a Baptist preacher. He was called to a position in Upper Canada (Ontario), where an estimated 30,000 refugee African Americans, both enslaved and free, had fled to, to gain or retain their freedom. He lived and worked there until his death. Provided by Wikipedia
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    by Burns, Anthony, 1834-1862
    Published 1854
    Full Text (via Gale)
    Electronic eBook
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