From Virginia to Missouri


Follow the journey today from Virginia to Missouri of Archer Alexander. This portion of the life of the enslaved Archer Alexander is shared through the journal of William Campbell, written in 1829 with an account of 50 people, of which half were enslaved.

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The Journey

I started from Lexington, Virginiaon a journey to the state of Missouri. My own object in going to that remote section of the Union was to seek a place where I might obtain an honest livelihood by the practice of law. I travel in company with four families containing about fifty individuals, white and black. The first family is that of Dr. McCluer, his wife (my sister) and five children from six months to thirteen years old and fourteen negro servants. Two young men, McNutt and Cummings, and myself form a part of the traveling family of Dr. McCluer. Dr. McCluer leaves a lucrative practice and proposes settling himself in St. Charles County Missouri on a fine farm which he has purchased about 36 miles from St. Louis. The second family is that of James H. Alexander, who married a sister of Dr. McCluer, with five children…

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