American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

previous objectback to exhibit casenext object

Fugitive Slave
Anthony Burns

Anthony Burns
Anthony Burns.

Boston: R. M. Edwards, 1855
Wood engraving with letterpress
Prints & Photographs Division
Copyright deposit, 1855 (100A)

This is a portrait of fugitive slave Anthony Burns (ca.1830-1862), whose arrest and trial in Boston under the provisions of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 incited riots and protests by white and black abolitionists and citizens of Boston in the spring of 1854. The portrait is surrounded by scenes from his life, including his sale on the auction block, escape from Richmond, Virginia, capture and imprisonment in Boston, and his return to a vessel to transport him to the South. Within a year after his capture, abolitionists were able to raise enough money to purchase Burns's freedom.

previous objectback to exhibit casenext object

Library of Congress
Contact Us ( July 27, 2010 )
Legal | External Link Disclaimer