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Northeast / Massachusetts

Alexander P. Burton Story Salem and Lowell, Massachusetts Lowell Morning Mail December 22, 1885 ALEXANDER P. BURTON Alexander P. Burton, whose death was announced in the Mail yesterday morning, was 54 years old. He was born in Havre, France, came to this country while quite young, and resided in various cities. In anti-slavery times he once suffered arrest in Salem, Massachusetts under the Fugitive Slave Law, and was taken to Boston, but subsequently released on proof that he was never a slave. (note: In 1851, during the overzealous federal investigation of Shadrack Minkin's disappearance, nineteen-year-old Alexander P. Burton, a free African American barber living in Salem, was arrested as a fugitive slave belonging to Wilson of Georgia.) For some thirty years he has been employed as a barber in this city, having a shop of his own most of the time. He was a man of some intelligence and education, speaking three languages--French, Spanish, and English. Long ago he served as a coachman for Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, and when in 1882 the latter became governor of Maassachusetts he remembered his quondam servant and made him executive messenger at the State House. Since he lost this position (when Butler lost his re-election for governor) Mr. Burton has been employed by several gentlemen, but finally entered business for himself again. He had some hopes of an official appointment at the Custom House, as he carried excellent recommendations to Collector Saltonstall and had received favorable answers from him. He leaves a wife (Hannah E. Lew) and no children.


Submitted By:

Martha Mayo, Massachusetts,
martha_mayo@uml.edu