Burns, Anthony(1834–62) fugitive slave; born in Stafford County, Va. He converted to the Baptist faith and became a "slave preacher." He escaped from Richmond on a ship and reached Boston (1854). He was soon arrested and identified, under the provisions of the Fugitive Slave Law (1850). Bostonians fought to keep him free; it took $100,000 and hundreds of soldiers to put down the demonstrations before he was returned to his master in Virginia. Northerners raised $1,200 to purchase his freedom and he studied at Oberlin College (1857–62) and became a Baptist preacher.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.