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Anthony Burns (Chicago Tribune)

Obituary

“Obituary: Death of Anthony Burns...” Chicago (IL) Tribune, September 2, 1862, p. 3: 4.

Death of Anthony Burns, the Fugitive Slave.

Anthony Burns, the fugitive slave who was arrested in Boston in 1854, remanded to bondage, and [afterward] redeemed, died at St. Catherines, Canada West, on the 27th of July.  His disease was consumption, acquired by exposure while trying to clear from debt the church of which he was pastor.  The Rev. Hiram Wilson gives the following notice of the deceased:

The concourse around his peaceful grave were mostly colored, the adults of whom, like himself, had fled from bondage; and yet there was quite a number of white people of various churches and different nationalities.  While there consigning his mortal remains to the silent dust.  I thought of the awful excitement a few years ago in Boston, attending on his arrest and rendition to the hands of bloody men, who are in open rebellion against the government, and against God and humanity.

I seemed to have a sort of panoramic vision of the pro-slavery treachery, the arrest, the court proceedings, the mass meetings, the vast army of marshals and of the military, and the countless throngs of people blocking up the streets of Boston— his dark and awful doom as a victim of the fugitive slave law, and the hellish exultations of the slave power on the one hand—while lamentations spread all over the coasts of New England and rolled back to the Rocky Mountains.  I thought of the iniquitous system as having culminated to the awful crisis now hanging over the American people.  The name of Anthony Burns fills an important place in the history of events which led to the great conflict now pending between the marshaled hosts of freedom and the fiendish friends and minions of slavery, and will be pronounced which honor when the fetters shall have fallen from the limbs of millions of his suffering brethren.  Brother Burns was much respected in this quarter.  Since he left Oberlin and came over into Canada he has made good impressions where he lectured in various places.

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