ALEXANDER, Archer, hero, was born near Richmond, Va., about 1810, a slave, and in 1831 was taken to Missouri by his master. In 1861, at the breaking out of the civil war, he performed a very heroic deed. Learning that a detachment of Federal troops was to pass over a railroad bridge, the timbers of which he knew to have been cut in order to wreck the train, Alexander, at the hazard of his life, gave the information to a prominent Union man, thus preventing disaster to the detachment. He was suspected of doing this, and was taken prisoner by a committee of Confederate sympathizers, but escaped, fleeing to St. Louis, where he obtained employment under protection of the Federal provost-marshal. In the bronze group, “Freedom's Memorial,” in the capitol grounds in Washington, he was the model of Thomas Ball the sculptor, from which “The Freedman” in the group was made. See “The story of Archer Alexander.” He died in St. Louis, Dec. 8, 1879.
SOURCE: John Howard Brown, Editor, Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States, Volume 1, p. 55