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Office of the Mayor bills relating to the Anthony Burns case

 Series — Box: SB - 011, Folder: 7
Identifier: 0200.020

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains bills and receipts in conncection with the military services of various cavalry, infantry, and artillery units of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. Payments are detailed for ammunitions supplies such as musket balls, carbine cartridges, and ball cartridges purchased from William Read. Co. The file also includes several writs of attachment which seem to have resulted from a contractual dispute over unpaid bills for refreshments for the Light Guards.


  • Creation: 1854-1855


Historical note

Anthony Burns, who had escaped from slavery in Virginia, was arrested in Boston on May 24, 1854 for violating the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. When a group of abolitionists stormed the courthouse in an attempt to rescue Burns two days later, a deputy was killed. Military forces were called in to prevent further violence.

After a trial, Burns was remanded to his owner. City police, the militia, and federal troops were all on hand to preserve order when Burns was escorted to the wharf on June 2 to return to Virginia.

The case was important in terms of unifying opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act.


0.01 Cubic feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials


Bills Relating to the Anthony Burns Case
Diane Pierce-Williams
March 25, 2008
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the City of Boston Archives Repository

201 Rivermoor St.
West Roxbury MA 02132 United States
617-635-1194 (Fax)