ABOUT THE SCHOOL
Location: Austin Ridge Subdivision, Northern Stafford County
School Colors: Red, White, and Blue
Date of Opening: September 11, 2006
Original Administration: Nancy Coll, Former Hampton Oaks Principal
Robert Colucci, Former Prince William County Administrator
ABOUT THE MAN
Who was Anthony Burns?
Anthony Burns was born a slave in Stafford around 1834. There were 13 children in his family. He and his father and brothers worked in the Robertson Stone Quarry, site of the present day subdivision of Austin Ridge. (Stone from this quarry went toward the construction of the U.S. Capitol.) Anthony and his family belonged to the Suttle family. After Mr. Suttle’s death, Mrs. Suttle sold some of "Tony’s" siblings. After Mrs. Suttle’s death, her son, Charles Suttle owned Anthony. Charles rented Tony to a Stafford sawmill and other places in the county. When Tony was about twenty years old he escaped to Richmond and stowed away on a ship which traveled to Massachusetts. He thought he was escaping to freedom since Massachusetts was a free state. However the Fugitive Slave Act mandated runaway slaves be recaptured and returned to their owner’s state. This law faced its first challenge when police captured Burns. The famous Richard Henry Dana Jr, was Anthony’s attorney. The nationally- known case put the spotlight upon this Staffordian and over 50,000 Bostonians favoring abolition rallied in the streets. The trial decided that Burns be returned to Virginia. Later on, Burns was sold to a North Carolina slave dealer; however, a group of Bostonians raised enough money to buy Burns’ freedom. Anthony attended Oberlin College in Ohio and later became a minister in Canada. It is thought that Anthony Burns was the first black from Stafford to get a college education.