From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Burleigh, Angus A.

(born: 1848  -  died: 1939) Angus A. Burleigh was the first adult African American to attend and graduate from Berea College in Berea, KY. Burleigh had been born free, the son of an English sea captain and an African American woman, but after his father's death the family was sold into enslavement, first in Virginia, then in Kentucky. Burleigh ran away and joined the Union Army when he was 16 years old.

In 1866, he had finished his stint with the Army and enrolled at Berea College with the encouragement and support of John G. Fee. After his graduation in 1875, Burleigh immediately left Kentucky and headed north, where he would spend the rest of his life preaching and teaching.

For more see "Berea College Graduate Hasan Davis narrates the story of A.A.Burleigh," in A A BURLEIGH: The Long Climb to Freedom (on Youtube. Hasan Davis gives a phenomenal live performance of A. A. Burleigh's life in The Long Climb to Freedom; it is also available as Kentucky Life: Program 807, AV-D7545 in the UK Young Library Closed Media Stacks; ask for it at the Circulation Desk on the First Floor.

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NKAA Entry: African American Schools in Garrard County, KY

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“Burleigh, Angus A.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-05-17 16:55:44