John Pierre Burr


John Pierre Burr

New Jersey, USA
Death 4 Apr 1864 (aged 71)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Collingdale, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Olive Section - Lot 72
Memorial ID 79414299 View Source
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John Pierre Burr is recognized by the Aaron Burr Association as being the son of Aaron Burr and his governess or servant, Mary Emmons. Mary was either born in Calcutta and lived in Haiti before coming to the United States or she was born in Haiti. Aaron Burr and Mary Emmons also had a daughter, Louisa Charlotte Burr (born 1788).

Elsewhere, it says that Aaron's Burr's governess was Eugenia/Eugenie Bearharni, a freedwoman from Haiti.

John Pierre Burr married Hester Elizabeth (Emory) Burr ["Hetty"] (born c.1795). She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to John and Mary Emery/Emory.

In the 1850 U.S. Census, John and Hetty were living in Moyamensing, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and he was a "barber."

According to the record of his death, John (died 4 Apr 1864, at 71 years, 10 months) was born in Philadelphia, a widower, and a "hairdresser."

"The Elite of Our People: Joseph Willson's Sketches of Black Upper-Class Life in Antebellum Philadelphia," The Pennsylvania State University Press, (2000).

Reputed to be the son of Aaron Burr and his Haitian-born governess, New Jersey native John P. Burr (b. 1792) was one of the most active individuals in the Philadelphia community. In business as a hairdresser by 1818, he did moderately well but never achieved the status of a homeowner. However, that seemed in no way to diminish his standing. His activities ranged from promoting emigration to Haiti to serving as agent for the Liberator, protesting disfranchisement, sheltering fugitive slaves, and aiding those charged with treason in the infamous Christiana Riot of 1851. A stalwart of the American Moral Reform Society, he helped publish its journal, the National Reformer. He was involved in the national convention movement of the early 1830s and in the organization of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Burr was also an officer of two community institutions, the Mechanics' Enterprise Hall and the Moral Reform Retreat, a refuge for black alcoholics. His commitment to the antislavery struggle was shared by his wife, Hetty, his daughter, J. Matilda, and his sons, John E. and David.

"Life and letters of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 1," by Samuel Thomas Pickard, (1894).

The following incident of Mr. Whittier's residence in Philadelphia is told by Mr. Edwin H. Coates, who was one of a committee of twelve persons organized in 1834, and acting with a still larger association, for the purpose of aiding fugitives from slavery. One member of this committee was John P. Burr, a natural son of Aaron Burr. Mr. Coates says that when Mr. Whittier took up his residence in Philadelphia he came to him to learn the workings of the "underground railroad.

"The Making Of Black America: Essays In Negro Life & History, Volumes 1-2," by Elliott M. Rudwick, (1969).

The Demosthenian Institute, formed at the home of John P. Burr, January 10, 1837, was organized primarily to prepare its members for the public platform.

The other known children of John and Hetty were:

1) John Emery Burr (19 Jan 1819 - 3 June 1895) was born and died in Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth (Curtis/Curtiss) Burr (1823 - 20 Aug 1901) on 19 Dec 1839. Elizabeth died in Philadelphia and was buried in Merion Cemetery. This is possibly referring to Merion Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

2) Mary Letitia (Burr) Gordon (1820 - 1913) married David Gordon (born c.1820) on 30 June 1842 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

3) Elisabeth Burr (born c.1830) was born in Pennsylvania.

4) Louisa (Burr) Mahand (born c.1833) was born in Pennsylvania. She married Daniel E. Mahand on 27 Oct 1857.

5) Julia Mathilde (Burr) Turner (born c.1835) was born in Pennsylvania. She married David Turner on 29 Jan 1863 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

6) Ellen Burr (born c.1837) was born in Pennsylvania.

Additional information provided by Susan Mitchell and Vicki S. Welch.

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  • Created by: myta
  • Added: 28 Oct 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 79414299
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Pierre Burr (Jun 1792–4 Apr 1864), Find a Grave Memorial ID 79414299, citing Eden Cemetery, Collingdale, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by myta (contributor 47351841) .