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

Burdett, Samuel "Sam" and Belle

(born: 1846-1849?  -  died: June 28, 1905) 

The Burdetts, Samuel (b. 1849) and his wife Belle (b. 1848), were both Kentucky natives, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. They married in 1872, then left Kentucky and settled in Seattle, WA.

Samuel, a Civil War veteran, made his living as a veterinary surgeon. In 1900, he was elected the King County wreckmaster (taking salvage from shipwrecks and clearing logging debris along Seattle's coast).

Burdett co-founded the Cornerstone Grand Lodge of the York Masons and helped organize the International Council of the World, an anti-lynching organization. He was author of A Test of Lynch Law, a 100-page book published in 1901 that fictionalized the lynching of Henry Smith in Paris, TX.

Sam Burdett died June 28, 1905, in Klickitat, WA [source: Register of Deaths in Klickitat County, Washington].

For more see Samuel Burnett at the website; Seattle's Black Victorians, 1852-1901, by E. H. Mumford; and A Spectacular Secret, by J. D. Goldsby.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Burdett, Samuel "Sam" and Belle,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-06-10 16:55:07