John Newton Burton was born 9 August 1809 in Bedford, Bedford County, Virginia to Alexander Burton (1772-1819) and Elizabeth Leftwich (1774-1846) and died 1838 Monroe County, Missouri, United States of unspecified causes. He married Sarah Allred (1811-1834) 15 November 1832 in Salt River, Monroe County, Missouri. He married Susan McCord (1808-1872) 24 May 1835 in Pike, Missouri.
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When we were very young, my brother, sisters and I were told the story of the Slave that became part of our family. Early stories indicated that Black John (or Faithful John as he was also referred too) was a slave to my Great-Great Grandfather, John Newton Burton and was given to him by his Father, Alexander Burton in Virginia. Several narratives have been written and passed down through our family as well as other families connected to John Newton Burton and Susan McCord, his wife. After the death of John Newton Burton, Susan became the second wife of Joseph Lee Robinson.
In the early 1830’s, two (2) young Elders introduced James McCord and his family to the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of these elders was John Carlos Smith (Brother to the Prophet Joseph Smith) and the other was an Elder Morris. Several members of his family were ultimately baptized. Even though James and Elizabeth were considered to be successful in their affairs, trials and challenges were forthcoming after their baptism. John continued to serve the family faithfully as a trusted slave.
When Susan was married to John Newton Burton in May 1835, James McCord had prepared a wedding dowry, and among the many generous gifts were several colored people, one being Faithful John. James exacted a solemn promise from Susan that if she ever felt it necessary to dispose of any of these trusted people, or to give them their freedom, she would reserve John and never let him go. Faithful John made the same promise that he would remain with Susan until the end of time. Her husband (John Newton Burton) was also asked to make that promise, which he did willingly.
The McCord and Burton families did suffer trials as a result of their difficult lives on the frontier and their membership in the Church. Robert McCord (Susan’s younger Brother) died from cholera as a member of Zion’s Camp in Western Missouri in June 1834 and was buried near Rush Creek by Liberty Missouri. Elizabeth McCord (Susan’s Mother) died on September 4, 1834 and was buried in Florida, Monroe County, Missouri.
James McCord (Susan’s Father) became ill in January 1837 and was lonely and tired. Both Susan and Faithful John spent a great amount of time with him. John had spent most of his time with him since Elizabeth’s death two and one half (2 1/2) years earlier. James enjoyed having John with him, as he seemed to be the much-needed link to the past that James enjoyed. Faithful John was constantly attentive during James’ illness and at times remained up all night watching over him. Late in the early spring (1837), James McCord suffered a stroke and lay for sometime unconscious gradually fading into a final slumber from which he did not wake. John continued to be the faithful and vigilant companion to James during the remaining weeks and months that he lived. James was buried next to Elizabeth in Florida, Missouri.
In the spring of 1838 (shortly after their 2nd Son, Sidney Rigdon Burton was born - Jan 1838), John Newton Burton (Susan’s Husband) suddenly died suffering from great unbearable stomach pain. There was no comfort, no cheer, and no warmth at his funeral, just cold death. Susan stood alone with her two (2) young children and Faithful John by her side. John Newton Burton was also buried in Florida, Missouri.
|Offspring of John Newton Burton and Sarah Allred (1811-1834)|
|Leona Elizabeth Burton (1833-1909)||3 December 1833 Salt River, Monroe County, Missouri, United States||10 February 1909 Beaver, Beaver County, Utah, United States||William Jackson Allred (1827-1895)|
|Offspring of John Newton Burton and Susan McCord (1808-1872)|
|William Parley Burton (1836-1890)|
|Sidney Rigdon Burton (1838-1897)|