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Anna Alston

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At a Glance

Anna Alston was of one of the many Alston families in Chatham County, NC and though she attended the Burwell School with Sally Alston  they were not of the same immediate family. Like Sally Alston  and Lavinia M. Alston  (another Burwell girl), Anna Alston was a music scholar and may have attended the school specifically for that purpose [1].


Anna Alston was from a wealthy family in Chatham County, NC. While she attended the Burwell School to hone her skills in music, she often intimidated Nannie Burwell who taught music in the little Brick House. Nannie once confessed that she felt like bursting into tears after giving Anna a lesson. Anna and Sally Alston  did not stay long at the Burwell School--a year or less. Used to life on the plantation, they may have found the schedule of the school too demanding and the arrangements too spartan for their liking [1].

Biographical Data

Places of Residence

Schools Attended

  • Burwell School, between 1855 and 1856. Anna Alston attended the Burwell School as a music scholar. As much as Nannie Burwell loved to teach music at the school, she was highly intimidated by the Alston girls and felt like crying whenever she gave Anna Alston a lesson.

    Anna and Sally Alston (of a different Alston family in Chatham County) did not stay at the school very long though. Perhaps they were used to life on the plantation and found the Burwell School too rigorous [1].


  1. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).