Anderson was an enslaved worker during the Wight period of Tuckahoe. He would have been born sometime around 1833 and was one of the children of Sally Johnson mentioned in the will of Hezekiah Wight. He was not freed upon Wight’s death but he and his brother, Jacob, were to be granted their freedom when they turned 30 years old.
In 1863, Anderson filed a petition to remain in Virginia (the laws at that time required any African American who was freed to leave the state within one year). The court record describes him as “a man of good character, sober orderly industrious and honest” and he was recommended as a “fit and proper person” eligible to reside in the City of Richmond.