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1.  John Berry Meachum (1789-1854)

John Berry Meachum, husband of Mary Meachum. He and his wife were both freed persons engaged in the efforts of the Underground Railroad through their church, home, and school. A pastor and founder of the oldest black church in Missouri he was also a skilled carpenter. A trade he taught to those he assisted, a skill that afforded him income to help free enslaved people by buying their freedom. As an educator he operated a school which taught both free and enslaved black students. When the state of Missouri banned all education for blacks in 1847 he circumvented the law by teaching classes on a steamboat on the Mississippi River. The efforts of John and Mary Meachum are today celebrated with the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing. 

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