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1.  Mary Meachum. (1801-1869)

Mary Meachum, wife of John Berry Meachum. She and her husband were both freed persons engaged in the efforts of the Underground Railroad through their church, home, and school. On the early morning of May, 21st of 1855 nine enslaved persons including four owned by Henry Shaw; Esther, her two children, and one unnamed male made their break for freedom utilizing the Underground Railroad with the assistance of Mary Meachum. They attempted crossing the Mississippi River to the free state of Illinois. Unfortunately bounty hunters awaited them and they were soon captured and Mary Meachum would be jailed for the attempt. The location of this historic event on the banks of Mississippi River north of downtown St. Louis is today memorialized as the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing. 




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