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21.  Receipt from bounty hunter Benard Lynch for $100 to Henry Shaw itemizing costs incurred capturing enslaved person, Esther in Illinois and returning her to Saint Louis. Dated May 21st, 1855.

Receipt from bounty hunter Benard Lynch for $100 to Henry Shaw itemizing costs incurred capturing enslaved person, Esther in Illinois and returning her to Saint Louis. Dated May 21st, 1855. 



1855

22.  1853 tax statement (personal property tax) to the City of Saint Louis from Henry Shaw stating his ownership of 11 enslaved persons.

1853 tax statement (personal property tax) to the City of Saint Louis from Henry Shaw stating his ownership of 11 enslaved persons. 



1853

23.  1854 tax statement (personal property tax) to the City of Saint Louis from Henry Shaw stating his ownership of ten enslaved persons.

1854 tax statement (personal property tax) to the City of Saint Louis from Henry Shaw stating his ownership of ten enslaved persons. 



1854

24.  1855 tax statement (personal property tax) to the City of Saint Louis from Henry Shaw stating his ownership of four enslaved persons.

1855 tax statement (personal property tax) to the City of Saint Louis from Henry Shaw stating his ownership of four enslaved persons. 



1855

25.  United States Census record for 1850 showing Henry Shaw's ownership of nine enslaved people.

United States Census record for 1850 showing Henry Shaw's ownership of nine enslaved people. 



1850

26.  United States Census record for 1860 showing Henry Shaw's ownership of eight enslaved people.

United States Census record for 1860 showing Henry Shaw's ownership of eight enslaved people. 



1860

27.  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. 




28.  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. 




29.  Public auction of enslaved people circa 1850.

While a merchant in St. Louis Shaw began buying enslaved people in the 1820s with the earliest existing record being that of Peach in 1828. 1850 census records indicate Shaw owned nine enslaved people and by 1853 that number had grown to eleven, 1860 census records show him with eight enslaved people. Their names were not listed in either the 1850 or 1860 U.S. Census. Please see the historical timeline section for more information on this subject. Image is for reference. 




30.  Reynold's Political Map of the United States.

Reynold's Political Map of the United States from 1850. 



1850

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