It is our opinion that the emissaries of negro-stealing societies are prowling about the country, exciting the slave population to insubordination, and enticing them away from their masters. – It would be weil for everybody to keep a good look out for such characters; but, at the same time, due care should be taken to avoid punishing the innocent for the sins of the guilty. Several stampedes among the negroes have taken place recently in this vicinity. A short time since, eleven colored individuals decamped in one night, from the neighborhood of Palmyra, and there is no doubt at all but they were aided in making their escape by Northern Abolitionists. They crossed the river at Quincy, and when last heard of were twelve miles from the city, at Menden, and travelling northward as fast as the “underground railway” could convey them. A number of persons from Palmyra started in pursuit of the fugitives.
"Negro Stealing," Hannibal (MO) Courier, November 10, 1853, p. 2.