Night before last a party, consisting of about nine slaves, attempted to runaway. Every arrangement had been prepared, through the instrumentality of white agent; and the party embarked in a skiff, a short distance above Bissell's Ferry. News of their departure, however, was known, and a police officer, Mr. Shelman, accompanied by one or two of the owners, was on the Illinois shore ready to receive them. The skiff, containing the crew, landed, when they were approached, and some little resistance being offered two shots were fired, which started the white cowardly agents into the woods. Five of the negroes were then caught. One of them, a man belonging ot Mr. McElroy, of this county, and a woman with two children, belonging to Mr. Henry Shaw, and also a negro man belonging ot Mr. Thornton, livery stable keeper, were caught. Another negro man, who crossed at the same time with Mr. Thornton's negroes, made his escape. A negro belonging ot Mr. Cohen, and one, the property of Sheriff Maddox, were in the same party, but it is believed did not cross the river at the time. One of the slaves, Mr. Thornton's, states that their place of rendezvous was Mrs. Berry Meachum's, where they started from, and where they met both the black and white agents in the affair. This Mrs. Meachum was subsequently arrested, and is now in the calaboose. A wagon, we understand, was in readiness to convey them to Alton, and from thence they were to take their departure [to] Chicago. The whole thing evinced a preconceived plan, and we only regret that the white scoundrels were not captured.
"Slaves Captured," St. Louis (MO) Pilot, May 26, 1855