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0082. Henry Meader (1789 - 1867) Gender: M
Born: July 4, 1789 in Industry, Farmington, Franklin, Maine
Died: December 4, 1867 in Blue Island, Cook, Illinois

0082. Henry Meader (1789 - 1867)
Henry Meader, son of Francis Meader (1746-1832) [0030] and Mary Holly (b.1751) of Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, was born in Industry, a part of Farmington, Franklin, Maine on July 4, 1789, two years after his father had moved there. He married Sally Young on March 11, 1811 in Wiscasset, Lincoln, Maine. She was born May 7, 1793 and died May 2, 1860, just before her 87th birthday. They settled about four miles below Gardiner, Kennebec, Maine, on the west side of the Kennebec River. About 1816, when he was 27, he began to preach the Gospel, mostly in the southern counties of Maine. He was ordained in 1820 in Woolwich, Sagadahoc, Maine by Reverends Lamb and Cunningham. He was for many years a member of the Free Will Baptist Church in Gardiner.
In 1839 he moved to Manchester, Scott, Illinois, about 150 miles southeast of Hampton, where his brother William [0080] moved in 1845. He became a warm friend of fugitives from slavery. Nearly a hundred of them passed through his door on their way to freedom after being warmed, fed and sometimes clothed. Many were his nightly rides through mud, rain and snow to assist some fleeing fugitive.
His health became poor and, becoming deaf, he did not preach much after moving west. In the fall of 1864 he moved to Blue Island, Cook, Illinois, where he died on December 4, 1867, aged 78 years. His last illness was only six days.
His granddaughter, Mrs. Henrietta Victoria Meader Rand [0316]. in a work, "Recollections and Experiences of the Times and Conditions," which urged the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin to her great work, read before a literary society in Lombard, Du Page, Illinois, her home town, said:
“My paternal grandfather early espoused the unpopular causes of total abstinence and abolition of slavery. My grandmother was in complete sympathy with him, and they succeeded in bringing up their three sons and only daughter [two children died in infancy] to be, if possible more radical than themselves. There were a few others in their vicinity who sympathized with them, but the atmosphere was generally hostile to any direct interference with slavery.
“When my grandfather with his younger children came to the west, he immediately became a conductor on the Underground Railroad. All its active operations were carried on under cover of the night. From the time the slave left the Southern States until he trod the free soil of Canada, there were those who would hide him by day in some attic, cellar, barn or haystack, and then at night conduct him to the next friendly shelter.
“Sometimes it happened that men coming for the first time into his church, men who treated him respectfully everywhere else, would get up and walk heavily out in the midst of the prayer, because he was praying for the freedom of the slaves.
“There were not many nights in the year that his horses were not saddled for the benefit of the poor fugitive. He said he knew the risk, for the pursuer might not be far behind, but if he overtook him he would be welcome to the horse, saddle and bridle.
“On one occasion [in 1847] they had a poor fellow with a terrible cough secreted upstairs, a cough which came on at intervals and lasted, for several minutes. It was thought cruel to put him either in the barn or cellar. They earnestly hoped that neither master nor unsympathetic neighbor would call. But soon two men came, the slave's master and overseer, asking, ‘Had they seen such a looking nigger pass by?' ‘No, they had not.'
“These men, hungry and tired, reckoned they were on the wrong road, but they asked if they could get something to eat. Certainly they could, and no time was lost in setting the table. The daughter, Matilda Jane, a girl of twelve, without direction went upstairs and began a most vigorous racket in the room adjoining the slave's, and she commenced singing at the top of her voice. Her father asked, ‘What is the child doing?'
“Whereat one of the men remarked, ‘Let the child sing. I do love to hear little girls sing.'
“Then the broom and dustpan came tumbling down the stairs.
“The men finally left, and Matilda Jane said she had made all the noise she could, expecting every moment that the coughing would begin.
“He felt he was doing God's work and that wisdom was given in every time of need. It might be added that his outspoken views led his proslavery acquaintances to injure his business interests, and the excuse was ‘his interference with other peopled business.'”
The children of Henry Meader and Sally Young were:

0184 i. John Meader, born in Gardiner on May 21, 1812 and died in Illinois, probably Chicago, on October 15, 1860.
0185 ii. Ezekiel Elliott Meader, born in Gardiner on March 31, 1814, and died February 13, 1896, probably in Hesper, Iowa.
0186 iii. Henry Meader, born in Gardiner on January 17, 1816.
iv. Joseph Meader, born in Gardiner on August 15, 1817 and died that day.
v. Daniel Young Meader, born in Gardiner on September 9, 1827 and died on April 8, 1829.
0187 vi. Matilda Jane Meader, born in Gardiner October 8, 1834.