William Still and His Freedom Stories:
The Father of the Underground Railroad
by Don Tate
Born in New Jersey in1821, Still was the youngest child of his formerly enslaved parents. A pivotal moment for young William came when he helped a freedom-seeking neighbor escape a brutal assault. At age twenty-three he left home and moved to Philadelphia. Still found work with the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. His skills were recognized by his employer and he eventually became the society’s manager.
During this time, William’s Philapelphia home became an Underground Railroad “station, ” where he assisted numerous individuals seeking freedom. He was astonished to learn that one of those he helped was his older brother.