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Harriet Tubman

William Still

NJ Celebrates the Underground Railroad




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NJ Underground Railroad Routes

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William Still
February 2003

Born a free man in Burlington County, New Jersey, William Still became a member of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society and director of the General Vigilance Committee of Philadelphia. He managed the committee's finances, which were used to assist Harriet Tubman's rescue efforts. Still also established a network of safe houses and contacts stretching from the upper South to Canada.

photo of William StillStill also wrote William Still's Underground Railroad, an abolitionist account of the freedom network, in which he championed the hundreds of brave fugitives he interviewed as they made their way to the North. In one interview, the author made the dramatic discovery that the fugitive confronting him was his own brother, a man from whom he had been separated since boyhood.

Although Still had intended to use his interview material to assist other escaped slaves find their loved ones, he decided to compile the detailed information he had gathered into a book. This successful businessman first published William Still's Underground Railroad in 1873, making sure that the work would have a wide circulation by hiring agents to sell it in major cities.

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