Clone of William Still (Bordewich, 2006)

Fergus M. Bordewich, Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement (New York: Amistad, 2006), 355-356.
Still was born free in 1821, near Medford, in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, the youngest of eighteen children. His father, Levin, had purchased his freedom and moved north from Maryland in 1807. His mother, charity, later escaped to join him there, leaving behind their two oldest, enslaved sons. Largely self-taught, William moved to Philadelphia in 1844, where he worked at various menial jobs until, in 1847, he was hired as a clerk and a janitor by the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, at a salary of three dollars and seventy-five cents per week. When the Vigilance Committee was reorganized after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, Still was named its chairman. He coordinated escapes with underground activists as least as far away as Norfolk, Virginia and Washington, D.C., where the frugal Yankee lawyer Jacob Bigelow had rebuilt a clandestine network after William Chaplin’s arrest. Still’s Philadelphia office also served variously as a reception center, a kind of social services agency for needy fugitives, and a clearinghouse for information. He was usually the first person fugitives encountered when they arrived from underground stations in the Pennsylvania hinterland, from the Delaware line, or by sea from the South. Still had greeted William and Ellen Craft after their epic journey from Georgia, and he was on hand to help Henry “Box” Brown out of his packing crate. It was also Still who sent word to William Parker and his men at Christiana that the Maryland slave owner Edward Gorsuch and his party were on their trail.
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