William Still (Appleton’s)

James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, eds., “Still, William,” Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1888), 5: 689.
STILL, William, philanthropist, b. in Shamony, Burlington co., N. J., 7 Oct., 1821. He is of African descent, and was brought up on a farm. Coming to Philadelphia in 1844, he obtained a clerkship in 1847 in the office of the Pennsylvania Anti-slavery society. He was chairman and corresponding secretary of the Philadelphia branch of the “underground railroad” in 1851-'61, and busied himself in writing out the narratives of fugitive slaves. His writings constitute the only full account of the organization with which he was connected. Mr. Still sheltered the wife, daughter, and sons of John Brown while he was awaiting execution in Charlestown, Va. During the civil war he was commissioned post-sutler at Camp William Penn for colored troops, and was a member of the Freedmen's aid union and commission. He is vice-president and chairman of the board of managers of the Home for aged and infirm colored persons, a member of the board of trustees of the Soldiers' and sailors' orphans' home, and of other charitable institutions. In 1885 he was sent by the presbytery of Philadelphia as a commissioner to the general assembly at Cincinnati. He was one of the original stockholders of “The Nation,” and a member of the Board of trade of Philadelphia. His writings include “The Underground Rail-Road” (Philadelphia, 1878) ; “Voting and Laboring” ; and “Struggle for the Rights of the Colored People of Philadelphia.”
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