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The Underground Railroad

William Still

Book Overview: 

William Still is often called the Father of the Underground Railroad. Over 14 years, he helped hundreds of slaves escape to freedom in Canada. Still was committed to preserving the stories of the bondmen and he kept careful records of the many escaped slaves who passed through the Philadelphia “station”. The Underground Railroad was published from Still’s records and diaries.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .United States, and Great Britain, whilst, at the same time, his brother and kin were held in chains, compelled to do unrequited labor, to come and go at the bidding of another. Were not these reflections enough to incapacitate the Doctor for the time being, for cool thought as to how he should best guard against the enemy? Indeed, in view of Slavery and its horrid features, the wonder is, not that more was not done, but that any thing was done, that the victims were not driven almost out of their senses. But time rolled on until nearly twenty-four hours had passed, and while reposing their fatigued and weary limbs in bed, just before day-break, hyena-like the slave-hunters pounced upon all three of them, and soon had them hand-cuffed and hurried off to a United States' Commissioner's office. Armed with the Fugitive Law, and a strong. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Imagine it’s you: You are kidnapped from your family, stripped naked, shipped like cargo, body stacked on body, in the hold of a ship. If you survive, this transport is followed by being “owned” and worked by other people. Some of the “owners” claim you’re not human; others say, “Gee, I’d like to le

A powerful and highly educational collection of authentic correspondence from around events of the Undercover Railroad.

What feels like it should be most treasured about this book are the various unfiltered messages from the contemporaries themselves, both the slaves and their allies alike. Some stri

If you plan to read the Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, read this first. If you wonder about race relations in America, read this. It's amazing. Before I read this book, slavery was something I understood in my head as wrong, against God, a crime. After I read this book, I knew in my heart that sl

These real stories, written in both narrative and letter form, are heartbreaking. It is a real picture into our very dark past. This gives you a view of the harsh realities some men imposed upon millions of others for so long. The desperation and deprivation of liberty led to some brave ones to seek

Profound source material for the operation of the Underground Railroad, especially through Philadelphia. William Still was on the Vigilance Committee in that city and welcomed many of those escaping slavery. From each arrival he took a brief account of their adventures on The Road, as well as their

I was very glad to make an acquaintance with this huge collection of slave escape narratives, in first-hand accounts. It's not an easy read. It took me a concentrated couple of hours just to figure out how it is organized. And the sheer number of human stories is overwhelming!

William Still was an e

My homeschooled daughter is interested in the Underground Railroad, so we checked this book out of the public library to use for "real life" discussions. The letters and stories are so fascinating, and so sad, at times. What bravery extended for the welfare of another soul!

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