By Lestey Gist, The Gist of Freedom
William Still was the Black abolitionist from Philadelphia who was described by the New York Times as “The Father of the Underground Railroad”. He commissioned Harriet Tubman’s rescue missions. This famous abolitionist literally wrote the Underground Railroad book. The book which explained the story, narratives often in the words of the participants in the effort to escape slavery. The Times also reported that Mr. Still died worth nearly a million dollars in 1902.
This first reading of William Still’s Book The Underground railroad, will recount the story of his reunion with his long lost enslaved brother Peter Still, formerly known as Peter Gist. It will also tell the story of Peter’s very own John Brown like martyr, Seth Conklin.
Still campaigned for an end to racial discrimination in Philadelphia. In 1859 he organized the effort to end black exclusion from Philadelphia streetcars. This campaign was described in Still’s first publication, Struggle for the Civil Rights of the Coloured People of Philadelphia in the City Railway Cars in 1867.