William C. KashatusMar 12, 2021
The Underground Railroad and the Angel at Philadelphia
University of Notre Dame Pess 2021
William Still looms large in the history of the Underground Railroad, both for his role coordinating the Eastern Line and the records he maintained of the fugitives he saved. In William Still: The Underground Railroad and the Angel at Philadelphia (University of Notre Dame Press, 2021), William C. Kashatus provides his readers with both an account of Still’s life and a comprehensive database compiled from the many interviews his subject conducted with the runaway slaves he assisted. Himself the son of former slaves, Still grew up in the free black community of Philadelphia, at that time the largest in America. Employed by the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society (PASS), Still worked alongside many of the leading figures of the abolitionist movement throughout the 1850s, playing a vital role in helping people escape from bondage. Though Still left PASS in 1861 for a successful career in business and philanthropy he remained a prominent figure in the postwar civil rights movement, while his authorship of the first published history of the Underground Railroad provided subsequent generations with a priceless resource about the hundreds of people he aided.