This is the story of the famous Still Family of Southern New Jersey. Despite the family’s humble beginnings they endured and created a name for themselves in American History. The Still Brothers will influence generations to come. A direct descendant of the Still family recounts the stories that the family passed to her from childhood of her 19th Century ancestors.
Born in 1821, William Still wrote the Underground Railroad in 1840. These were the first written records by an African American of fugitive slaves escaping to the North & Canada from the South. Called “The Father of the Underground Railroad,” William became one of Philadelphia’s most prominent leaders of the U.G.R.R and Civil Rights.
Dr. James Still was called the “Black Doctor of The Pines” wrote Early Recollections & Life of Dr. James Still at 65. James’s education consisted of three months instruction in reading, writing, and math. He maintained a large office and hospital with a little assistance. With a covered horse and buggy he visited the sick that lived deep in the woods from sun up to sunset, because of his hard work ethic instilled in him by his parents Levin and Charity. His financial wealth bought his land to build his first house. His holdings stretched a half-mile along the road in front of his house. His medicines were the plants and herbs that grew in the fields and along the roads in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Dr. James Still’s ideas of medicines were unorthodox but cured thousands of patients.
Peter Still wrote The Kidnapped and The Ransomed. He was sold into slavery in Alabama with his brother Levin. Their slave master whipped Levin to death after he visited his wife on another plantation. After 40 years or slavery, Peter bought his freedom. Peter returns to Philadelphia and is directed to the Anti-Slavery Office where William worked. He tells William about wanting to reunite with his family. William cries out, “I am your brother, mother prayed for your return!”