William Still, a freeborn African American, was one of the legendary leaders of Philadelphia’s extensive Underground Railroad network.
As a member of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society and then as director of the General Vigilance Committee of Philadelphia, Still managed the committee’s finances, which funded Harriet Tubman’s raids. He established a network of safe houses, maintained contacts along routes from the Upper South to Canada, and channeled freedom seekers to conductors in Philadelphia and New York.
In 1872, Still wrote and published "The Underground Railroad," one of the rare nineteenth century accounts of the Underground Railroad. Still published numerous documents and interviews with those freedom seekers he called the "self-emancipated champions" of his race.