Part Fourteen of the PP forum Block of the Month - Underground Railroad
It was William Still, a successful merchant and a leader in the fight against slavery, who once said to his charges, ‘Don’t get too giddy. You may have reached the free state of Pennsylvania, but there are still bounty hunters ready and waiting to take you back.’
William Still was a free black man and he was one of many that assisted the fugitive slaves in one of the last legs of their journey to freedom. William Still helped as many as 60 slaves a month escape to freedom, interviewing each person and keeping careful records.. During one interview of an escapee, he discovered that the man, Peter Still, was his brother.
A few words from the book ‘The Life of Josiah Henson’. ‘I brought my family out of the bush and watched the vessel in the distance lower a boat which made for the shore. In a few minutes, a black friend and two sailors assisted myself and my family into the vessel and then onto the awaiting ship. On the morning of the 28th of October, 1830 we arrived on the Canadian side.'
Our block for the month of October, and our second to last block is the ‘Sail Boat’. It was a symbol of safe passage as all the slaves knew that the only way to freedom would be across the great lakes and rivers into Canada. By 1851 some 300,000 slaves had fled north to Canada.
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