Virtual author talk by William Kashatus on William Still: The Underground Railroad and the Angel at Philadelphia with Historical Society of Haddonfield in partnership with the Lawnside Historical Society.
William Kashatus is the author of over 20 books, including a biography of Harriet Tubman and a teaching guide to the Underground Railroad. His work on William Still began over 20 years ago. He helped James McGowan compile a database of details of the fugitive slaves drawn from Still’s records and completed it after McGowan’s death. This work grew to be William Still: The Underground Railroad and the Angel at Philadelphia, the first scholarly biography of Still, published in 2021.
The work explores not only Still’s Underground Railroad efforts but also his successful business career and his fights to integrate the streetcars of Philadelphia and for voting rights for Blacks. Still helped organize one of the first YMCAs for Black youth among other works of philanthropy and management of charitable homes. His work as an abolitionist and activist brought him in contact, and sometimes conflict, with prominent contemporaries like Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, John Brown and Octavius Catto.
Still was a member of Lawnside’s celebrated Still family that includes his elder brother James, the storied Black Doctor of the Pines. We welcome the Lawnside Historical Society as co-hosts for William Kashatus’ virtual talk on May 25th. With 2021 marking Still’s 200th birthday and exciting efforts to preserve threatened sites such as Lawnside’s Mott House, a station of the Railroad, and James Still’s office in Medford gaining traction, the timing couldn’t be better to spread the word about this too often hidden history. – Dave Stewart