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William Still, father of the Underground Railroad

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Once enslaved in Maryland, William Still became a conductor on the Underground Railroad and served as chairman of the Vigilance Committee of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Credit: Wikimedia Commons; "The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom" By Wilbur Henry Siebert, Macmillan, 1898.

The fuel of the Underground Railroad was its passengers -- enslaved people who summoned their courage to flee. The Railroad’s engineer was William Still, a free Black who met them in Philadelphia, fed them and helped them move to freedom.

Andrew Diemer, associate professor of history at Towson University, tells the story of that work and what followed in his new book, "Vigilance: The Life of William Still, Father of the Underground Railroad."

On Thursday, Nov.10 at 7 p.m. at the central branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Diemer will speak as part of the Writers LIVE! Series. The event will also be live streamed.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.