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Henry Box Brown and William Still
In 1870, William Still published his journals in The Underground Railroad, a collection of short biographies of fugitive slaves. Conscious of the importance of his work, Still described the appearance, character and training of each man and woman. He also explained their means of escape. Henry “Box” Brown, for example, shipped himself in a box to freedom. It is only one of the many acts of bravery that captures the cooperation between the races. Stories of the united spirit of Abolitionists were equally enlightening, their unselfish and unprovoked actions resuscitated and sustained the heart of the Declaration of Independence “that all men have God given alienable rights ….among these are Life, Liberty.” After reading the stories I was determined to buy a copy of this book. Until then, Alex Haley’s book and miniseries Roots defined my perception of race relations during the slave era. When I thought of a fugitive slave, I thought of Haley’s ancestor Toby, who had a part of his foot chopped off after a failed attempt to escape.

The Underground Railroad spoke of God’s mercy and deliverance for ancestors who resisted and attempted to escape slavery. This was the proof that God heard the prayers and cries of the many Toby's and Kizzy's that were in bondage. He did not forsake the slaves, but as he had done with Moses, commissioned abolitionists like William Still, Levi Coffin and Harriet Tubman to help free them. Moreover, He inspired hundreds of ordinary people to take part in the legendary Underground Railroad.

To Learn more about The Still Family and Henry Box Brown listen to our podcast, an interview with Professor, Journalist, Linn Washington

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