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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Denton in Caroline County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

William Still Center

Families Divided & United

 

— Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway —

 
William Still Center-Families Divided & United Marker-Side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 29, 2014
1. William Still Center-Families Divided & United Marker-Side 1
Inscription.  William Still’s mother Sidney and several of his siblings lived in a cottage on the plantation where they were enslaved. Sidney escaped with her children to join her husband in New Jersey, but she was soon recaptured and returned to Maryland. Leaving her two boys behind but taking her two daughters, she fled again, this time successfully. As punishment, her angry owner sold her sons Peter and Levin.

Sidney gave birth to her last child, William, in freedom in New Jersey. As an adult living in Philadelphia, William played a critical role as an Underground Railroad agent, helping more than 1,000 freedom seekers in the 1850s. A chance meeting with his long lost brother Peter inspired William to document the experience of freedom seekers who contacted him. In doing so, Still noted the arrival of Harriet Tubman with her three brothers who had escaped slavery on Christmas Day 1854.

(Inscription next to the photo at the bottom right)
William Still’s careful records, kept secret until after the Civil War, now help scholars reconstruct details of how the Underground Railroad worked and who was involved. William Still photographic print-Chester

William Still Center-Families Divided & United Marker-Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 29, 2014
2. William Still Center-Families Divided & United Marker-Side 2
County Historical Society, West Chester, PA.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican Americans. In addition, it is included in the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway series list.
 
Location. 38° 49.968′ N, 75° 50.1′ W. Marker is in Denton, Maryland, in Caroline County. Marker is on Detour Road. The marker is located in the Caroline County 4H Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Denton MD 21629, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Colonel William Richardson (approx. 3.3 miles away); Denton (approx. 3.4 miles away); "29, Let's Go!" (approx. 3½ miles away); Bell from First Methodist Church (approx. 3.6 miles away); Denton Schoolhouse (approx. 3.6 miles away); Two Neighbors * Two Governors * Two States (approx. 3.6 miles away); William Richardson (approx. 3.7 miles away); “Sailing Away to Freedom” (approx. 3.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Denton.
 
William Still Center-4H buildings in the background image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 29, 2014
3. William Still Center-4H buildings in the background
William Still Center-4H Park entrance sign image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 29, 2014
4. William Still Center-4H Park entrance sign
Driving Tour Guide-William Still Center-Families Divided & United Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, November 25, 2014
5. Driving Tour Guide-William Still Center-Families Divided & United Marker
The Kidnapped and the Redeemed image. Click for full size.
Internet Archive
6. The Kidnapped and the Redeemed
From The Kidnapped and the Ransomed. Being the personal recollections of Peter Still and his wife "Vina," after forty years of slavery, by Kate E. R. Pickard and William H. Furness, 1856.
William Still image. Click for full size.
Internet Archive
7. William Still
William Still’s careful records, kept secret until after the Civil War, now help scholars reconstruct details of how the Underground Railroad worked and who was involved.

Frontispiece of The Underground Railroad, 1872.
Cottage image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, January 19, 2018
8. Cottage
This one room cottage (1820) on the 4H R/C Airplane field seems destined to become the William Still Center.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 17, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 1, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 414 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 1, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland.   6, 7, 8. submitted on January 29, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Jun. 6, 2020