Once Interviewing a Man, William Still Discovered That He Was His Long-Lost Brother

William Still (October 7, 1821 – July 14, 1902) was an African-American abolitionist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was chairman of the Vigilance Committee of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.He directly aided fugitive slaves and kept records of their lives, to help families reunite after slavery was abolished.

After reaching Philadelphia, Peter sought help at the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society to find his parents or other members of his birth family. When they first met, he and William Still had no idea they were related. But, as William listened to Peter’s story, he recognized the history his mother had told him many times. After learning that his older brother Levin was whipped to death for visiting his wife without permission, William shouted, “What if I told you I was your brother!” Later Peter and his mother were reunited after having been separated for 42 years.


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