The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,197 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.

If the records of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Pennsylvania Anti-slavery Society were examined and written out by a pen, as competent as Mr. McKim’s, two or three volumes of a most thrilling, interesting, and valuable character could be furnished to posterity.  But as his labors have been portrayed for these pages, by a hand much more competent than the writer’s, it only remains to present it as follows: 

The subject of this sketch was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, November 14, 1810, the oldest but one of eight children.  On his father’s side, he was of Scotch Irish, on his mother’s (Miller) of German descent.  He graduated at Dickinson College in 1828; and entering upon the study of medicine, attended one or more courses of lectures in the University of Pennsylvania.  Before he was ready to take his degree, his mind was powerfully turned towards religion, and he relinquished medicine for the study of divinity, entering the Theological Seminary at Princeton, in the fall of 1831, and a year later, being matriculated at Andover.  The death of his parents, however, and subsequently that of his oldest brother, made his connection with both these institutions a very brief one, and he was obliged, as the charge of the family now devolved upon him, to continue his studies privately at home, under the friendly direction of the late Dr. Duffield.  An ardent and pronounced disciple of the “New School” of Presbyterians, belonging to a strongly Old School Presbytery; he was able to secure license and ordination only by transfer to another; and, in October, 1835, he accepted a pulpit in Womelsdorf, Berks County, Pa., where he preached for one year, to a Presbyterian congregation, to what purpose, and with what views, may be learned from the following passage taken from one of his letters, written more than twenty years afterwards, to the National Anti-Slavery Standard.  “The first settled pastor of this little flock was one sufficiently well-known to such of your readers as will be interested in this, to make mention of his name unnecessary.  He had studied for the ministry with a strong desire, and a half formed purpose to become a missionary in foreign lands.  Before he had proceeded far in his studies, however, he became alive to the claims of the ‘perishing heathen’ here at home.  When he received his licensure, his mind was divided between the still felt impulse of his first purpose and the pressure of his later convictions.  While yet unsettled on this point, the case of the little church at Womelsdorf was made known to him, followed by an urgent request from the people and from the Home Missionary Society to take charge of it.  He acceded to the request and remained there one year, zealously performing the duties of his office to the best of his knowledge and ability.  The people, earnest and simple-hearted, desired the ‘sincere milk of the Word,’ and receiving it ‘grew thereby.’  All

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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