Join us at Trinity on February 25, as we welcome Mr. Samuel C. Still III, who will share the story of his illustrious family. He will tell us about several of his ancestors, beginning with Levin and Charity Still, both born into slavery, who through perseverance and courage became freed people and who eventually settled in Burlington County, and several of their children, including William Still, a Philadelphia abolitionist known as the “Father of the Underground Railroad,” and Dr. James Still, known as the “Doctor of the Pines.”
Mr. Still’s slide presentation will be in the church at 3PM. Light refreshments will be served in the Parish Hall following the presentation. A free will offering will be taken
Samuel Still’s presentation describes the early beginnings of two former enslaved Africans Levin and Charity Still and their progeny. Three of the their sons became notable historic figures in the 1800’s. The presentation includes brief biographies on William Still (1821-1902) a major conductor of the Underground Railroad, his brother Peter Still (1801- 1868) who was left in slavery as a young boy and survived 40 years to reunite with his family, and Dr. James Still (1812-1882) a self taught herbalist, who became one of the wealthiest African Americans in New Jersey during the 1800’s. The Still family is a real life story of an American family raised with strong work values as well as pride and self-determination to persevere through life challenges despite the lack of formal education and prejudices.
His presentation will also touch on the present day community efforts to preserve, educate, and restore the historic medical office of Dr. James Still. Dr. James Still Historic Office Site and Education Center, located in Medford, NJ is a 18 acre NJ State Park. It is managed by a group of volunteers under the guardianship of the Medford Historical Society. It is currently the only NJ State Park that recognizes the significance of an African American contribution to the history of New Jersey.
About Samuel C. Still III
Samuel C. Still III is the 3rd Great Grandson of Levin and Charity Still. His 3rd great grandparents were the parents of William Still. William Still was proclaimed by the New York Times in their 1902 obituary of William Still “The Father of the Underground Railroad”. Samuel began telling his family’s story at 13 years old in local elementary schools in southern New Jersey where he grew up. As a child, his father Samuel Still Jr. would take him on long hikes in and around the Pine Barrens of New Jersey where Levin and Charity raised their 18 children. They would visit the old family homestead in Shamong Township and other places that were part of the family history. They would attend the numerous family reunions that were held every year in different towns in New Jersey always taking notes on the stories from other family members.
As an adult, Samuel Still has given presentations about his family’s history at local schools, a few universities, and numerous celebrations of Black History. He has done significant research on the Levin and Charity Steel-Still progeny. He has spent countless hours tracing his family ancestry through slavery into present day. In 2005 he worked with other family members to get “The Underground Railroad” back in print and was given the prestigious honor of writing the Still Family Preface in that edition. Recently he was also given the honor to write the foreword in the 2015 edition of “Early Recollections and Life of Dr. James Still”. He has visited with Charles Blockson at Temple University and Sarah Ducksworth at Kean University. He has been appointed Chairman of the Dr. James Still Historical Office and Educational Center by Medford Historical Society. Samuel holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Architectural Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. He is a former US Coast Guard Commissioned Officer, a construction manager, a historian, a motorcycle enthusiast, and a semi-professional photographer. He is very passionate about telling his family history and learning more about their importance in American History.