The Peter Still Digital Edition (57 items) is chiefly composed of correspondence (1850-1875) relating to Still’s efforts to raise funds to purchase his wife, Vina Still, and their three children, Peter Jr., Levin, and Catharine, all still enslaved in Alabama. By 1850, the date of the first document in this collection, Peter Still had secured his own freedom at nearly 50 years of age with the cooperation of Joseph and Isaac Friedman of Tuscumbia, Alabama. A secondary subject of the letters concerns Kate E. R. Pickard’s work on a biography of Still, The Kidnapped and the Ransomed: The narrative of Peter and Vina Still after forty years of slavery, published in 1856.

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A page from the memo book, an example of the markup, and the family record.

The collection includes sixteen letters of introduction, secured by Still as a means of presenting himself to those sympathetic to the antislavery cause and to assist him in his fundraising. Letters from some prominent abolitionists are present, such as William Lloyd Garrison, Horace Greeley, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

In addition, there is a memo book, in which Still had recorded his travel expenses, and the names and addresses of his donors together with the sums they contributed towards his mission. A family record, by an unknown hand, records the births of fourteen children to Levin Sr. and Charity Still from 1798 to 1821.