Notes: Third and best edition, reprinting the 1878 revised edition text with the authorized biography of Still by James P. Boyd, here published for the first time. This is also the first edition of the book published by Still himself, part of a trend among African American writers of the era to take control of the means of production of their books. In this case, it appears that Still was able to keep (or perhaps buy) the stereotype plates for the 1878 edition, to which he added his biography between pages 22 and 23; a revised opening to the book, removing the half-title without renumbering the following pages; and adding a new, unpaginated index.
Still (1821–1902) was a conductor on the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia. He kept meticulous records and recorded oral histories of the men and women he assisted in their escapes from bondage. This book, first published in 1872, remains one of the most important sources for the history of the Underground Railroad. It is illustrated with 24 inserted plates, including a frontispiece portrait of the author, and a number of in-text illustrations, many of which are fine portraits of the men and women mentioned in the book.
[iv], 7–21, , i–lxiv, 23–780,  pages. NB: The location of the illustrations is somewhat different from that of the table of contents. The plate on p. 191 is opposite 189; that of 654 is opposite 659; and 720 is opposite 719. The plate of Charles Cleveland listed in the contents as opposite p. 724 is not present *as issued.* This plate is on the table of contents of the 1878, 1883 (this), and 1886 editions but it does not appear in any of them.
22, lxiv, 23–780,  pages, +19 unnumbered leaves of plates (confirm count).
Edition + Condition: A very good copy of the first edition published by the author. Hinges somewhat cracked, but otherwise an attractive copy in the publisher's brown cloth binding stamped in black and gilt.
Publication: Philadelphia: William Still, 1883.
Item No: #362462