I ran across a reference to William Still (UGRR activist, recorder, author and icon, buried near Darby) and the struggle to
desegregate the Philadelphia streetcars, called " A Brief Narrative of the Struggle for the rights of the Colored People of
Philadelphia in the City Railway Cars" which dates from 1867 and which I found in the U of Penn library. (Re-published by
Maxwell Whiteman of  RHISTORIC Publications, 302 No. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107)Â
People of color were only able to ride on the outside platform, regardless of the weather, a fact that was noted with scorn by
Frederick Douglas in 1862. The legislature finally passed an ordinance against this discrimination in 1867, but Still had started
the struggle in 1859 (The cars began running in 1858) when he wrote a letter to the Editor of the North American and United
States Gazette. Â In 1862, he got 300 prominent white Philadelphians to sign a petition, and in the winter of 1864, there was an
appeal printed in a number of papers.
As Still says, "With regard to this appeal as well as those I have before read, together with the petition, without meaning to do the
other members of the car committee any injustice, I trust I may be excused for saying every word of these papers were prepared
by myself - and every name on the petition was procured through my individual effort. The cars do not yield yet. Well, what next?
said I. True, the Companies seemed considerably disturbed by our continually wearying them. And one line, the
Philadelphia and Darby Road, informed me through its president, Mr. Ellis, that its board had acted on our petition and had
unanimously agreed to admit all colored people without distinction
."(A Brief Narrative, Pg. 11)
So, the Darby streetcar seems to be the first in Philadelphia to integrate. William Still is buried in  Eden Cemetery across from the
Scott  Estate (Little Flower) on Springfield Road. The fare schedule of the Darby Railway Company from July 1859 is available
More about Darby Trolleys

Darby Past

Proposed Historic District
Darby Railway Company
Fares (PDF File) from the
collection of Ed Springer