William Still, Underground Railroad activist, member of the Vigilent Committee with Passmore Williamson and others, recorder,
author and known as the Father of the Underground Railroad 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, found in the U of Penn library. (Re-published by Maxwell Whiteman of RHISTORIC
Publications, 302 No. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107)
Streetcars began running in 1858 but 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 started the struggle in 1859 when he wrote a letter to the Editor of the North American and
United States Gazette.
By 1862, he had obtained some 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 West
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
Scot Estate (now Little Flower Park) on Springfield Road. The fare schedule of the Darby Railway Company from July 1859 is