Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Sidney Still (b. ? - d. ?)
MSA SC 5496-15226
Fled from slavery twice, Eastern Shore, Maryland, between 1801 and 1807


    Sidney Steel, also known as Charity Still, was a slave on the plantation of Saunders Griffin, a planter from Maryland's Eastern Shore.  Her husband, Levin, bought his freedom sometime between 1801 and 1807, and afterwards moved to New Jersey.  To reunite her family, and to escape the shackles of bondage, Sidney ranaway to Greenwich, New Jersey and her husband, taking her four young children, Peter, Levin, Kitturah, and Mahalah with her.  Unfortunately, the five runaway Stills were caught by slave hunters, and delivered back to Griffin's plantation, but a second attempted escape proved successful.  This time, Sidney could only take her two daughters, and had to leave her sons behind.  As a precaution against capture, she moved to Burlington County, New Jersey, changed her name to Charity, and she and her husband switched their surname from Steel to Still.  Charity then went on to have several children - among them the celebrated abolitionist, William Still, and the famous doctor, James Still - and lived the remainder of her life a free person.1

1.  William Still, Underground Rail Road: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters, etc. (Philadelphia, PA: Porter and Coates Publishers, 1872), 37 - 38.

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