A brief narrative of the struggle for the rights of the Colored people of Philadelphia… : and a defence of William Still… -- Page 3

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Title: A brief narrative of the struggle for the rights of the Colored people of Philadelphia… : and a defence of William Still… -- Page 3
Document Title: A brief narrative of the struggle for the rights of the Colored people of Philadelphia in the city railway cars : and a defence of William Still, relating to his agency touching the passage of the late bill : Read before a large public meeting, held in Liberty Hall, Lombard St. below Eighth, Apr. 8th, 1867.
Author: Still, William, 1821-1902
Date: 1867
Page Transcription:
3 colored people to ride in the cars commenced in 1859—eight years ago. My first newspaper article appeared in the North American and United States Gfazette in the year above alluded to. The extract taken therefrom will show whether I advocated the rights of the masses or only a few. It literally reads thus: Colored People and the Cars. To the Editor of the North American and United States Gazette: Sir :—As a colored man, and constant reader of your paper, allow me a brief corner in your columns to make a few remarks on the sore grievance of genteel colored people in being excluded from the city passenger railroad cars, except they choose to " stand on the front platform with the driver." However long the distance they may have to go, or great their hurry—however unwell ©r aged, genteel or neatly attired—however hot, cold or stormy the weather—however few in the cars, as the masses of the colored people now understand it, they are unceremoniously excluded. Of course my own humble opinion will weigh but little with yourself and readers (being, as I am, of the proscribed class) as to whether it is reasonable or unreasonable, just or unjust—as to whether it is a loss or a gain to railroad companies, thus to exclude colored people. Nevertheless, pardon me for saying that this severe proscription, for some unaccountable reason, is carried to an extent in Philadelphia unparalleled in any of the leading cities of this Union. This is not imagination or an exaggerated assertion. In New Orleans, colored people—slaves as well as free—ride in all the city cars and omnibuses. In Cincinnati, colored women are accommodated in the city omnibuses, but colored men are proscribed to a certain extent. In Chicago it may be safely said that not the slightest proscription exists in the public conveyances of that flourishing city. In New York, Brooklyn, &c, (except on one or two of the New York city passenger lines,) there is not the slightest barrier to any persons riding, on account of complexion. There is no obstruction in the way of colored persons riding in any of the Boston cars or omnibuses. I need not allude to the cities of minor importance, whether favorable or unfavorable, North or South. Sufficient are the facts in the examples of the cities already alluded to, to make it a very painfully serious inquiry with intelligent colored people, why it is so in Philadelphia, the city of "Brotherly Love," so noted as the bulwark of the " Religious Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers," so noted as one of the leading cities in the Union, in great religious and benevolent enterprises, so pre-eminently favorable to elevating the heathen in Africa, while forgetful of those in their very precincts—those who are taxed to support the very highways that they are rejected from. But, doubtless, on a hurried consideration of the claims of the colored people, serious objections would be found by railroad boards and others, under the erroneous impression that the vicinity of St. Mary, Bedford, Seventh and
African Americans--Civil rights
African Americans--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Segregation in transportation--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Cover title.
Format: image/jp2
Type: Pamphlets
Publisher: Philadelphia / Merrihew & Son, Printers
Physical Description: 1 pamphlet: 22 cm.
Number of Pages: 28
Rights: This material is made available for private study, scholarship, and research use. For access to the original photograph or high-resolution image, please contact the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection (blockson@temple.edu; 215-204-6632).
Language: English
Repository: Temple University Libraries, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection
Digital Collection: William Still Collection
Digital Publisher: Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Libraries
Document ID: BPHX00002