A brief narrative of the struggle for the rights of the Colored people of Philadelphia… : and a defence of William Still… -- Page 4

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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 4
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:
Lombard streets, &c, furnishes a sample of the great body of colored people residing in Philadelphia. I beg, Mr. Editor, to respectfully add, that the inhabitants of this ill-fated region are by no means a fair sample of the twenty thousand colored people of Philadelphia. The gulf between this degraded class and the great mass of industrious colored people, is well nigh as marked as was the gulf between Dives and Lazarus, in the parable; as I shall attempt to demonstrate here, besides volunteering further to prove, by ocular testimony, if any of your readers choose to condescend to accompany me to parts and places where the decent portions of colored people reside ; to the eighteen or twenty colored churches, with their Sabbath schools ; to at least twenty day schools, of a public and private character; to the dozens of beneficial societies, united for the mutual support of their sick and disabled members; to the neat and genteely furnished three-story brick houses, owned, occupied, and paid taxes for, almost entirely by colored people—on Rodman street, Ronaldson street and Washington street; to observe the extent of valuable property owned on South and Lombard streets (in the most respectable part of those streets;) to examine some of the stores (they may not be large) kept by colored men; (of which more will be said presently) to pass those living in respectable houses, elegantly furnished, houses alone worth from five to ten thousand dollars; likewise leaving out the many in various other parts of the city, where industrious, sober and decent people live and own considerable real estate. I think abundant evidence may be found in the directions alluded to, to convince the most prejudiced against the colored man, that he is by no mean so sadly degraded and miserably poor as the public have generally been led to suppose, from all that has been said of him in connection with the degraded localities alluded to before. I hardly know an anti-slavery paper in the country into which this article was not copied and commended. And, if I mistake not, it was the first newspaper article that found its way into any of the daily papers of Philadelphia on the subject of our grievance. The next day after the appearance of this article, a writer, of whom I had no knowledge, came out in the North American and quite encouragingly commended my steps. For a length of time I continued in this way to plead for our rights. But two or more years passed, during which time scarcely a paper in Philadelphia noticed an outrage perpetrated against us on the cars, except simply in the local reports. The indignities and outrages daily inflicted upon us were multiplied, but very few seemed to take any notice of them. In 1861, on a motion made by myself in the Executive Committee of the Social, Civil and Statistical Association, a com-
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