Still, James

James Still (1812-1885)


Brother of William Still

"Doctor" James Still was the son of Levin Still (formerly Levin Steel) and Charity Still (changed name from Sidney to Charity) and older brother of abolitionist, William Still. James Still was a self-taught physician in the Medford, New Jersey area, who was widely known as the "Black Doctor of the Pines.” A practitioner of folk remedies, Still learned about the healing powers of herbs and plants. He apprenticed himself to a white doctor and later became known as Doctor James Still. In 1877, he published "Early Recollections and Life of Dr. James Still, in which he wrote, "In very early life my mind was troubled about what should be my occupation in life, although I had almost daily presentiments from three and a half years of age until I was twenty two or three, that I should be a doctor...I supposed I would need to go to college...but I had no finance...and worst of all, I was not the right color to enter where such knowledge was dispensed." (p.7) Nevertheless, his own son, James Thomas Still, graduated with honors from Harvard's School of Medicine in 1871.

By Aslaku Berhanu


Still, James. Early Recollections and Life of Dr. James Still, 1812-1885. Medford, N.J. Medford Historical Society, 1971.