Officers of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, circa 1854.
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Philadelphia Vigilance Committee Abolitionists; Garrett, Thomas, 1789-1871; Purvis, Robert, 1810-1898; Still, William, 1821-1902; Williamson, Passmore; Depee, N.W.; MacKim M'Kim, James Miller; White, Jacob; Wise, Charles

Credit:  Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Print Department

In 1852, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society organized a new interracial Vigilance Committee chaired by William Still, then thirty-one. The committee included James Miller McKim (top left), N. W. Depee (top center), Charles Wise (top right), Thomas Garrett (center left), Robert Purvis (center right), Jacob. C. White (bottom left), Passmore Williamson (bottom center), and William Still (bottom right).  Thomas Garrett (1789-1871), the elder statesman of the group, would later claim that he “only helped 2,300” runaways escape along the Underground Railroad before the Civil War put an end to slavery.

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