This lesson examines the reviews and preface of William Still’s book, "The Underground Railroad." The book was published in 1872 based upon journals Still kept while helping fugitive slaves. The advertisement used in this lesson documents the reaction by prominent abolitionists and press. The reviews show the importance of the book and highlight the emotions of individuals and the press toward the legacy of the Underground Railroad less than a decade after the Civil War ended.
The reviews are written by men such as William Lloyd Garrison, and newspapers, such as the Philadelphia Inquirer. They illustrate respect from the community for William Still’s work and contribution to the Underground Railroad efforts. In addition to history, this lesson will ask students to look at the way the reviews and advertisements are marketed to persuade readers and will help students learn how to write persuasively themselves.