The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is working on a project that is related to the study that produced Secret Lives.  Entitled, "Family Ties on the Underground Railroad," it weaves together the manuscript journal and published book of William Still, who was the chairman of Philadelphia's Vigilance Committee in the mid-nineteenth century.

Its initial phase focuses on the experiences of three enslaved families who passed through Philadelphia in their journeys to freedom: the Shephards, the Taylors, and the Wanzers. These individuals were forwarded by Still to Gay and their assistance is recorded in the Gay “Record.” According to their website, it includes transcripts and digital facsimiles from Still's works, carefully researched biographies, and other materials, much like we have done in producing Secret Lives. Go to their website to learn more by clicking on the picture below.



10/30/2014 1:05pm

I am excited to read this new book. Tom Calarco's last two books, The Underground Railroad in Upstate New York, and Places of the Underground Railroad have provided direct references for my work on the photographs history of John Brown the abolitionist. Five of the photographers of his fifteen known portrait sittings are active agents; three more associated with versions are as well. Tom Calarco is my reference guide.

11/02/2014 8:28am

Hi Don and Tom,

The Wanzer are an interesting family, They later settled in Toronto. Here is the death announcement for Frank Wanzer. There is also a tombstone in Prospect cemetery.

Globe August 14, 1911 page 8

WANZER On Sunday, Aug. 13, 1911, at Grace Hospital, Toronto, Frank Wanzer formerly of Davenport road and Dufferin street, aged 82 years.

Funeral from A.W. Miles’s undertaking parlors 336 College Street. Tuesday at 3 p.m. Interment at Prospect Cemetery. Buffalo and New York papers please copy.

Note that papers in NY are asked to copy

11/05/2014 8:44pm

Thank you. Wanzer stopped at Gay's office when he passed through New York, so you will find him in our book.


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