Many might not have viewed Letitia as a "lady:" She was born in Philadelphia of free Black parents. But when she died in her mid-80s her death certificate listed her occupation as Lady.
in the offices of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society at 107 N. 5th. We know who actually ran the boarding house (see picture of woman working above.)
In the book’s third edition William included a third-person autobiography, devoting a long paragraph to his wife and complimenting her:
“How differently it all might have been had he not been blessed with a wife, Letitia, who possessed like intuitions, who was equally ardent in the cause, and always judicious and patient when emergency crossed her threshold.”
In 1852 when their work began in earnest William and Letitia had been married for about five years. She advertised as a dressmaker in 1851 and probably continued sewing to earn money until after the Civil War.
Their eldest daughter Caroline Virginia, called Carrie by her mother, was born in 1848. Letitia gave birth to at least six children, four of whom lived to adulthood. William Wilberforce Still was born in 1854; Frances Ellen in 1857; Letitia 1861, Robert George in 1861; a stillborn girl followed in 1863.
In 1861 as Civil War approached William resigned from the Anti-Slavery Office. Traffic in runaways was decreasing and his family of six required more income. He opened a stove and range shop (modern technology at the time) and bought a coal yard, both good investments.
After the U.S. Army established the U.S. Colored Troops in 1863 William ran the post exchange at their Pennsylvania training camp.
Although William’s business prospered in the early 1860s and her work load was undoubtedly lighter with no fugitives to care for, Letitia’s Civil War years held much sadness including the death of 15-month-old Letitia from a concussion in 1862. Hopes to replace her resulted in the stillborn girl, never named, in 1863.
The Stills and their circle continued in the work of what we’d call Civil Rights after the war. The Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society disbanded in May, 1871.
New Jersey "agent" Abigail Goodwin wrote William frequently and offered him advice in 1855:
"Thy wife must not sit up washing and ironing all night again. She ought to have help in her sympathy and labors for the poor fugitive, and, I should think there are many there who would willingly assist her."