Why Harriet Tubman Continued Her Legacy in New York, the Birthplace of the Underground Railroad


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By Jeroslyn JoVonn, Black Enterprise

A young Black boy learns about Tubman’s life at her museum in Auburn, NY (Cayuga County_Destination)

Much is known about Harriet Tubman as a renowned abolitionist, humanitarian, and Civil War hero. But we too often overlook her continued legacy and final years in Upstate New York.

Auburn, NY holds rich heirlooms of Tubman’s history and final years after securing freedom for herself and many others. It also has strong ties to the formation of the Underground Railroad, which could highlight why Tubman decided to make the city her final home.

While many people know Harriet Tubman as a conductor of the Underground Railroad, few know the rest of her story and how Auburn served as a birthplace for the network of safe spaces. Tubman spent her 50+ years post-slavery as an abolitionist, activist, public speaker, mentor, philanthropist, and a successful entrepreneur whose senior living facility became a National Historic Landmark in 1974.

Tubman’s final years were anything but easy. But remain a testament to how far she had come after successfully escaping enslavement and leading others toward freedom. After serving as a “Moses” of the Underground Railroad and as a scout and spy during the American Civil War, Tubman lived alongside her family, friends, and colleagues in the place where the soul of equal rights was born and still lives today.

A visit to Auburn NY, in Cayuga County will allow you the honor of tracing Harriet Tubman’s footsteps and experiencing her history – and her legacy – in a whole new way. We toured the town in honor of National Underground Railroad Month and were able to walk in her shoes across the streets and the floors of the historical landmarks that welcomed her life as a free woman.

Read more about this historical experience in the original article.

Learn the story of another enslaved person who escaped captivity in this virtual exhibit.

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