Harriet Tubman

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Field of wheat with farm buildings in the distance.

Finding Traces of Harriet Tubman on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

A historian marks the 200th birthday of Harriet Tubman with a visit to her birthplace, only to learn how climate change is washing away her memory.
Harriet Tubman in the late 1860s.

When Harriet Tubman Met John Brown

Looking back at the short but deep friendship of John Brown and Harriet Tubman, who gave their lives to the abolitionist cause.
Mural of Harriet Tubman in Cambridge, Maryland, by Michael Rosato

Harriet Tubman Is Famous As An Abolitionist and Political Activist, but She Was Also A Naturalist

The Underground Railroad conductor's understanding of botany, wildlife biology, geography and astronomy allowed her to guide herself and others to safety.
Colorful portrait collage of Harriet Tubman with stars in the background

The Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Project

The Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Project explores the meaning of freedom through the example of one extraordinary life.
Harriet Tubman.

Harriet Tubman’s Lost Maryland Home Found, Archaeologists Say

The famed abolitionist’s father, Ben Ross, sheltered her and family on the Eastern Shore in the 1840s.
A congressional staffer departs holding a visual aid following a news conference regarding the redesigned $20 bill meant to honor Harriet Tubman, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 18, 2019.

Putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill Is Not a Sign of Progress

It's a sign of disrespect.

What ‘Harriet’ Gets Right About Tubman

In the 1850s, abolitionists, including black women, fought for freedom by force.

Harriet Tubman’s Daring Civil War Raid

Abolishing slavery wasn’t enough. Someone had to actually free the enslaved people of the American south.
Artist Vinnie Bagwell's proposal for a Harriet Tubman statue.

Philadelphia Unveils Proposals for New Harriet Tubman Statue

After a year of controversy, the city has narrowed down five options for a monument to the activist and abolitionist.

100 Years Later, These Activists Continue Their Ancestors’ Work

A new generation of activists traces its ancestry and inspiration to key figures in the suffrage movement.

Climate Change is Wiping Out Harriet Tubman’s Homeland, and We’re Doing Little

America’s racialized topography means African-American historical sites are especially vulnerable to climate change.
Jared Miller poses as his ancestor Richard Oliver, a soldier in the 20th Colored Infantry.

Descendants of Black Civil War Heroes Wear Their Heritage With Pride

A bold new photographic project asks modern-day Americans to recreate portraits of their 19th-century ancestors in painstakingly accurate fashion.
The Rankin House, Ripley, Ohio.

The Heroes of Ripley, Ohio

From Underground Railroad conductors who risked everything to present-day residents who show kindness to travelers.
Illustration of Black fugitives fleeing slavery on the Underground Railroad

How Some Enslaved Black People Found Freedom in Southern Slaveholding States

Instead of using the Underground Railroad as a route north, thousands of enslaved Black people fled to communities in the South.
Black and white photograph of William Still, sitting, pasted against a blue tinted backdrop of a U.S. state map

The Forgotten Father of the Underground Railroad

The author of a book about William Still unearths new details about the leading Black abolitionist—and reflects on his lost legacy.
A group of the newly emancipated working with the US army, 1862.

The Promise of Freedom

A new history of the Civil War and Reconstruction examines the ways in which Black Americans formed networks of self-reliance in their pursuit of emancipation.
Abolitionist broadside from 1854 calling out the fugitive slave bill commissioner

An Angry Mob Broke Into A Jail Looking For A Black Man—Then Freed Him

How Oct. 1 came to be celebrated as “Jerry Rescue Day” in abolitionist Syracuse.

Our Flag Was Still There

How is the first half of the 19th century depicted in and around the nation’s capital? Ed Ayers hits the road to find out.
Illustration of the shadow of Mary Lumpkin over the blueprint of Virginia Union University

The Enslaved Woman Who Liberated a Slave Jail and Transformed It Into an HBCU

Forced to bear her enslaver's children, Mary Lumpkin later forged her own path to freedom.
Illustration of “Twenty-eight fugitives escaping from the eastern shore of Maryland”

The Supernatural and the Mundane in Depictions of the Underground Railroad

Navigating the line between historical records and mystic imagery to understand the Underground Railroad.