Harriet Tubman Home
On the outskirts of Auburn, next door to the AME Zion Church, stands a brick house and adjacent white clapboard house wrapped with a long front porch (180 South St., 315/252-2081, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Fri. and 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat. Feb.–Oct., last tour one hour before closing, adults $4.50, seniors $3, children $1.50).
Harriet Tubman, known as the “Moses of her people,” settled here after the Civil War, largely because her close friend and fellow abolitionist William Seward lived nearby.
Born a slave in Maryland in 1820 or 1821, Tubman escaped in 1849, fleeing first to Philadelphia and then to Canada. Yet as long as others remained in captivity, her freedom meant little to her. During the next dozen years, she risked 19 trips south, rescuing more than 300 slaves. She mostly traveled alone and at night.
Her motto was ‘Keep going; children, if you are tired, keep going; if you are scared, keep going; if you are hungry, keep going; if you want to taste freedom, keep going.’
A visit to the Tubman property begins in a small museum exhibiting displays on famous African American women and a video on Tubman’s life. Afterward, a member of the AME Zion Church takes visitors on a tour of the clapboard house where Tubman tended to the elderly and where a few of her belongings—including her bed and Bible—are on display.
Tubman herself lived in the brick house, which is not open to the public.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition