Updated March 1, 2024

Harriet Tubman Funeral | Visit Dorchester

Harriet Tubman’s funeral in 1913 in Auburn, New York.

Celebrate Harriet Tubman in the land where she was born this March. Harriet Tubman Day is officially observed in the United States on March 10 to commemorate the anniversary of her passing on that day in 1913. Since she was also born in March in 1822 here in Dorchester County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, we consider March to be Harriet Tubman Month. Below are a few ideas on how to mark the month along the road trip known as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.

Also, you can read more about her passing – and the four-act affair that was her funeral, drawing some 1,000 people – in this story from Secrets of the Eastern Shore.

Harriet Tubman continues to gain attention around the country. The U.S. Mint released commemorative Tubman coins (available only in 2024). The U.S. Postal Service included her on a new set of postage stamps. And media outlets from NASA’s Earth Observatory publication to Bay to Bay News (with a four-part series) to the Biography channel have recently shared stories of her remarkable life.

So take a few moments, a day, or a weekend to learn more….

 

Take the Harriet Tubman Road Trip

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

Harriet TubmanExperience stories of hope and redemption along the scenic road trip known as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, which includes sites related to Tubman and other freedom seekers in the 1800s. The byway begins in Dorchester County, Maryland (birthplace of Tubman), and winds its way to Philadelphia. It encompasses 45 sites, including the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center and the Harriet Tubman Museum. Download the online map and guide – and don’t miss the free audio guide app, with virtual and augmented reality features at some of the sites. Learn more

 


Harriet Tubman Month Events 2024

The Free Black Chesapeake Project

March 2, 2024
Join teaching artist ChelseaDee for an art and history workshop and public art-making session. Through poetry and collage, reflect on and celebrate local free Black communities ad how they inspired Harriet Tubman and promoted freedom in pre-Civil War Maryland and beyond. For ages 15 to 75+. The day includes, from 11am-1pm: Art & History Workshop (space is limited); and 1-3pm: Public Art-Making. At the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park & Visitor Center in Church Creek, MD. RSVP online or by email at freeblackchesapeake@gmail.com.

 


 

USPS commemorative Underground Railroad stamps - 2024

USPS commemorative Underground Railroad stamps – 2024

Harriet Tubman Day at the Tubman Visitor Center

March 9

Millicent Sparks as Harriet Tubman | Visit DorchesterThe Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park & Visitor Center in Church Creek, MD hosts its annual Harriet Tubman Day Celebration with a special twist this year. The day includes a special First Day of Issue Dedication Ceremony for the Underground Railroad Commemorative Forever Stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service! Stamps go on sale at 10am and the program begins at 11am. The stamps feature Harriet Tubman and nine other heroes who escaped slavery and/or helped others escape. The stamp event – in partnership with the USPS and the National Park Service – is a tented outdoor event that is free and open to the public at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center. RSVP here. Tubman Day festivities also include well-known Tubman re-enactor Millicent Sparks at 1pm, Tubman biographer Dr. Kate Clifford Larson at 2pm, and a National Park Service program at 3pm on “Setting the Foundation for Success: How the National Park Service Applies Harriet Tubman’s Story to the Chesapeake Bay Region.”


Film Screening: Eroding History

March 9, 6:30pm
This film is being shown in honor of Harriet Tubman Day. Produced by the Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative, the film is “a climate justice story at the intersection of sea level rise, historic racism, and disappearing Black communities.” At the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge, MD. Doors open at 6pm. Panel discussion to follow. Watch the trailer. Tickets $10. Buy tickets.


Birding the Harriet Tubman Byway | Visit Dorchester

Birding the Tubman Byway.

Birding the Harriet Tubman Byway

March 29, April 25
Combine birding with history during a Birding the Byway tour, hosted by Delmarva Birding Weekends and Harriet Tubman Tours. During her formative years on the Brodess Farm and as a conductor of the Underground Railroad, Tubman would have been intimately familiar with the birds and wildlife of Dorchester County. She used the call of a Barred Owl to alert freedom seekers that it was safe to come out of hiding and continue northward. The same birds that Tubman would have known more than 170 years ago still inhabit the fields, forests and marshes of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. More info

 


Beacon of Hope statue | Visit Dorchester

“Beacon of Hope” sculpture by Wesley Wofford. At the Dorchester County Courthouse in Cambridge, MD.

Explore Harriet Tubman in public art and more

Photography was invented the same year that Harriet Tubman was born – 1822. But back then, cameras were rare and very expensive, and photography was mostly limited to those with sufficient funds to afford it. Thus, we know of only a handful of photos of Tubman – and the earliest of those was taken when she was in her 40s. (See two recently rediscovered photos.) But artists through the years have created likenesses of Tubman in many ways. In Dorchester County, Maryland – the place where she was born and toiled in slavery for more than 25 years – there are several public art pieces that pay homage to her bravery and selflessness. Here are a few:

  • “Beacon of Hope” – Harriet Tubman sculpture by Wesley Wofford is full of symbolic meaning. Located at the Dorchester County Courthouse (once the site of slave auctions), 206 High Street, Cambridge, MD
  • “Take My Hand” mural by Michael Rosato – at the Harriet Tubman Museum & Education Center, 424 Race St., Cambridge, MD. The museum is also home to the new interior mural, “Minty’s Act of Courage” by Michael Rosato. And features various portraits created by artists.
  • Harriet Tubman Mural by Charles Ross (one of Tubman’s relatives who lives locally) at the Tubman Memorial Garden, U.S. Route 50 at Washington Street, Cambridge, MD
  • African American Heritage mural by Michael Rosato – Includes Tubman and highlights of life in the past along Pine Street, one of the oldest African-American communities in the country, dating back to the mid-1800s. Near the corner of Maryland Avenue and Route 50 in Cambridge, MD
  • Dorchester County Women’s Mural – Tubman is featured along with 11 other prominent local women from past and present. 418 Poplar St., Cambridge, MD. By the way, it seems fitting that March is also Women’s History Month!
  • Minty’s Place – This restaurant borrows Harriet Tubman’s childhood name, Minty. On the exterior side of the restaurant, there’s a mural by Michael Rosato that includes her final words before she passed: “I go to prepare a place for you….” 824 Locust St., Cambridge, MD. (Check the restaurant’s social media to see if they’re open before stopping in for a meal.)

 


Ben's Ten- MPT Documentary - Feb2024

Maryland Public Television: Ben’s Ten: Chattel Slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Watch a new Maryland Public Television one-hour documentary that sheds light on the lives of enslaved Marylanders, including a young Harriet Tubman. “Ben’s Ten” follows a Maryland team of archaeologists and historians as they discover remnants of a home believed to belong to Ben Ross, the father of Harriet Tubman. Read more about the documentary.
and watch it here.

 

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