Harriet Tubman, renowned abolitionist and creator of the Underground Railroad, is the subject of very few photos. There was a bounty on her head for many years, so keeping her appearance a mystery was a matter of life and death.
Thus, the discovery of a portrait of a young Tubman last month was huge for the historical community, and in particular, for the Harriet Tubman Home, the site of her home in Auburn, New York, for the last years of her life.
Now, the Harriet Tubman Home has launched a campaign to reunite the photo with the other artifacts from her life and work at the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, saying “this photo would be the most significant acquisition of our collection, by far.”
Bring Harriet Home is a crowdfunding page set up to do just that.
The photo is part of an album of pictures, found by a civilian, originally owned by “fellow abolitionist Emily Howland” due to go up for auction on March 30. It is expected to fetch between $20,000-30,000.
Bring Harriet Home is asking for $25,000 to make the Harriet Tubman Home, “an active and competitive bidder on this rescue mission.”
Appropriately, Friday, March 10 is the 104th anniversary of Tubman’s death— so if you were looking to celebrate in some way, here’s your chance.