7 Must-See Places To Learn About Harriet Tubman’s Life and Legacy: Things To Do in Auburn, New York – Episode 161

Things to do in Auburn New York for history lovers and enthusiast.
Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes

Things to do in Auburn New York, Harriet Tubman’s chosen hometown. Hear lesser-known stories about Harriet Tubman and her remarkable legacy as an abolitionist, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and more. What do you know about Harriet Tubman, one of the most influential women in American history? Most people know she was an African American abolitionist who escaped slavery and became a renowned Underground Railroad conductor, guiding enslaved people to the freed Northern states and Canada. Perhaps you know she also served as a scout, distinguished spy, and nurse in the United States Army. However, did you know Harriet Tubman was also an entrepreneur, landowner, negotiator, philanthropist, humanitarian, wife, and beloved aunt? 

I recently visited Auburn, New York, Harriet Tubman’s chosen home for the last 50+ years of her life and where she is laid to rest. Here, I discovered lesser-known stories about Harriet Tubman and visited places in Cayuga County where her presence is still felt. 

Continue reading or listen to this podcast episode for the best places to visit in Auburn to learn about Harriet Tubman’s life. While some are historic sites, others might surprise you!

Listen to this podcast episode here!

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Pandora | YouTube | Any player

In this episode, we cover:

  • Historic sites in Auburn, New York, related to Harriet Tubman’s legacy
  • [11:08] Why Harriet Tubman chose to live in Auburn, New York
  • [19:13] Where to see a rare Underground Railroad ticket
  • [20:00] Deanna Stanford Walz, an indirect descendant, shares how being related to Harriet Tubman has impacted her life and advocacy work
  • Ways Tubman’s influence reaches far beyond the museums

This episode is made in partnership with Tour Cayuga, a resource for visitors planning a trip to the heart of the Finger Lakes region of New York. Discover where to stay, places to eat, wineries to visit, historical sites, and more.

Escape From Slavery: Harriet Tubman’s Courage and Selfless Service

Harriet Tubman is one of the most influential women in American history. Born Araminta Ross, she was a remarkable woman whose life was defined by courage, resilience, faith, family, and unwavering determination. 

Born into slavery in Maryland around 1822, Tubman endured unimaginable hardships and abuse from a young age. Despite her physical and emotional scars, Tubman never lost her determination to fight for freedom.  

In her preteen years, a pivotal moment occurred when she witnessed an enslaved man being captured, sparking a deep sense of injustice within her. This event eventually led to her own daring escape from slavery, setting the stage for her future as a freedom fighter.

Nicknamed the “Moses of Her People,” she led enslaved individuals to freedom, often risking her own safety. Her courage and resourcefulness helped her navigate the treacherous terrain and evade capture.

Are you tired of reading? Listen to this episode on Spotify, in which Harriet Tubman’s Site Manager and tour guide, Reverend Paul Gordon Carter, recounts her story.

Tubman’s Distinguished Military Career

During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman’s bravery extended to the battlefield, where she served as a scout, spy, and nurse for the Union Army. One of Tubman’s most remarkable feats from her military career was leading armed troops into battle, becoming the only woman of any race to do so. Her leadership on missions such as the Combahee River Raid led troops to free hundreds of enslaved individuals and secure valuable supplies. While in the military, she started a pie and root beer business to support herself and her family, showcasing her entrepreneurial spirit.

Tubman’s Interest in Generational Wealth

Speaking with Deanna Stanford Walz, Harriet Tubman’s great-great-great-grandniece, gives us insight into Tubman’s beliefs.

Deanna Stanford Walz: “Harriet had tried to talk her grandparents into buying a house. I think she had this plan of what we would now call “generational wealth,” to buy houses, keep it in the family, and really dig our roots into Auburn. Have a community that is, you know, ours.”

Tubman’s efforts to create generational wealth and establish roots in her community demonstrate her long-term vision and commitment to building a better future for her family and those around her.

Suffrage and Civil Rights Advocacy

While Tubman is well known for her efforts in the abolitionist movement, her dedication to equality extended beyond race. She understood the significance of women’s suffrage in the broader fight for equal rights. She attended suffrage conventions and worked alongside well-known suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Her involvement in women’s suffrage and civil rights movements further solidifies her legacy as a social justice and equality trailblazer.

Deanna Stanford Walz: “She really believed in women’s suffrage, but she was also a Black woman. So you couldn’t separate those two aspects of her life. They’re molded into one. So if we’re talking about women’s suffrage, there’s Black women, so we also have to have civil rights.”

Her intersectional approach to activism, recognizing the interconnectedness of different forms of oppression, demonstrates her forward-thinking and inclusive mindset. Tubman’s advocacy for women’s and Black rights underscores her commitment to fighting for equality.

Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks, Tubman never wavered in her commitment to fighting for freedom and equality. Her courage and resilience inspired others to join her in the fight against oppression, creating a ripple effect of change that still resonates today. Her dedication to helping others and her courage in the face of adversity inspire generations to stand up for what is right and make a difference in the world.

Where did Harriet Tubman live?

Harriet Tubman lived in Auburn, New York, for the last 50+ years of her life. Auburn was once a hotspot for abolitionists, women’s rights, and human rights movements, offering a safe environment and supportive community to live and work.

Listen to this episode on YouTube!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel!

More Resources to Learn About Harriet Tubman Davis

Historic Auburn, NY Tourist Attractions: Things To Do in Auburn, New York

Auburn is a small city in Cayuga County, in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, that offers a mix of city and countryside views. While Cayuga County is famous for outdoor activities and winery experiences, it’s also rich in history, art, and culture.

If you’re interested in tracing Harriet Tubman’s steps, visiting Auburn, New York, is a must. Various historic sites, museums, and landmarks tell her story. Here are seven things to do in Auburn, NY, where you can learn more about Harriet Tubman’s incredible journey.

1. Harriet Tubman Home

Start at the Harriet Tubman Home, one of the Auburn, NY, museums I highly recommend. The Harriet Tubman Home includes the Harriet Tubman Residence, the Visitor Center, and the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged. Guided tours are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST.

I thoroughly enjoyed the informative presentation by master storyteller Reverend Paul Gordon Carter, who has been offering these tours for the last three decades. Here, you’ll learn about Tubman’s family, personal life, hardships, and heroic endeavors.

We then toured the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged, showcasing artwork, period-piece furniture, and antiques that provide insights into her modest life in Auburn.

Harriet Tubman Home for Aged

My experience at the Harriet Tubman Home was truly enlightening. Every moment was filled with a deep sense of history and reverence. Learning about Harriet Tubman’s life, struggles, and incredible achievements was humbling and inspiring.

I left the Harriet Tubman Home reflecting on these (3) core values: Freedom, Family, and Faith, which I noticed appeared often in her story. Harriet Tubman’s life is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the impact one person can have on the lives of many. 

Harriet Tubman Home Address: 180 South St, Auburn, NY 13021

2. NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center

Next, visit the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center in Downtown Auburn. Here, you can find a stunning 7½-foot bronze statue in the courtyard by master sculptor and contemporary realism artist Brian Hanlon. It depicts young Harriet Tubman holding a lantern, guiding those enslaved to freedom.

Opened in 2018, the center welcomes visitors and highlights New York’s important role in progressive social movements from the late 1700s until now.

NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center Address: 25 South Street, Auburn, NY 13021

3. Harriet Tubman Artwork

One notable feature in Auburn, New York, is the artwork dedicated to Harriet Tubman scattered throughout the city, which pays homage to her life and humanitarian work.

The “Harriet Tubman: Her Life and Freedom” mural high up on a building downtown is a prominent sight. The mosaic on the rear wall of Genesee Center offers another opportunity for visitors to experience Tubman’s story up close.

Also, in Freedom Park on North Street, near the Owasco River Bridge, see “Harriet Tubman: Life Cycle of a Freedom Fighter,” a sculpture with three metal bicycles representing different periods of her life.

4. Walk South Street

One mile long, between Genesee Street and Richardson Avenue, take the picturesque route Tubman often took herself by strolling on Auburn’s Historic South Street.

Starting at Seward House Museum, this mostly residential neighborhood features beautiful 19th and early 20th-century homes and establishments, some listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you appreciate architecture, you’ll notice various styles, from Greek Revival to Early Republic and Victorian.

Walking on South Street will connect you to Fort Hill Cemetery, where you can visit Harriet Tubman’s burial site. Further down, you can walk to her home.

5. Fort Hill Cemetery

In Downtown Auburn, NY, pay your respects at Fort Hill Cemetery, a historic and active 83-acre cemetery just a few miles from Tubman’s home in Auburn. Open from dawn to dusk, the cemetery is easy to navigate whether you’re walking or choosing to drive.

Located on West Lawn C (#17), near a large pine tree planted by her nieces and nephews, Harriet Tubman’s granite headstone is engraved with the dedication, “Servant of God, Well Done.” Visitors often leave small mementos like flowers, seashells, hairpins, and pennies at her gravesite, reflecting their admiration and respect for her legacy.

Use this map to locate Tubman’s headstone.

Other notable people buried at Fort Hill Cemetery include Theodore Case, inventor of sound film, and former New York Governor William H. Seward, abolitionist and the Secretary of State during the Lincoln and Johnson administrations, who sold Tubman seven acres of land in Auburn for $1,200.

Fort Hill Cemetery Address: 19 Fort St Cemetery, Auburn, NY 13021

6. Howland Stone Store Museum 

Rare Underground Railroad ticket dated 1840.

Visit the Howland Stone Store Museum at the Sherwood Equal Rights Historic District to see an original Underground Railroad ticket. This handwritten note, brought by fugitives escaping from Maryland, is a rare artifact that sheds light on the secretive operations of the Underground Railroad.

Howland Stone Store Museum Address: 2956 NY-34B, Aurora, NY 13026

7. Fargo Bar & Grill

Today, Tubman’s influence reaches far beyond the historical sites mentioned above.

Indulge in a unique culinary experience inspired by Harriet Tubman at Fargo Bar and Grill in Aurora, about 20 minutes from Downtown Auburn.

Try the maple BBQ salmon dish, which pays homage to Tubman’s cooking skills learned from her mother. Chef Zachary Phillips combines Southern biscuits, greens, and Northern ingredients like salmon, local apples, and maple syrup to create a unique and delicious tribute.

Fargo Bar & Grill Address: 384 Main St, Aurora, NY 13026

There are a few places in Auburn that I couldn’t visit, but I hope to check out in the future. These include the Cayuga Museum of History and Art and the Seward House Museum, a famous Underground Railroad stop where William H. Seward’s wife, Frances, hid freedom seekers in their basement.

A trip to Auburn, New York, offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Harriet Tubman’s life and legacy. From her historic estate to her final resting place, each attraction provides a glimpse into the extraordinary journey of this iconic figure in American history.

Admittedly, before this trip to Auburn, I thought I knew Harriet Tubman; however, I realized that, like many people, I had a very narrow view of her life, focusing on her years of service on the Underground Railroad. Outside her famous conductor role, she lived a full, accomplished life.

March 10th, the anniversary of her death, marks Harriet Tubman Day, an annual day of observation commemorating her life and legacy. In celebration, please share this episode with a family member or friend to continue spreading her story. 

Share on Apple Podcast

Share on Spotify

Share on Amazon Music

Share on Pandora

Share YouTube video

What other fun things to do in Auburn, NY, would you recommend?

Where To Stay in Auburn, New York?

I recommend staying at Hilton Garden Inn Auburn, a centrally located hotel with an on-site gym, indoor swimming pool, bar, and restaurant. Plus, there is plenty of free parking. Remember to give the front desk your Hilton Honors number at check-in to accumulate points toward your stay.

Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy

Columbia Reconstruction Era and the African American Experience Post-Civil War in South Carolina – Episode 158

7 Experiences Your Family Will Love at Adirondack Experience in Upstate New York – Episode 142

Immersive Ways To Explore Clarksville Tennessee Storied Past – Episode 145 

Read the episode transcript.

Deanna Stanford Walz: I feel like Harriet Tubman was such a great person. And having her DNA, being her indirect descendant, I feel like I, too, and my family, we can also do great things.
Danielle Desir Corbett: What do you know about Harriet Tubman? One of the most influential women in American history. Most people know she was an African-American abolitionist. who escaped slavery and became a renowned underground railroad conductor, guiding enslaved people to the freed Northern States and Canada. Perhaps you know she also served as a scout, distinguished spy, and nurse in the United States Army. However, did you know that she fought for equal rights for women later in life? Did you know Harriet Tubman was also an entrepreneur, landowner, negotiator, philanthropist, humanitarian, wife, and beloved aunt? I'm Danielle, the host of this travel podcast, The Thought Card. In this episode, we're visiting Auburn, New York, Harriet Tubman's chosen home for the last 50 plus years of her life. and the place where she is laid to rest. Hear lesser known stories about Harriet Tubman's life and legacy, and learn about some of the places where her presence is felt in Cayuga County. Discover why she chose to live in Auburn and her many roles. Throughout this episode, you'll hear from Harriet Tubman's home site manager, Reverend Paul Gordon Carter, our incredibly knowledgeable and passionate tour guide, who has dedicated over three decades to preserving and sharing Harriet's story. Also, Deanna Stanford-Walls, an indirect descendant, shares how being related to Harriet Tubman has impacted her life and advocacy work. This episode is made in partnership with Tour Cayuga, a resource for visitors planning a trip to the heart of the Finger Lakes region of New York. Discover where to stay, places to eat, wineries to visit, historical sites, and more. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventure or want to step back in time, visit tourcayuga.com to learn more. Welcome to The Thought Card, a podcast about travel and money where planning, saving and creativity leads to affording travel, building wealth and paying off debt. We are the Financially Savvy Travelers. Located in upstate New York, about an hour's drive from Rochester, Auburn was once a hotspot for the abolitionist, suffrage and civil rights movements. Among the notable figures who called Cayuga County home, Auburn celebrates Harriet Tubman in a number of ways, one of which includes colorful wall murals, statues, and sculptures scattered throughout the city. You can't miss the Harriet Tubman Her Life and Freedom mural high up on a building downtown. others you can walk up to and take a selfie with, like the stunning bronze statue at the Equal Rights Heritage Center or the mosaic on the rear wall of Genesee Center. If you are interested in visiting historical Harriet Tubman sites in Auburn, start at Harriet Tubman Home. her historic estate, which includes the Harriet Tubman Residence, Visitor Center, and the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged. Our guided tour started with a presentation in the Visitor Center, where we learned about Harriet's life, both the hardships and heroic endeavors. and ended at her home for the aged, which showcased artwork, photographs, period pieces of furniture, and antiques. Harriet Tubman's house was undergoing restorations at the time, so we were unable to go inside. Harriet Tubman was born around 1822 in Maryland. Born into slavery, she was given the name Araminta Ross, nicknamed Minty. She was one of nine children.

Reverend Paul Gordon Carter: She was number five, stuck in the middle. When she was very young, she was hired out on several occasions to different plantations to do work. I will not get into all the many times that she was hired out, though she thinks that when she was hired out, before the course of day was over, she was usually whipped by the enslaver or the enslaver's wife. It was almost an unwritten rule back then that the enslaver's wives kept whips in their homes, in different rooms, to take care of those who were under their charge. And she was around friends who she could trust. They say she would drop the back half of her blouse down to the middle of her back, show them all the scars and whips she had on her back for the many whippings she had taken as a small child. Sort of like Gordon, just in case you've seen Gordon's picture when he came in. But this is the part of the story that most people remember. When she was in her preteen years, she was given a task to go down to the Bucktown store with the cook. to pick up some supplies. With this day, she was just not feeling it. You ever had one of those days when you just didn't want to do what you were told? Okay, I think we've all had those days. She said, I didn't want to go down the store with that damn woman. I had just come out the flax field. I had all them flaxseed things in my head. I didn't want to go nowhere looking like that. I couldn't do a thing with my hair. Either of you ever had a bad hair day? Okay, I used to have, I don't have much anymore. So before she walked out, they say she saw a shoulder shawl hanging up. She grabbed that old shoulder shawl, put it on her head, tied it up. That way she would look decent when she got down to the store. Only to find out that an enslaved man from another plantation had been cornered in this building by the overseers. They were trying to tie him up so they could take him back to the plantation. but they were not having very much success with it. Minty happened to walk in on that. When she walked in, the overseer commanded that she help him tie this man up so they could take him back to the plantation. Hey you girl, come on man, give us a hand with this man so we can take him back down there on the way below. Well, she didn't want to because she believed that everyone had a right to be free. So she was kind of hesitating. And while she was hesitating, the enslaved man jumped up, ran out of the building. The overseer picked up a two-pound metal weight, one of those old-fashioned scales, threw it at the man. It missed the man, but it hit Minty in the head with such an impact that it actually cut off a small piece of the shawl that she was wearing and embedded this in her skull. Knocked her out. But she was in a semi-coma for a couple of days, and after coming out of that coma with very little medical attention, they just put her right back out into the field to work. She said it was very difficult for her to do a workout at that incident.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Occasionally, she'd pass out anywhere from five minutes to an hour. With severe headaches, we now know she suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy for the rest of her life. During those moments when she had blackout spells, she felt the spirit of God speak directly to her, giving her dreams and visions of where to go and when. Nicknamed the Moses of her people, some say her visions were one of the reasons why she was never captured or lost any passengers who traveled with her on the Underground Railroad. She eventually fell in love and married John Tubman, a freed black man. She changed her name from Araminta to Harriet in honor of her mother, Harriet Ritt Green. Still in captivity, Harriet tried to convince her husband to run away up north with her, but he did not want to jeopardize his freedom or lose his business. There's also a good chance he'd lose his life in the process. Later, Harriet's enslaver passed away, and his widow was selling off his property, including his enslaved individuals. Fearing getting separated from her family and being sent further down south where the conditions would be harsher, she attempted an escape with her brothers. However, fearing what would happen to their remaining family members, they returned back to the plantation.

Reverend Paul Gordon Carter: But at this point, Harriet says, I got to make this journey on my own. She meets a Quaker lady in Maryland who leads her to the first stop on the Underground Railroad in that area. She makes her way up into Philadelphia, where she starts working with the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee. They help her get a job doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning at a hotel there. So now she's starting to learn this thing called the Underground Railroad, because she wants to come back to get her family. Family was probably the most important thing to Harriet, and she was going to get as many of her family free as fast as she could by any means necessary.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Gaining her freedom, she did not stop there. Harriet was able to aid her brothers in their escapes and get her aging parents out of Maryland to Ontario, Canada. In search of a warmer climate, they decided to settle down in Auburn, New York. Auburn was not only a hub for abolitionist activity, but offered a safe environment and supportive community. In Auburn, Harriet was able to purchase seven acres of land from William H. Seward, a prominent abolitionist and politician. She purchased the property for $1,200, putting $25 as a down payment. Fast forward to the Civil War, the skills she learned throughout her life translated really well for the Union Army.

Reverend Paul Gordon Carter: Harriet Tubman was a civilian scout and spy for the Union Army. She was also a nurse, a cook, and a laundress. But Harriet Tubman was also an entrepreneur. She started her own business while she was in the military. No, Harriet started a pie and root beer business. She made pies and root beer, sold it to the troops. That way, she'd have money for scouting expeditions and also money to send home to take care of her family. Also, Harriet Tubman was the only woman, the absolute only woman, of any race to ever plan execute, and lead armed troops into battle during the Civil War. Harry Tumlin led a regiment of over 300 armed soldiers on several missions. The most noted mission was called the Combahee River Raid. That's when she led Colonel James Montgomery and his colored troops across the Columbia River in South Carolina, where they went across the river to take back thousands of dollars of supplies after defeating the Confederates that were there. And in the process of doing that, they found that there was somewhere between 750 to 800 people who had been enslaved on those plantations. They loaded them on their steamboats, took them back across the river, and set them free. It's also been noticed that of the men who served with her on the raids in which she led, none of her men were killed on any of her missions. There are some who were injured, but we have no record of any of her men being killed on any of the missions she led them on. You do remember she's the woman who said, I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost the passenger. Well, that extends to her military career as well.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Harriet went on to marry Nelson Davis and continued her humanitarian work. She also adopted her niece, Gertie. After Gertie's mother passed away, she would raise her as her own daughter. After purchasing her initial 7-acre property, Harriet acquired an additional 25 acres through a land auction in 1896. In 1903, she deeded a portion of her property to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church to establish a home to care for the elderly. Yet another incredible act of compassion, demonstrating her commitment to philanthropy and serving her community. Harriet Tubman died March 10, 1913 from pneumonia at the age of 91 or 92. Although she was buried with military honors, Harriet Tubman never received a full pension for her military service.

Reverend Paul Gordon Carter: And that, my friend, is the story of Harriet Tubman Davis.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Thank you so much for your just energy and just bringing the story to life.

Reverend Paul Gordon Carter: Thank you. So I appreciate that. That's first. Where do you think Harriet's courage came from? Because throughout the story, there's wanting to escape and be free, but also fear of what lies ahead. But it looks like she was able to overcome that fear over and over again throughout her life.

Reverend Paul Gordon Carter: Well, I think most of her courage came from the fact that even though there was times of anxiety and fear, she realized that in order for her to change her situation, she was going to have to fight through the fear. And I think some of the things that she saw happening on the plantations to her loved ones, friends, families, and others, people being whipped, people having their feet cut off, tarred and feathered, hung for unnecessary reasons, I think that she just mustered up the strength through the power of God on the inside of her to say that I'm going to make it through this regardless of what it's going to cost me. Somehow, I think she saw the bigger picture. You know, she saw the fact that in order for her to change not only her life, but the life of her family and friends, she was going to have to make a move. And as I say, fight through the fear.

Reverend Paul Gordon Carter: From your story, it sounded like the Underground Railroad was already established before she was involved. Is that true?

Reverend Paul Gordon Carter: That is true. From what we understand, the Underground Railroad was probably established in the early to mid 1700s. Though personally, I think it started when they dropped the first people off in 1619. Because from that point, I'm sure in the minds of those who were being dropped off, they wanted to get out of that environment. So, I mean, even though it wasn't called an underground railroad, that was still in the mindset of those people that we have to get out of this situation. So the concept of the underground railroad probably started in 1619, but they say that the idea of people helping people move along started in the 1700s. And in the 1800s, 1830s, something, it was starting to be known as the underground railroad because of the secrecy behind it and because the train was the newest form of transportation. That way they could use terms like conductor, passengers, all the other things that deal with the train. And people would think that they were talking about the train and not about moving people along.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Our tour with master storyteller, Reverend Paul Gordon Carter, was not only informative, but he brought so much energy, humor, and even theatrics to his storytelling. I left the Harriet Tubman home reflecting on these three core values, freedom, family, and faith. which I noticed appeared often in her story. Harriet Tubman's life is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the impact one person can have on the lives of many. Next, pay your respects by visiting Harriet Tubman's burial site at Fort Hill Cemetery. Her headstone is engraved with the dedication, Servant of God, Well Done. Her gravesite was adorned with small mementos and keepsakes such as flowers, seashells, hairpins, and pennies. To see an original underground railroad ticket, visit Howland Stone Store Museum at the Sherwood Equal Rights Historic District. A rare artifact, since these were often destroyed due to the secretive nature of the operation, this handwritten note was brought by two fugitives escaping from Maryland. Side note, the change in scenery from the city of Auburn to the countryside is so picturesque. I cherish the views on this short but scenic drive. Absolutely breathtaking. While Harriet Tubman is said to not have biological children of her own, today Tubman has many indirect descendants, many of whom still live in Auburn, upstate New York, and around the world. I had the chance to chat with Deanna Stanford-Waltz, the great, great, great grandniece of Harriet Tubman, who feels great pride in her family history and the contributions Tubman made to history and society.

Deanna Stanford Walz: In my life, I feel like Harry Tubman was such a great person. And having her DNA, being her indirect descendant, I feel like I, too, and my family, we can also do great things. So I think I feel that inside me. And I always carry that with me wherever I go. And of course, greatness can mean many things to many people. Greatness to you might be a different greatness to me. So I feel like that is something that I've carried with me through my life. That's how I've, I guess, lived my life or kind of my my North star.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Curious to learn more about Harriet Tubman's personality. I asked Deanna about any lesser known family stories passed down through the generations that give us a glimpse into what Harriet believed in and cared about. Take a listen to what she said.

Deanna Stanford Walz: Harriet had tried to talk her grandparents into buying a house. And I think she had this like kind of plan of what we would now call generational wealth, you know, to buy the houses, so keep it in the family and, you know, really create our roots and dig our roots into Auburn and have a community that is, you know, ours. So I think that's one thing that maybe about her personality and about her work and what she felt and what she believed in that might not be known to general public.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Knowing her legacy, anything has surprised you to learn over the years? Any surprises?

Deanna Stanford Walz: Yeah, the one thing that I thought was very interesting, Harriet Tubman was also very into women's suffrage, as well as, you know, civil rights, black rights. And I think she had this what we now would call like intersectionality, right? She really believed in women's suffrage, but she was also a black woman. So you couldn't, she couldn't separate those two aspects of her life. They're molded into one. So if we're talking about women's suffrage, there's black women. So we also have to have civil rights. So I think that's really interesting fact that I learned about her and kind of what she was striving for and what she was fighting for.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Today in Auburn, New York, Tubman's influence reaches far beyond the historical sites mentioned in this episode. For example, when you visit Fargo Bar and Grill in Aurora, I highly recommend the maple barbecue salmon, which features maple barbecued glazed salmon, vegetarian collard greens, with smoked carrots, apple, onion on a warm buttered biscuit. What I did not know is that Harriet Tubman inspired this delicious dish. Zachary Phillips, chef de cuisine at Fargo, discovered that Harriet Tubman learned how to cook from her mother. She used her cooking skills to supplement her nursing income, helping to raise the money she needed to take trips into the South. She was also an excellent forager, which helped feed those making the journey with her. Chef Phillips draws inspiration from Harriet Tubman and the historical meeting of the North and South. He combines Southern biscuits and grains with Northern ingredients such as salmon, local apples, and maple syrup. I learned so much about Harriet Tubman's life and legacy by visiting Auburn. I have a few personal takeaways to share with you. Harriet Tubman was highly accomplished. She loved her family and wanted to give them a better life. She cared about the well-being of others. She also had a network of people, both within her community and beyond, who helped her in times of need. Putting her safety aside, she led many expeditions on the Underground Railroad, guiding others to freedom, every time risking becoming enslaved again or worse. She had a divine connection to a higher power, which she believed guided her on her missions. Under her leadership, not one person was lost or a life was lost, including her military career. Lastly, Although she could not read or write, she could read the fields, read the night sky, navigate the marshes, was familiar with plants and herbs, and understood the importance of generational wealth. A hot topic in the personal finance space which has far-reaching roots dating back hundreds of years. Something we've talked about many times on this show throughout the many different destinations I've visited from Tennessee to upstate New York is the importance of historic preservation. The fact that I was able to visit Harriet Tubman's estate, walk the route she often took herself, down Historic South Street in downtown Auburn, visit her gravesite, and speak to a descendant is surreal. I left Auburn in awe of Harriet Tubman's courage, her severance, and leadership in the fight for freedom and equality for all. You know, I thought I knew Harriet Tubman. However, after my trip to Auburn, I gained a deeper understanding of who she was as a person, a real person, beyond a historical figure I had read about in school. I also realized that like many people, I had a very narrow view. of Harriet Tubman's life, really focusing on her years of service on the Underground Railroad. March 10th marks Harriet Tubman Day, an annual day of observation commemorating her life and legacy on the anniversary of her death. In celebration, please share this episode with a family member or friend to continue spreading her story. Harriet Tubman's legacy unfolds as we learn more information about her remarkable life. New photos of her younger self have emerged in the past few years. There are conversations about putting her image on the $20 bill. There are several documentaries, movies, and books about her life, which you can find links to in the episode description. A heartfelt thank you to our special guests, Reverend Paul Gordon-Carter and Deanna Stanford-Walz. What an honor. and Tor Cayuga for partnering with me on this episode, which makes part two of my cross-country African American heritage series. For part one, listen to episode 158. to learn about the Reconstruction era and the lives of newly freed African Americans after the Civil War, as it happened in Columbia, South Carolina. Lastly, in the episode description, find the link to the private podcast where you can listen to all the episodes in this series and bonus content like personal vignettes I recorded from the road. Until next time.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *