Another visit recommended for Black History Month in Maryland is the The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center in Church Creek, on the Eastern Shore. The Park is 17 acres and adjoins the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge at the trailhead for the 125-mile Harriet Tubman Underground Railway Byway. The visitor center has activities for your kids to become junior rangers as they learn about the heroism of Ms. Tubman as well as the art, music and culture of her era.
Some "did you knows" about Harriet Tubman:
- She was named Araminta Harriet Ross, and nicknamed "Minty," but historians think when she married she changed her name to Harriet Tubman, to honor her mother.
- She escaped slavery herself through the Underground Railroad in 1849.
- Between 1850 and 1860, she lead more than 300 people from the South to the North and their freedom, making more than 19 trips.
- She was nicknamed "Moses" for her bravery and leadership.
- During the Civil War, she worked for the Union Army as a cook and nurse, later as a scout and spy.
- She was the first woman to lead an expedition in the war when she guided the Combahee River Raid in South Carolina, to liberate more than 700 slaves.
- Although never financially secure, she donated land to the AME Zion Church in Auburn, New York and in 1908, the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged was opened there.
- She died of pneumonia, in Auburn, in March of 1913, surrounded by friends and family, and was buried with military honors, in the Fort Hill Cemetery.
A quote from this amazing woman: "I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would have the other." Look for her picture to soon grace the new twenty dollar bill - a well-deserved honor and one long overdue.
Special thanks to Roslyn Matthews, of Cambridge, for the photo of the City's famous mural.