Auburn in Harriet Tubman’s Time
Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross c.1820 in Dorchester County, Maryland. Her parents were enslaved and Harriet was rented out as a domestic servant. In 1849, she and two of the brothers escaped. Harriet spent several years helping other enslaved people escape, including her parents, who she moved to Ontario. In 1858 William Seward offered to sell her property in Auburn and she brought her parents with her to Auburn in 1859, settling in a wooden house at 180 South Street.
Harriet would live in Auburn until her death in 1913, witnessing Auburn’s growth from a small city in Central New York into an influential, industrial powerhouse. At the heart of numerous political and social movements, Auburn proved to be an essential settling place for Tubman, where she would devote her life to the abolition of enslaved people and support for the welfare of Auburn’s black community and a woman’s right to vote.
Explore in the gallery below some of the locations in Auburn which played significant roles in Harriet Tubman’s 54 years of life in the city.