Forged in Freedom: The Bond of the Tubman Seward Families
The Seward House Museum recently finished a year’s long labor on Harriet Tubman, which is now open under the title “Forged in Freedom.” It considers the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman through the lens of her relationship with the family of William H. Seward. The research and exhibit were funded by the National Park Service through their Network to Freedom Constellation, of which the SHM is a member site.
At the center of the exhibit is the story of Margaret Stewart, a young girl spirited away from the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the spring of 1862 and placed in the care of the Seward family in Auburn. (It was the Seward family who helped bring Tubman to Auburn; her home here—now part of the National Parks Service—is formerly Seward land). Margaret’s story tells us much about Tubman, her relationship with Seward, and her broader legacy. Just as the story links Tubman to Seward, so does it link the NPS sites in Maryland and Auburn, and Upstate NY with the Chesapeake region. The SHM worked closely with Tubman authorities and the NPS in bringing our exhibit forward.