Harriet Tubman Button


Harriet Tubman Pin


Harriet Tubman, (1820 – 1913) conductor for the Underground Railroad, nurse, military scout, and Union spy, was born a slave in Dorchester CountyMaryland, in 1820. The day of her birth was not recorded by her owner who also gave her a serious blow to the head which caused seizures for the rest of her life. Harriet escaped from the South in 1849 and returned the following year to bring more slaves north. In all she made nineteen trips south to bring slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad. After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 Tubman took slaves on to Canada. She was a determined to not lose any “passengers.” Because of her strict leadership John Brown called her “General” Tubman. She was so active and successful at guiding fugitives that she earned the name “Moses of her People,” as well as a $40,000 bounty for her capture offered by angry slaveholders. During the Civil War Tubman served the Union Army as a nurse, laundress, and spy along the coast in South Carolina. After the war Tubman’s account of her life was written by Sarah Elizabeth Bradford. Harriet used money from the biography Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman to purchase land in AuburnNew York, to provide a home for aged ex-slaves and build an infirmary. William Seward, abolitionist and Secretary of State under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson, had arranged the sale of his land to her when it was still illegal to treat African-Americans as citizens of the United States. Tubman lived in Auburn from 1865 to her death March 10, 1913. Tubman’s “business trips” along the Underground Railroad brought her to Peterboro. Tubman felt safe, supported, and welcomed by the Smith family. She also came for personal visits. During one visit Gerrit Smith’s son Green, noting Harriet’s lack of adequate shoes, delayed his plans to go to purchase footwear for her. In a letter to his wife Ann January 29, 1861, Gerrit Smith wrote from his Land Office, “Harriet Tubman sits by my side. I have just written to Sanborn for her.”

Inducted into the National Abolition Hall of Fame & Museum Peterboro NY 

2.25" diameter metal shell

Mylar protective cover

Metal pin back

A community heritage gift shop, located within the Visitors Center on the Gerrit Smith Estate, National Historic Landmark, in Peterboro NY. The Mercantile is staffed and operated under the management of the Smithfield Community Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic Peterboro.



Artwork by Joe Flores

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