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Rare Photo of Harriet Tubman Rediscovered


A recently rediscovered photo of famed freedom fighter and Auburn resident Harriet Tubman has been released.

The photo comes from an 1898 household magazine article where Tubman, approximately 70 years old at the time, retells the story of when she was injured in Dorchester County, Maryland. In her youth, Tubman was struck in the head by a two-pound weight thrown by an overseer at another slave outside the Bucktown General Store, leaving her with a fractured skull. Tubman would suffer from epilepsy after the event, which she believed were spiritual visions.

Alex Green, a Tubman historian and owner of Harriet Tubman Tours in Cambridge, Maryland unveiled the photo. He told Finger Lakes News Radio the find is overwhelming.

“It’s still overwhelming for me to know that it’s been out so long because she just did not come out on the scene,” said Green. “We’ve known about her for over 100 years. It begs the question of what else is out there.”

Green noted that the interview that accompanied the article was written for a white audience. It was written by a white man in “plantation dialect,” a stereotypical stylization of black speech.

With the increase of digitization for historic magazines and print articles, Green hopes to find more photos and information about Tubman as he continues his research into her life. He also cited the interest in the discovery as a testament to Tubman’s lasting legacy.

“The real jewel of this is it really speaks to her life being relevant in today’s atmosphere,” said Green.

Another photo of Tubman was rediscovered in December and released by Harriet Tubman Tours.

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