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March 6, 2017

Harriet Tubman’s home designated as National Park


  • The National Park Service recently made Harriet Tubman’s home in Auburn, New York a national park.
  • Tubman acted as the famed conductor of the Underground Railroad. She was born into slavery around 1820 in Maryland before she escaped to Pennsylvania at the age of 27, but returned to the South frequently to lead other slaves to freedom and leave instructions for those seeking escape from slavery, earning the nickname “Moses.”
  • She continued her work as an abolitionist and lived much of the last 50 years of her life in New York, dying in 1913 in her nineties.
  • At her home in upstate New York, Tubman fought for civil rights, including women’s right to vote. She gave speeches, helped run the family’s brick making business, ran an infirmary for the poor and started a home for the elderly which welcomed black people, including former slaves.
  • In the 1990s, the A.M.E. Zion Church bought Tubman’s home and began to restore it before partnering with the National Park Service in 2000.
Class discussion questions 
  1. Essential question: Why is Harriet Tubman viewed as a key figure in U.S. history?
  2. What are some aspects of Tubman’s life that you may not have known about before this story?
  3. What are some benefits to an historic site being designated a national park?
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