Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross c.1820 to enslaved parents in Maryland. In 1849 she escaped to the north, returning many times to Maryland to guide members of her family and other enslaved people to safety. She lived in St. Catherines Ontario until 1859 when she was pursued by William Henry Seward to make her home in Auburn. Tubman served as a scout, spy, and nurse for the Union Army in the Civil War.
She lived at 180 South Street, and was later able to purchase adjoining land to start a home for the elderly which was taken over by the AME Zion Church and operated until the early 1920s. Regarded as the “Moses of her people,” she lived in Auburn until her death in 1913, and is buried in Fort Hill Cemetery.
This original photograph was taken by Seymour Squyer at his photography studio in Auburn, c.1895.
The Museum’s photographic materials collection holds thousands of objects in a variety of subjects and mediums. The collection is currently being inventoried through a project funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).