Harriet Tubman Home announces fundraiser to rescue newly discovered photo of Tubman

AUBURN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn is now asking for the public’s help in raising money to win a bid of a rare photograph of Harriet Tubman.

On March 30, a newly discovered and extremely rare photo of abolitionist and Civil War spy Harriet Tubman is set to be auctioned off by New York City auction house.

In response, the Harriet Tubman Home, a 32-acre newly designated national historical site in Auburn,  which survives on minimal donations to keep the homestead on which Tubman lived for more than 50 years open to the public, is launching its first-ever crowdfunding campaign, #BringHarrietHome.

The campaign is set to go live on Tuesday, March 7, the non-profit’s goal is to inspire the wide and generous support of the public so it can raise the funds necessary to participate in the auction as a competitive bidder and bring Harriet home.

The young Harriet photo is part of an album that was recently happened upon by a private citizen.

It is believed to have been owned by Tubman’s friend and fellow abolitionist Emily Howland. The photo album, and all of its contents (including Harriet), are scheduled to go on the auction block, as a single lot, in less than 4 weeks.

The photo, which has been authenticated by leading Tubman biographer Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, is that it shows a much younger Tubman (estimated to be 43-46 years old) than we’ve seen to date in the very few photos that do exist of her.

“Of the 60,000 artifacts representing Harriet’s life and work that we house and cherish on our property here in Auburn, this photo would be the most significant acquisition of our collection, by far,” said Karen V. Hill, President & CEO of the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. “But with an auction house now involved in the sale of this photographic treasure, which is expected to fetch $20,000 - $30,000, we are painfully aware that there is a real dollars and cents cost attached to bringing Harriet home.”

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