AUBURN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — For the first time, Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin saw where abolitionist and activist Harriet Tubman lived in Auburn.
“This is to me, sacred ground,” Benjamin said of the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn.
He said in his new role in state government, he will do what he can to make sure sites like this are preserved.
“Beyond the fact of the sort of philosophical, emotional and spiritual components of this, there’s also an economic component of this,” Benjamin explained, “People are coming, they’re coming to see, they’re touring and that has a lot of economic implications so I want to make sure we do the right thing.”
The Lieutenant Governor took a few moments to speak with a tour group.
“Harriet Tubman is a personal hero of mine,” he said addressing the group, “Her and Sojourner Truth actually are so visible in Central Harlem is where I was born and raised.”
This was Benjamin’s first trip to Central New York. Governor Kathy Hochul made a point to visit all 62 counties when she was in his role. It’s a tall order, but he’s up for the challenge.
“New York State’s a great state and we need to have a Downstate/Upstate partnership. I want more people from Downstate visiting Upstate and vice versa, so we’re going to work on that,” Benjamin said.
For those who oversee this property, they’re glad he chose Harriet Tubman’s home for his first visit to the area.
“I think he got the gist of what we’re trying to do here – to hold on to the legacy of a lady who was willing to put it all on the line,” said Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. Site Manager Reverend Paul Gordon Carter.
“She had a vision for America and that vision was America was better than what it had been to me and can be better for the future,” said Karen Hill, President and CEO of the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. “She tried to live by that example.”
Before stopping in Auburn, Benjamin was in Seneca Falls for the dedication of Women’s Suffrage statues.
For more information on the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park, click here.