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Tribute to Harriet Tubman, the modern Amazon

In honor of Black History Month, this week’s Distinctive Collections pick is a newly acquisitioned memorial speech titled: Tribute to Harriet Tubman, the modern Amazon.


Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist

This speech was written by Rev. James E. Mason, B. D. to celebrate Harriet Tubman, her legacy and bravery through Christian faith. The grand testimonial was given at the unveiling of a tablet in honor of the late ‘Aunt Harriet’ (1822-1913).


Known as “the Moses of her people” Harriet Tubman, an African American woman, was enslaved from birth. In her lifetime she guided over 400 enslaved peoples to the abolitionist northern states, and served as a nurse and spy for the Union Army during the American Civil War. During this time there was a warrant out for Tubman in several Confederate states, offering over $40,000 for her, dead or alive.

“Come along, come along,

Don’t be a fool,

Uncle Sam is rich enough

To send us all to school.” -Harriet Tubman

Rev. James E. Mason, B. D.

Tribute to Harriet Tubman is reprinted from the Advertiser-Journal, originally published in Auburn, N.Y. (1914). The author of the speech is Rev. James E. Mason, B. D., who was the Financial Secretary of Livingstone College, Salisbury N.C. as well as one of the incorporators of the Tubman Home.

Portrait of Rev. James E. Mason, B.D. from The New York Public Library Digital Collections

The Harriet Tubman Home for Aged and Indigent African Americans

South street, Auburn NY

The property that The Herriet Tubman Home sits on is comprised of 25 acres, including the brick home that was her residence, 2 frame cottages, and 2 barns. Originally selling for $1,250.00, Tubman purchased the property in June 1896 “on faith”. $250.00 of the cost was paid through donations, and the Cayuga County Savings Bank loaned the remaining amount. Tubman rented out the property and housed people in need with her in her own home until her health declined. Harriet Tubman lived as an honored guest at a nearby home in Auburn, N.Y., where she was cared for by the Empire State Federation of Women’s Clubs from May 1911 until her death on March 10, 1913.

Harriet Tubman National Historical Park

For many years The Tubman Home was an asylum for the needy, oppressed, and unfortunate—regardless of nationality. Today, the Harriet Tubman Home is an independent non-profit established by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church to manage and operate the homestead of Harriet Tubman. In 2017 the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park was established on these grounds.


“The Tubman Home should be a Mecca for Afro-Americans in particular, and patriots generally; that the rising youth may be impressed with the important lesson how noble it is to live for others and the elevation of their native land.” -Rev. James E. Mason, B. D.



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Last Modified: February 17, 2023

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