Harriet Tubman's Boston

Harriet Tubman portrait over a map of Boston.

NPS; Portrait of Tubman from the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

One of the most legendary figures in American history, Harriet Tubman escaped slavery in Maryland and made roughly 13 trips back to lead more than 70 people to freedom on the Underground Railroad.1 During the American Civil War, she served as a nurse and scout and led a successful military campaign that freed hundreds of enslaved people. A warrior and humanitarian, Tubman dedicated herself to fighting for and helping others until her death in 1913.

Tubman's connections to Boston run deep and long. She drew some of her greatest support from friends and allies here. With their help, Tubman raised funds to sustain her work in the fight against slavery as well as care for those that depended upon her. She met and spoke alongside leading orators of the abolition and women’s suffrage movements at homes and venues throughout the city. She returned time and time again to rekindle friendships and continue her involvement in causes dear to her heart.

In honor of her bicentennial in March 2022, this digital exploration highlights several key moments, people, and places that illustrate Tubman's decades-long relationship with Boston and its inhabitants.

Explore the map below to learn of Tubman's different visits to Boston. Or, scroll through the articles listed under the map and click on the article title to learn more.

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    1. Kate Clifford Larson, Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero (New York: One World, 2005), 100.

    Boston African American National Historic Site

    Last updated: April 3, 2023