Seaford Council Looks to Commemorate Harriet Tubman - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Seaford Council Looks to Commemorate Harriet Tubman


SEAFORD, De. - In the volatile time-period of slavery, the underground railroad was a crucial force of freedom. Amongst this group, there was possibly no person more important than Harriet Tubman. In Seaford, historians are digging deep to find out just how much she touched their town, and as they discover her impact, they are making an appeal to honor her. On Tuesday evening, the Seaford Council will vote on whether to put a monument of the famous heroine in their town center.

Jim Blackwell, a historian and a self-described history nut has been researching Tubman's life for a long time. For generations, Tubman's story has been passed down, but only recently has Blackwell confirmed that she stopped in Seaford.

"Harriet Tubman is without a doubt one of the biggest American heroes," she said. "And she is not just a black American hero. She's not a white American hero. She's just an American hero."

Blackwell said he had to dig through mountains of paperwork spread across the peninsula to follow her trek towards freedom. He held up an article from an old newspaper in Cambridge, and pointed at the date October 22, 1856. It announced the arrival of the "Steamer Kent." Blackwell said this boat came from Baltimore, and on board was none other than Harriet Tubman. He said she brought with her a slave named Tilly who was trying to escape from slavery.  

"The story was a love story," he said. "And it started in Canada where a man had had to escape and left his fiance probably in Dorcester, but she was now in Baltimore."

And so Tubman lead Tilly to the only hotel in Seaford. That plot of land is now located at the Gateway Park, across from the town hall. Tubman said he hopes the council agrees to place the monument in this iconic spot to commemorate her life. If accepted, there will also be a marker in the park with a 19 line history of the escape.

Blackwell said the project would cost $9,000 but he said it's a worthy project to remember a worthy piece of Seaford history.

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