The Harriet Tubman
Stone Mountain, GA.
10 March 2006
It gives me great pleasure to send greetings to
you all, from Edinburgh, on the occasion of Harriet Tubman Day.
You are all aware of the extraordinary work
Harriet Tubman did, and of the durable friendship she had with
Eliza Wigham, a noteworthy resident of Edinburgh. Her home was
in South Gray Street, a pleasant residential suburb of the city.
Eliza was a very prominent figure in the
Anti-Slavery Movement, the Edinburgh Ladies Emancipation
Society, and the Quaker Society. She and her friends supported
Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad financially, and Eliza
herself worked tirelessly in Scotland for equality among all
peoples regardless of race or sex. I wonder if she ever foresaw
the day when her home city would have a woman as its ‘first
It is in this role that I wish you all a
wonderful day, on behalf of the City Council and the people of
General Harriet Tubman
As far away as Edinburgh, Scotland, there were
persons vitally interested in her labors. Eliza Wigham, the head
of the Anti-Slavery Society of that city, had a prolonged
correspondence with Thomas Garrett, from about 1857 to 1860, and
in the exchange of information the Quaker had described
Harriet’s operations. Thereafter Eliza Wigham and her Scottish
associates sent funds for her, directing Garrett to place them
with her. She was receiving this aid at the time the Maryland
slavemasters were on the march. She even had friends in Ireland,
as Garrett correspondence with William Still revealed. Thus her
labors were by now known on at least two continents, and at
least four countries.
Wigham and her sister Mary Edmundson