Citizen, Wednesday, June 24, 1908
TUBMAN HOME OPEN
AND AGED HARRIET WAS CENTRAL
FIGURE OF CELEBRATION
the stars and stripes wound about her shoulders, a band playing
national airs and a concourse of members of her race gathered
about her to pay tribute to her lifelong struggle in behalf of
the colored people of America, aged Harriet Tubman Davis, the
Moses of her race, yesterday experienced one of the happiest
moments of her life a period to which she has looked forward for
a score or more of years, the dedication of a home for aged and
friendless colored people. The delay in the consumption of her
efforts has been many and tedious, but the Harriet Tubman Home
is today an accomplished fact and her 95 years have at last been
crowned with success.
proposition for such a home has been uppermost in Harriet’s mind
for over 15 years and with the aid of a few faithful friends
and the members of the A.M.E. Zion conference of Western, New
York, a piece of land consisting of 25 acres, containing a brick
dwelling and several frame buildings has been acquired and
placed in condition for occupancy. Previous to the purchase of
these 25 acres Aunt Harriet has carried on the work at her own
home on the South Street road and the many acts of charity which
she has done for the needy ones of her race would fill a volume.
history of Harriet Tubman’s work is well known to all students
of the Civil War. No less than 400 slaves were brought to
freedom by her through the “Underground route,” and the great
Lincoln himself not only wrote a personal letter to her paying
glowing tribute to her work and granting her the privilege of
passing the line, but often spoke of her in his addresses. The
late Queen Victoria also showed her appreciation of Harriet’s
noble work by sending to the negress a beautiful woven shawl.
A.M.E. Zion church of America has taken upon itself the work of
establishing the Home on a successful basis and yesterday marked
the opening of the Home for the reception of those who was to
take advantage of it. At the present time the sum of $150 gives
the applicant life privileges. Mr. and Mrs. Asa Lewis have
recently been placed in charge of the Home as overseers and
managers with their residence upon the property. The property
will gradually be improved and the land cultivated as funds will
permit. There are an abundance of fruit trees and the entire
property is tillable. At the lately adjourned conference of
Western New York held at Binghamton it was voted to take an
annual collection for the maintenance fund of the Home and it is
estimated that this sum will not be less than $200 per year.
Home has been tidily fitted up with comfortable furniture.
Plenty of clean white linen, enameled beds, etc. The bedrooms
of which there are five besides those of the overseer and
matron, were equipped by the following persons: Mrs. George
Belt, Mrs. Thomas Freeman, Mrs. Charles Goodlow, Mrs. Edwards,
all of Auburn, and George Brown of Schenectady. The board of
trustees of the Home, of which the Rev. E.A.U. Brooks, recently
transferred from the Utica church to Auburn is secretary, is
composed of the following members: Bishop A. Walter, Bishop
C.R. Harris, Rev. J.E. Mason, secretary of Livingston college,
Salisbury, N.C., Rev. J.C. Walters, of Rochester, Rev. M.H. Ross
of Norwich, Rev. T.A. Auten of Ithaca, Rev. C.A. Smith, Thomas
Freeman, James Dale, Asa Lewis and Harriet Tubman Davis of
Auburn. All of the trustees were in attendance yesterday with
the exception of Bishop Walters.
notable negro workers present were Rev. J.W. Brown of Rochester,
Rev. J.C. Roberts of Binghamton and Rev. G.C. Carter.
the arrival of the guests at the home after the street parade of
the Ithaca colored band, dinner was served by Board of Lady
Managers consisting of Mrs. Charles Smith president, Mrs. M.H.
Ross president, Mrs. Henry Johnson secretary and Mrs. James Dale
treasurer. One of the most active persons on the grounds was
Harriet herself and everywhere she went groups of people
gathered about her to listen to her stories of her work.
called upon by the chairman for a few words of welcome the aged
woman stated that she had but started the work for the rising
generation to take up. “I did not take
up this work for my own benefit,” said she “But those of my race
who need help. The work is now well started and I know God will
raise up others to take care of the future. All I ask is united
effort, for united we stand divided we fall.”
stated that the first payment she made on the present property
was a york shilling. As she ceased speaking Perry Williams
unfurled the flag behind her and the band played the Star
Spangled Banner amid the applause of the throng.
rejoice,” said Bishop Harris, “that the necessary steps have
been taken to open this institution and that we are enabled at
this time to see this accomplishment. I rejoice that success
thus far attended the efforts of those who have worked for the
Home, and I hope that in all future work there shall be
instituted measures that will meet with unbounded success. The
general conference has appointed a committee to provide some
ways and means for aiding in this work. This committee has not
yet assembled, but we hope some means will be devised to aid
pushing ahead the needy work of this home. I rejoice with this
aged Heroine and that God has put into her hands this work. Now
I hope others will make it the care and burden of their hearts.
I hope more and more attention will be devoted to this cause,
and I bring God’s blessing upon this institution.
who spoke during the afternoon were Rev. J.E. Mason of
Salisbury, N.C., Rev. T.A. Auten, Rev. E.U.A. Brooks, Rev. J.C.
Roberts, Rev. J.W. Brown, Rev. G.C. Carter.
evening there was a largely attended reception at St. George’s
hall, a band concert and an address by Bishop Harris on the
needs and purposes of the Home. Later the young people danced
and brought to close a notable day of celebration.