A monument of Harriet Tubman and William Seward commemorates the friendship and partnership of the two abolitionists leaders and their role in the Underground Railroad.
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery, escaped, freed herself and became a conductor on the Underground Railroad. She returned to the south time after time to assist other slaves to escape to freedom. William Seward was a New York state senator, governor, and later served as secretary of state under President Lincoln. He and his wife Mary turned their house into a shelter for freedom seekers and provided a home for Tubman’s family. Seward even sold Tubman a land in Auburn, where she lived and operated for the rest of her life.
The life-size bronze statue was created by Dexter Benedict and unveiled on May 17th, 2019, in a small garden in front of Schenectady city hall. It depicts Tubman walking forward, on her way back to the south, ready to rescue people from slavery. She is holding a stick in one hand and carries a tote bag on the other, inside there is a revolver ready for action. Seward is standing right behind her, with his hand on her back – a symbol for the support he has given her. The inscription plaque on the pedestal below reads “William Seward and Harriet Tubman, Leadership and Freedom, Diversity and Friendship,” as well as a quote by Lincoln: “By the People and for the People.”
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