On the Trail of Harriet Tubman

Maryland’s Eastern Shore is home to many historical sites and parks devoted to the heroine of the Underground Railroad

An actress dressed as Harriet Tubman reveals the wetlands along the Underground Railroad. (© 2005 Dorchester County Tourism. Photograph by Melissa Grimes Guy)

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On a grander scale, a bill was introduced in Congress Feb. 1 to create two parks to honor Tubman: the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, New York, where Tubman lived for more than 40 years, and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park on the Eastern Shore. An additional goal of this bill is to encourage archaeological research to locate the cabin of Ben Ross, Tubman’s father, near Woolford, Maryland. The Maryland park would be on land within the 27,000-acre Blackwater Wildlife Refuge.

We arrived at Blackwater, famous for its nesting and migratory birds, early on Sunday morning (2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge; 410-228-2677). With the help of a guide, we spotted bald eagles, kingfishers, great blue herons, cormorants, osprey, ducks and geese. Somehow it seemed fitting to see such a profusion of stunning birds, knowing that the refuge was only a stop for many—before they migrated to Canada.

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