Today @Harvard is observing #Juneteenth as a university-wide holiday for the first time. 155 years ago today, enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom and the end of the Civil War. This came over two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
Image 1: Here’s a rare example of correspondence from #HarrietTubman to Boston abolitionist Wendell Phillips. Harriet was illiterate and dictated her letters to a scribe. We’re extremely lucky to have her letter as part of our collection. Tubman dedicated her life to emancipation by leading enslaved people out of the South through escape routes and safe houses, known colloquially as "the Underground Railroad." Formerly enslaved herself, she was a radical abolitionist. Learn more about her letter and Boston’s role in the abolition of slavery in our online exhibition “Boston’s Crusade Against Slavery.” Link in bio.
Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) Manuscript letter (amanuensis copy) to Wendell Phillips, 1860. Wendell Phillips Papers, 1555-1882 (MS Am 1953). Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Images 2 & 3: Pictures by @danowall. The U.S. Treasury Secretary announced a plan in 2016 to add Harriet Tubman to the front of the 20-dollar bill, a plan which the current presidential administration then officially scuttled. In response, the designer Dano Wall created, in collaboration with a number of New York and New Jersey manufacturing partners, this stamp which is intended to be used to mask the image of Andrew Jackson on the U.S. 20-dollar bill. His stated intention is to promote circulation of the bills in order to pressure officials to reconsider placing Harriet Tubman's image on the bill.
Harriet Tubman Rubber Stamp by Dano Wall and Related Objects (MS Typ 1285). Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Hashtags: #Juneteenth #HarrietTubman #Tubman #UndergroundRailroad #Abolitionist #Emancipation #AmericanHero #BlackLivesMatter #AfricanAmericanHistory #BlackAmericanHistory #TubmanStamp #Tubman20 #TubmanTwenty #RepresentationMatters #HoughtonLibrary #HarvardLibrary #Harvard