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Underground Railroad Research Forum

Re: HARRIET TUBMAN - Union Army Spy and Scout

Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 20:44:56 EST

Harriet Tubman did indeed receive a Silver Jubilee medal from Queen Victoria. Someone had sent the Queen Tubman's biography, probably the reprint in 1897, "Harriet Tubman, The Moses of Her People." The Queen was quite taken with the little book and sent Tubman the medal.

Tubman later said in an interview that she had been invited to England by the Queen for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Anniversary celebration, but that she did not go - she blamed herself for being so shortsighted as to not go, but the reality was she was far too poor and in precarious health to go.

Research queries to the British Library have turned up nothing, though the Queen's correspondence is scattered in different places. I just ran out of time and energy to follow up in England.

The Queen, by the way, was known for this sort of thing. Isn't it interesting that the Queen of England recognized Tubman's great accomplishments long before the leaders of our nation did!

By the way, there are various stories as to what happened to the medal. Some say it was buried with her, others say it was stolen.

Kate Larson

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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