postcard from Dorchester County

Bazzle-e1468518077736-1024x764Katie Ryder at Harper's Magazine:

I first came to Dorchester County, Maryland, ten years ago, following signs proclaiming the birthplace of Harriet Tubman. I landed at a field known as the Brodess Farm, where Tubman was not, in fact, born, but lived for a time in her childhood and adolescence. It was summer then, hot and dry, and the shin-high plants in the field were brown and brittle. A stamped metal placard that had been posted by the state government in the 1960s briefly summarized the life of Tubman—“‘the Moses of her people’”—and a white farmhouse sat some distance beyond a padlocked gate.

Following the announcement in April that Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the face of the twenty-dollar bill (at an unconfirmed date in the distant future), I returned to the Eastern Shore. At the Brodess Farm, where trees now flushed green against a gray sky, a new color-printed placard designated the site as part of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway—a 125-mile driving tour stretching north from Dorchester to Caroline County and up to the Delaware border. Unveiled in its newest form in 2013, the Byway features forty-two locations with historical significance to Tubman’s life or to the Underground Railroad, and is one of four recent honors for Tubman in the area, including a national monument and a state and National Historical Park in the works.

more here.