New Jersey June 28, 2020
Charming Cape May, New Jersey Is Home To A New Museum And You’re Going To Want To Visit
New Jersey is rich with fascinating history. Legend has it that we’re overflowing with
pirate treasure, we’re home to America’s oldest operating lighthouse, and numerous innovations have come out of our state. Still, you may be surprised to learn that Harriet Tubman lived and worked in Cape May, New Jersey.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Activist and abolitionist Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross in 1822.
She freed herself from slavery and went on to free approximately several others over the course of a dozen (or more) rescue missions.
She served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army during the Civil War.
She began as a cook, and worked as a nurse, but she rose through the ranks. Harriet Tubman went on to become the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war. She guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 slaves.
Prior to the Civil War, she spent time living and working in Cape May.
She worked as a cook in Cape May in the summer of 1852, and perhaps earlier. It was during this time that she learned how the Greenwich Line of the Underground Railroad worked, and studied routes in Salem, Cumberland and Cape May counties.
Also summering in Cape May at the time was Stephen Smith, a former slave who went on to become one of the wealthiest Black men in America.
He began in the lumber industry and diversified into stocks, coal, and real estate. He used his wealth to help fund the Underground Railroad, schools for free Blacks, and several churches. He owned properties throughout Cape May, including a hotel (one of a handful of seaside resorts in the country that catered to Black guests). At least one of those properties (pictured) remains. With the help of Harriet Tubman and others, he opened the first home for aged African Americans.
You can learn these stories and more when you visit the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May!
The museum had a virtual opening celebration on June 19th and you can keep up to date with opening information on the
museum's Facebook page
Smithsonian Magazine named it among the most anticipated museum openings of 2020. In the meantime, you can check out the informative 7-minute video below by Zack Mullock.
VIDEO Address: 630 Lafayette St, Cape May, NJ 08204, USA