Crowdfunding campaign aims to buy rare Harriet Tubman photo

AUBURN, N.Y. -- The newly designated Harriet Tubman national historic site in central New York has launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy a rare photograph of the 19th-century abolitionist. 

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This image shows an undated photograph of Harriet Tubman, the 19th century abolitionist. Experts said the newly discovered photo of the Maryland-born Underground Railroad hero was taken in Auburn, N.Y., in the late 1860s. Courtesy Swann Auction Galleries via AP

Swann Galleries in New York City said earlier this year it would offer the photo for sale at its Manhattan auction house on March 30. Experts say the newly discovered photo of the Maryland-born Underground Railroad hero was taken in Auburn, New York, in the late 1860s.

The Harriet Tubman Home on Tuesday started a “Bring Harriet Home” online fundraising campaign with Women You Should Fund, a platform for supporting woman-led projects.

The goal is to raise up to $30,000 to buy the photo at the auction and bring it to Auburn, where Tubman’s former home is now part of the National Parks System. 

“By helping us raise the money needed to bid on this photo and bring Harriet home, know that we are collectively aligning ourselves with the work of Tubman herself,” reads a description of the effort. “Harriet used the money she earned in the north to finance her campaigns to free her niece, Kessiah and her children. Tubman gave Kessiah’s husband, a free man, the money for him to buy them off of the auction block in Maryland. Harriet then led them to freedom.”