Harriet Tubman and the Combahee River Raid: A Selective List of Links & Materials

BDC Panel Logo with Tagline JPG

Harriet Tubman, 1821 – 1913, sought first her own freedom and then facilitated the freedom of others through the Underground Railroad. She came to Beaufort District, South Carolina during the Civil War as a scout, nurse and spy helping bring freedom to hundreds of enslaved African Americans living along the Combahee River in June 1863.

The Beaufort District Collection (BDC) exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of the South Carolina lowcountry wedged between the Combahee (pronounced “Kum’ bee”) and Savannah Rivers.  BDC staff and docents are stewards who collect, protect and share unique historical materials about local history, Gullah culture, natural southeastern coastal environment, family history and archaeology of the area now covered by Beaufort County, Hampton County and Jasper counties in South Carolina.

indexOnline Resources:

Biography in Context database (DISCUS password required for access from home)

Harriet Tubman: Online Resources compiled by Angela McMillian,  (Library of Congress) http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/tubman

Harriet Tubman http://www.harriettubman.com/

New York History Net: “Harriet Tubman Home” http://www.nyhistory.com/harriettubman

PBS: Africans in America, People and Events, Harriet Tubman http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p1535.html

View Tubman’s claim for compensation of her services as a scout, cook, nurse and spy during the Civil War at http://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/claim-of-harriet-tubman/

Several federal historic monuments and trails commemorating the life and work of Harriet Tubman are on the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge managed by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. Learn more at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Blackwater/about/harriettubman.html.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has a lot of information about Harriet Tubman at https://www.gilderlehrman.org/search/gli_search/Harriet%20Tubman. You’ll have to register with the Institute to access some of the materials but registration is free. Once you register you’ll have access to more than 100 podcasts by eminent scholars on all eras of American history.
The History Channel highlights 6 videos and 3 photo galleries about Harriet Tubman at http://www.history.com/topics/harriet-tubman.
Harriet Tubman and the Combahee River Raid,” by James DeWolf Perry, Tracing Center website.  The Tracing Center’s “mission is to create greater awareness of the extent of the nation’s complicity in slavery and the transatlantic slave trade and to inspire acknowledgement, dialogue and active response to this history and its many legacies. We do this for the purpose of racial justice, healing, and reconciliation, for the benefit of all.  http://www.tracingcenter.org/blog/2013/06/harriet-tubman-and-the-combahee-river-raid/
Combahee River Raid – 150th Anniversary” by Grace Morris Cordial, Beaufort District Collection Connections blog includes a transcription of the Commanding officer’s report to Major-General David Hunter, Commanding Tenth Army Corps, Department of the South as given in the Supplement to the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, volume 14, serial 20, p. 104. http://beaufortdistrictcollectionconnections.blogspot.com/2013/06/combahee-river-raid-150th-anniversary.html
“Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill?” by Matthew Wills , 22 May 2015 JSTOR Daily http://daily.jstor.org/harriet-tubman-20-bill/ 

“Anti-slavery Activist Harriet Tubman to replace Jackson on $20 Bill” by Gregory Korte, USA Today, 21 April 2016 http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/04/20/report-lew-considered-anthony-10-bill/83274530/

“Treasury Decides to Put Harriet Tubman on $20 Bill” NPR, 20 April 2016 http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/20/474983292/treasury-decides-to-put-harriet-tubman-on-20-bill

“Harriet Tubman will be Face of the $20”

“Trump: Tubman on the $20 bill is ‘pure political correctness'” by David Wright, CNN, 21 April 2016 http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/21/politics/donald-trump-tubman-bill-political-correctness/

Check out these materials from the Beaufort County Library:

B TUBMAN Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom by Catherine Clinton, 2004 (BEA, HHI)

B TUBMAN Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory and History by Milton C. Sernott, 2007 (BEA)

B TUBMAN A Woman called Moses [videorecording] by Paul Wendkos, 1991 (LOB, STH)

305.8961 FRE Freedom Comin’ [DVD] : A Gullah Kinfolk Wish by Anita Singleton-Prather, 2006 (BDC, BEA, BLU, HHI, LOB)

306.3622 CHR Freeing Charles: The Struggle to Free a Slave on the Eve of the Civil War by Scott Christianson, 2010 ( BEA, BLU)

624.27579 DED The Dedication of the Harriet Tubman Bridge : [Saturday,] October 18, 2008 [DVD], Michael Allen, speaker (BDC, BEA, BLU, HHI, STH)

920 GRE Great Women in American History, V.1 [DVD] by Devin Stead, 1996 (BLU)

Visit the Beaufort District Collection to see these items:

Tubman, Harriet (1820-1913) [BDC Vertical File] includes among other clippings an English translation of “Gender, Race, and the Idea of Separate Spheres: Neo-Abolitionist Work in South Carolina Sea Islands,” by Wakako Araki originally written in Japanese. Japanese Association for American Studies , no. 19, 2008.

Combahee River Raid, 2 June 1863 [BDC Vertical File]

SC PRINT #43 “Raid of Second South Carolina Volunteers (Col. Montgomery) among the rice plantations on the Combahee, S.C,” Harper’s Weekly, 1863.

Harper's Weekly, BDC Print #43                                                                            Combahee River Raid, Harper’s Weekly (Beaufort District Collection)

Contact gracec@bcgov.net for a list of additional materials in the Beaufort County Library system about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

LEGEND: BDC=Beaufort District Collection; BEA=Beaufort Branch; BLU=Bluffton Branch; HHI=Hilton Head Branch; LOB=Lobeco Branch; and, STH=St. Helena Branch

Note: Please check the Library system’s homepage for current hours of operation and locations.

This list of links and materials was selected by Grace Morris Cordial, MLS, SL, CA, Manager of the Beaufort County Library’s (SC) special local history collection and archives unit, the Beaufort District Collection.  First posted: 3 February 2012; Latest revision: 6 June 2016.

All links verified as of 6 June 2016.