Harriet Tubman’s hymnal


From the Washington Post:

On a blue-covered table in a Capitol Hill hearing room, an ordinary hymnal was raised to the status of a historical object with the simple signature of its owner, Harriet Tubman Davis.

The book of gospel hymns was among an extraordinary trove of Tubman artifacts given Wednesday to the National Museum of African American History and Culture…

Lonnie G. Bunch, the founding director of the museum, described the November meeting in Philadelphia when Blockson, who lives there, first showed the staff the 39 objects he is donating.

“Each object in this collection humbled us, excited us and moved us to tears. And then, Dr. Blockson uncovered Harriet Tubman’s personal hymnal, and I think many of us lost it,” Bunch said.

Harriet Tubman, of course, was the 19-century leader in the Underground Railroad and an emancipation leader, leading hundreds of slaves to freedom.

The hymnal, titled “Gospel Hymns No. 2,” was by Philip Bliss (“It Is Well With My Soul”) and Ira Sankey (“The Ninety and Nine” and D.L. Moody’s songleader) can be seen here, including Tubman’s autograph.

Interesting to note the ceremony concluded with everyone singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”

The truth sets you free indeed…

Leave a Comment