FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 24, 2023
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Freedom Center, U.S. Mint, Harriet Tubman home reveal commemorative coin designs
Three coins will honor heroic champion of freedom; available in 2024
CINCINNATI – The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center joined the United States Mint and the Harriet Tubman Home Sunday for the reveal of the designs for three commemorative coins in honor of Harriet Tubman. The reveal took place during the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church’s (AMEZ) Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society Quadrennial Conference at the New Orleans Hilton Hotel Riverside.
Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most recognized figure from the era of the Underground Railroad, the clandestine network by which enslaved individuals sought to liberate themselves in the first half of the 19th century. Born into slavery as Araminta “Minty” Ross in March 1822 on a plantation in Maryland, Tubman self-liberated via the Underground Railroad in 1849, crossing from Maryland to the free state of Pennsylvania. She returned to Maryland 13 times over the next decade, leading 70 enslaved people to freedom in Canada.
“Harriet Tubman is one of the most revered figures in American history and now she is being rightly enshrined among our nation’s pantheon of heroes,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president & COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “She will soon be indelibly etched into our collective heritage as a triumphant, resilient champion of freedom that reflects the true diversity of those who have contributed so significantly to our nation’s democracy.”
Tubman bequeathed her land to the AMEZ Church, which established the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. to be the stewards of her legacy.
“Harriet is smiling today!” said Bishop Dennis V. Proctor of the North Eastern Episcopal District and Board Chair of the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. “We, the AMEZ Church, have protected and preserved Harriet Tubman’s legacy and have looked for meaningful ways to accurately share history of faith and fortitude. The three coins provide such an opportunity.”
The design reveal itself was a historic moment as Ventris C. Gibson, the first African American director of the United States Mint, led the ceremony.
“I am honored to announce the designs of the coins for the 2024 Harriet Tubman Commemorative Coin Program,” Gibson said of the unveiling. “These beautiful designs celebrate the life, achievements and legacy of an extraordinary woman, and add to the Mint’s rich history of telling our nation’s story through numismatic art.”
The Tubman commemorative coins will be released in three denominations: 50-cent clad, $1 silver dollar and $5 gold coin. Each coin represents a different era of Tubman’s life, including her role as a conductor on the Underground Railroad; her service as a military leader during the Civil War, including leading the Combahee River Raid that freed over 700 enslaved people; and her leadership as a humanitarian during her final five decades of life. The coins will be available in 2024 through the U.S. Mint with proceeds from their sale going to support the missions of the Freedom Center and the Harriet Tubman Home.
“Minting Ms. Tubman’s likeness on a commemorative coin will encourage people to learn more about this extraordinary leader who had such a profound impact on American history and culture,” added Keown. “This is a historic moment that will go well beyond the coin collecting community as these coins become an ongoing piece of her legacy to ensure freedom and justice for all.”
The Freedom Center has secured the support of Procter & Gamble as lead sponsor to collaborate in helping honor Tubman’s legacy through the commemorative coin. The Freedom Center is planning programming in late 2023 and throughout 2024 to celebrate Tubman’s life and inspire modern-day freedom conductors to emulate her courage and commitment to freedom.