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Saint Vincent College’s McCarl Coverlet Gallery hosts ‘A Visit with Harriet Tubman’

March 31, 2018 GMT

What do you remember about Harriet Tubman from your American history lessons? Probably that, after escaping slavery herself, she led missions to bring others to freedom via the Underground Railway.

Guests at the March 16 History Dinner Theater at Saint Vincent College in Unity learned that this was just part of Tubman’s astonishing legacy.

Hosted by the college’s McCarl Coverlet Gallery, the program featured historical storyteller Karol Brown of Dayton, Ohio, portraying the 93-year-old Tubman looking back over her life. Her husband, James Brown, punctuated the narrative with spiritual songs in the role of Brother Ely.

Dinner guests learned that Tubman also helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry. During the Civil War, she served as a nurse, cook and armed scout and spy for the Union Army. Later, Tubman was a women’s suffrage activist and established a home for elderly, indigent African Americans in New York, where she herself died.

Two of the 50-plus attendees were retirees Scott and Kathy Blomquist of North Branch, Minn., who paused for the evening amidst their ramblings around the country.

What brought them to the dinner theater? “The Internet,” said Scott. “We saw it advertised and we said, ‘We have to see this.’”

Also on hand were gallery curator Lauren Churilla with husband Corey Churilla, Christa Lamendola, Bob and Arlene Kendra, Keith and Shirleah Kelly, Bill dand Judy Scheeren, Lougene Whiteman, Gene and Karen Fritz, Mike McCalpin, Jim and Leslie Martin, Joanne Young, Bill Krall and Mike dand Carleen Ronchetti.

Learn more about the gallery at mccarlgallery.org and more about the Browns at visitharriettubman.com.

— Shirley McMarlin