The Schenectady County Public Library received an new addition to its campus this past Friday. The library was chosen to be the site of a new statue featuring Harriet Tubman and William Seward, class of 1820.
According to Emeritus Professor Frank Wicks, who was one of the funders and organizers of the statue, Tubman is most known for being a conductor in the Underground Railroad during the Antebellum Era and Seward is known for buying the land now known as the state of Alaska.
Wicks stated that most people do not know that these two historical figures had an intimate friendship. The statue is meant to immortalizes this bond and its presence is there to celebrate the moral character and conviction of these two individuals.
There was a presentation before the statue’s unveiling was packed with Schenectady locals, former Union alumni and staff, religious officials and civic leaders.
Representatives from the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park were there to commemorate the event. They spoke about the legacy of Tubman and her determination to free as many slaves as she could and the fact that she never lost a single person while conducting the Underground Railroad.
The speakers also discussed Seward’s foresight and his ability to think beyond the needs of his own time.
The statue is displayed outside the library’s entrance and officially open to the public.