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Harriet Tubman: Underground Railroad conductress

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[FEB. 17, 2004]  MIDDLETOWN -- At the meeting Wednesday (Feb. 18) of the combined Lincoln Woman's Club and the DAR, a noted historian and librarian, Kathryn M. Harris of Springfield, will portray Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), an abolitionist who aided many slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad.

Harris says of Tubman: "She is perhaps the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad. She led 300 to freedom. She never ran her train off the track, and she never lost a passenger!"

Abraham Lincoln Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution is providing the program. The meeting is being hosted by the Lincoln Woman's Club at 203 N. McLean St.

Biographical notes

Kathryn Harris has been director of the Illinois State Historical Library at the Old State Capitol in Springfield since March 1996.

"The highlight of my professional career is being involved with the planning and the development of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum," she says. She and her staff are eagerly awaiting "move-in day" in 2005.

 

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She was born in Carbondale and attended public schools there. She received her bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University in 1969 and her master of library science degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in 1971. Since then, she has served as head of reference and technical services at the SIU Medical Library, the Illinois State Library and the Illinois State Historical Library.

Harris has been received many honors for community involvement. She has been a delegate to the White House Conference on Library and Information Services and has served on the board of directors of the Springfield Ball Charter School since 1998.

She is a member of Faith Temple, AME Church. She and her husband, Al, have been married for 30 years.

[News release]

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