Established in 1862, Historic Mitchelville is known as the, 'Birthplace of African American Freedom.' The land the people of Mitchelville, South Carolina, had once toiled under the chains of slavery was now their own. The people of Mitchelville were creating a completely new, self-governed culture that would be the guidepost for generations to follow.
I remember reading an article written in the Island Packet that asked what Harriet Tubman did on Hilton Head Island. It stated that Harriet Tubman slept there. The famous Underground Railroad freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman, was sent to Hilton Head to see this bustling town, so she could share the story of Mitchelville’s self-governed success with future freedmen towns. Harriet not only slept there. She witnessed the birth of a new nation. She experienced, right before her eyes, the manifestation of an act of God. She saw a living testament of her life's purpose. Harriet basked in the fulfillment of God's Word of receiving the desires of her heart; her answered prayers for others to taste the sweet fruit of Freedom. She partook in the events that were leading to the very moment of true 'Freedom for All.' It was the Era of Reconstruction. Mitchelville stood for Heaven on earth. The 'Dawn of Freedom'.
I began to read this quote by Harriet Tubman,
“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there's shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”
I would further add, “If you see the deconstruction of 'Reconstruction' keep going. Freedom is yours. Own it. "
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina had the pleasure of welcoming the 'Mother of Freedom', Harriet Tubman. I believe for her, Mitchelville was a place that provided rest for the weary and spurred hope for brighter days to come.
See more.... 2016 Nationational Underground Railroad Conference
Artist Sonja Griffin Evans
"Art Speaks." Travel Blog