Rare Photo of a Young Harriet Tubman Obtained by Library of Congress and African-American Museum

A rare photo of a young Harriet Tubman has been obtained by the Library of Congress and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The photo of the famous abolitionist is part of an album containing 44 rare photographs, including the only known photo of John Willis Menard, the first African-American man elected to the U.S. Congress.

The photo shows a young and vibrant Tubman, seated on a chair, her skirt billowing out.

It's particularly striking to see her as young. Most well-known photos of Tubman were taken much later in her life.

“It is a distinct honor to have these photographs that tell an important part of America’s history,” said Lonnie Bunch, the museum’s founding director, in a press release.

The photo album belonged to Emily Howland, a Quaker who taught at the Freedman’s School in Arlington, Virginia, according to a joint press release from the two organizations. The photos in the album were taken in the mid-1800s.

Others featured in the album include Charles Sumner, Lydia Maria Child, Samuel Ely, William Ellery Channing, Colonel C.W. Folsom and Charles Dickens.

“To have a new glimpse of such key figures in American history is rare indeed,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “Through this extraordinary collaboration, these images will be forever part of our shared heritage and will be a source of inspiration for many generations to come.”

The discovery of the photo was first announced in February by a New York auction house selling the album on behalf of its owner, USA Today reported.

The album was expected to sell for $20,000 to $30,000. The owner claimed he bought the album for $250 a couple years ago. 

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