The album was originally compiled as a gift for Emily Howland (1827-1929), a Quaker schoolteacher and abolitionist who lived in Sherwood, New York, and taught at Camp Todd, a Freedmen’s camp in Arlington, Virginia, during the Civil War and then founded her own school after the Civil War.
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Howland continued adding photographs later. Tubman escaped slavery in 1849 on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and took great risk to help relatives and others escape bondage as a famous conductor of the Underground Railroad. Abolitionists and prominent figures portrayed in the album include: