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  • T. Maguire, D. Burston

Retracing Harriet's Steps

Members of KURC were on hand to greet Ken Johnston as he crossed the line between Delaware and Pennsylvania on his re-enactment of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery in 1849. Johnston had begun his re-enactment, which he dubbed "The Walk to Freedom," around Poplar Neck, site of the plantation of Tubman's supposed "owner." He set out on the night of Christmas eve, 2019, and hiked for 20 miles. At times, "it was so dark I couldn't see my feet." Though he broke up this pilgrimage into many weekends, he wanted to get the feeling, that first night, of what it would be like to be alone and heading into unknown territory.

Lynn Sinclair, the administrator for KURC, first heard about Johnston's trek and urged the KURC Board and other local folks interested in history and Kennett Square, to meet him as he entered PA. She and a few friends drove out early to join with Johnston and his family and walked with them as they crossed the border.

After a bus tour of the UGRR sites in the area and the Bucktoe Cemetery (site of the original Bucktoe church which burned down over a century ago) Johnston and his family joined us at the new KURC headquarters where Sinclair had arranged a wonderful lunch. We hope to have Johnston return to KURC and speak to our volunteers and followers about this truly moving "Walk to Freedom."

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