A 14-mile relay run by Delaware State University and Dover High School students from Sandtown in southwest Kent County to Brecknock Park in Camden will be among the events that honor the 100th anniversary of the death of Underground Railroad engineer Harriet Tubman throughout the state this weekend.
The relay is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Sunday in Sandtown and end up at Brecknock by noon, said Penny Marshall, chairwoman of Harriet Tubman Journey. The Harriet Tubman Journey was created by volunteers to pay homage to the abolitionist, who led runaway slaves through Delaware as part of their journey to freedom in Canada, she said.
"To pay respects to the byway that's been created throughout the state, it tracks the area that they believe she traveled in," Marshall told Camden Town Council Monday night.
Camden's relay event is one of the culminating 10 events held in 10 days throughout the First State's Underground Railroad Byway, Marshall said. Delaware State University President Dr. Harry Williams will meet the students at Brecknock Park. In addition, DelDOT will escort the student runners for safety purposes, she said.
Camden Mayor W.G. Edmanson said he was proud of the part Camden and its local families played in Tubman's abolitionist activities.
Later in the meeting, Camden Town Manager Aaron Chaffinch read a proclamation in which the mayor and Town Council declared March 10, 2013 as Harriet Tubman Day in the historic town of Camden. Edmanson then formally signed the proclamation.
In addition to Sunday's events, Friends of Historic Camden have paired up with Zion AME Church and Camden Friends Meeting to hold events that highlight Camden's vital link in the Underground Railroad, Friends of Historic Camden member Tracey Green said.
People can learn about the Civil War Colored Infantry from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at 20 Center St. in Camden, followed by guided walking tours from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Main Street and Center Street, she said. Saturday's events culminate with a tour of the historic Camden Friends Meeting House, which played a role in the Underground Railroad.