Harriet Tubman marries Nelson Davis
Tubman spent her remaining years in Auburn, tending to her family and other people in need.
She worked various jobs to support her elderly parents, and took in boarders to help pay the bills. One of the people Tubman took in was a Civil War veteran named Nelson Davis. He began working in Auburn as a bricklayer, and they soon fell in love. Though he was twenty-two years younger than she was, on March 18, 1869, they were married at the Central Presbyterian Church. They spent the next twenty years together, and in 1874 they adopted a baby girl named Gertie.
After the war, Harriet returned home to Auburn. In 1869, she married Nelson Davis and together they shared a calm, peaceful 19 year marriage until he died.
The quote below, echoing Patrick Henry, is the Sarah Bradford biography, "The Moses of Her People," of Harriet Tubman:
Harriet was now left alone, . . . She turned her face toward the north, and fixing her eyes on the guiding star, and committing her way unto the Lord, she started again upon her long, lonely journey. She believed that there were one or two things she had a right to, liberty or death.
Tubman returned to Auburn, New York.
After the war, Tubman returned to Auburn, New York. There she began another career as a community activist, humanitarian, and suffragist. In 1869, Sarah Bradford published a short biography of Tubman called "Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman," bringing brief fame and financial relief to Tubman and her family. She married Nelson Davis, a veteran, that same year; her husband John Tubman had been killed in 1867 in Dorchester County, Maryland. She struggled financially the rest of her life, however. Denied her own military pension, she eventually received a widow's pension as the wife of Nelson Davis, and, later, a Civil War nurse's pension.