Harriet Tubman Dies
Before she died on March 10, 1913, she gave her home for the elderly to the Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
Tubman was buried with military rites in Fort Hill Cemetery, a short drive from the home. A year after her death, Auburn declared a one-day memorial to its anti-slavery hero. Residents of the city that day unveiled the Harriet Tubman Plaque, which remains on display at the entrance of the Cayuga County Court House. She has since received man honors, including the naming of the Liberty Ship Harriet Tubman, christened in 1944 by Eleanor Roosevelt. On June 14, 1914 a large bronze plaque was placed at the Cayuga County Courthouse, and a civic holiday declared in her honor. Freedom Park, a tribute to the memory of Harriet Tubman, opened in the summer of 1994 at 17 North Street in Auburn. In 1995, Harriet Tubman was honored by the federal government with a commemorative postage stamp bearing her name and likeness.
As Tubman aged, the sleeping spells and suffering from her childhood head trauma continued to plague her. At some point in the late 1890s, she underwent brain surgery at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital. Unable to sleep because of pains and "buzzing" in her head, she asked a doctor if he could operate. He agreed, and in her words, "sawed open my skull, and raised it up, and now it feels more comfortable." She had received no anesthesia for the procedure, and reportedly chose instead to bite down on a bullet, as she had seen Civil War soldiers do when their limbs were amputated.
By 1911, her body was so frail that she had to be admitted into the rest home named in her honor. A New York newspaper described her as "ill and penniless", prompting supporters to offer a new round of donations. Surrounded by friends and family members, Harriet Tubman died of pneumonia on March 10, 1913. Just before she died, she told those in the room: "I go to prepare a place for you."