Deborah Tall Historical Tour: Suffragists & Abolitionists in Our Area – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Deborah Tall Historical Tour: Suffragists & Abolitionists in Our Area

Tour the area and learn some of the history of Central New York! On Saturday, March 29, students will take a field trip, “Women, Slaves, and Abolitionists” and visit the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls and the Harriet Tubman Home and the Seward House in Auburn.

The trip was set up to introduce students to the rich cultural history of the Finger Lakes region and bring them together with other groups to share a learning experience focusing on the cultural heritage of this region. The day is aimed particularly for first-year seminar students and international students.

The tour will also honor the memory of Professor of English and Comparative Literature Deborah Tall, and will use her 1996 book, “From Where We Stand: Recovering a Sense of Place,” as a guide for touring and studying the historic sites in the region that will give our students “sense of place.” Tall died in October 2007 at age 55 after two years of resisting inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and aggressive form of the disease. She had lived in Ithaca, N.Y., since 1990 with her husband of 27 years, Professor of English David Weiss, and their daughters, Zoe and Clea Weiss.

The National Women's Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to honor those American women whose contributions have been of greatest value to the development of their country. The National Park features interactive exhibits about women's history and tours of historic properties.

Also included in this trip will be two sites in Auburn: the Harriet Tubman Home, where “The Moses of her People” lived and died in freedom; and Seward House, the home of President Lincoln's Secretary of State William H. Seward, an untiring advocate for the human rights of the people of his time. Tubman and Seward were good friends, and when Tubman moved her parents from St. Catherine's, Ontario, Canada, to Auburn, Seward provided her with a two-story brick home on the outskirts of the city. He later sold the property to Tubman for a modest sum, an illegal transaction at the time.

Alejandra Molina, assistant professor of Spanish and Hispanic Studies and director of the Office of Intercultural Affairs and Opportunity Programs, hopes the trip will help students explore the history of the area and involve faculty members, such as Instructor of English Mary Hess, through coordination with classes and using faculty members as tour guides.

A collaboration between Student Activities and the Office of Intercultural Affairs, this trip is free and is open to all students; lunch will be provided. For reservations or details, call Molina at ext. 3797 or e-mail her at