GEORGETOWN, SC – The Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce kicks off a fundraising campaign to raise a historical marker recognizing James A. Bowley, the beloved grandnephew of the famous Underground Railroad agent and freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman and their drive to provide quality education to many in Georgetown, South Carolina.
“Through the diligent research of Kent Hermes, local history buff and Steve Williams, local historian and author, it has been confirmed James Bowley and Harriet Tubman had a huge impact on our community,” stated Marilyn L. Hemingway, CEO/President of the Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce, “This marker is another piece that will educate locals and visitors of the continuing national impact of Georgetown’s African American history and the benefits it continues to provide for us today.”
In the spirit of community, the Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce is seeking to raise $2,500 for a historical marker by Friday, June 28th.
“It is our plan to invite the entire community to a historic marker dedication at 231 King Street,” says Steve Williams, local historian and chair of the Bowley-Tubman Historic Marker committee, “Our June deadline will allow us to dedicate the marker in late September.”
Denied the right to an education herself, Tubman knew that literacy was its own liberation. Working long hours to pay for James A. Bowley’s tuition in a Philadelphia school during the 1850’s secured his bright future. After the Civil War, Bowley settled at 231 King Street, Georgetown, SC, where he worked with newly freed people as a teacher and eventually Commissioner of 60Georgetown County Schools. Supported by the Freedman’s Bureau and resources raised by Harriet Tubman and her allies in Auburn, NY, Bowley expanded educational opportunities for many in Georgetown.