One stop the President did not make on his tour of the state was the home of abolitionist and Civil War hero Harriet Tubman. Tamara Lindstrom was there as hopeful crowds waited for hours to catch a glimpse of the President or even just his motorcade.
AUBURN, N.Y. -- As dawn broke over the historic home of Harriet Tubman Friday, a contingent of Americans eager to meet their President had already began to gather.
"Excitement. All the way from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet," said Rev. Paul Gordon Carter, Tubman Home Site Manager.
Special guests, including some of Tubman's descendants, waited to greet the President inside. Caretakers say a visit from Obama is a fitting tribute to the woman who led hundreds of slaves to freedom, fought for civil rights and served in the Civil War.
Carter said, "I know that she would be very pleased to see a President come to her house. She knew Lincoln, but to see President Obama come and spend time, she would really welcome that with open arms."
"Harriet Tubman was a great lady. You won't find one better than her. She had a lot of gumption. She was a smart lady," said Auburn resident Jack Cresco.
But the crowd grew and the hour grew long. Hope of the motorcade's arrival began to fade.
When the President's bus headed out of town, excitement was replaced with disappointment.
"I'm not saying that it's disrespectful because it is what it is. He's the President. He has a lot of things to do," said Tia Gilliam, a relative of Harriet Tubman.
But despite the bitter disappointment of narrowly missing a visit from our nation's leader, those who dedicate their lives to preserving Tubman's legacy say there is a silver lining.
"There's just been such a tremendous outpouring of the community. You were here yesterday, you saw it. People would not leave the grounds. And I think the cross-section of people who came were remarkable. And I want to thank everybody for coming," said Karen Hill, Tubman House President and CEO. "Those of you who offered to open up your homes to us, because we couldn't get hotel rooms, thank you. Those of you who sat all day yesterday, thank you. Those of you who came today, thank you. And those of you who encourage us to keep our efforts going to establish the first national historic park in Auburn, New York for an African-American woman named Harriet. Thank you."
Hill declared the events of the last two days a victory and an honor to Harriet Tubman, even without the VIP visit.