Famous Women ~ Harriet Tubman

volunteer firefighters in ColoradoHarriet Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland around 1821. However, as a slave, her birth date was not recorded, so there is not an exact date. Harriet was put to work at five years of age, and was injured at age 13 when her master hit her in the head with a 2-pound weight.  Her life was one of deprivation and extreme conditions. In 1844, at about the age of 25, Harriet married John Tubman, a freeman. She gained permission to marry him from her owners and lived with him in his cabin, but she was required to continue working for her master. When Harriet told John of her dreams of one day gaining her freedom, he told her that she would never be free and, if she tried running away, he would turn her in.

Finally, in 1849, Harriet’s master died and rumor reached her that she and two of her brothers were to be sold to a chain gang. Seizing opportunity, the three fled northward, but her brothers became afraid and turned back toward the plantation. Harriet went on alone, traveling only at night, until she reached the free state of Pennsylvania.

She went on to help other slaves reach freedom over the next eleven years – by some accounts as many as 300. Using the Wilmington, Delaware, home of Quaker abolitionist Thomas Garrett as a checkpoint, Harriet Tubman undertook 20 hazardous missions in which she returned to the south, helped slaves escape, and led them to freedom up north, at times going as far as Canada. On one of her first return visits to Maryland, Harriet went to John’s cabin in hopes of getting him to go north with her. She found that he had taken another wife. Later in 1869, she married Nelson Davis. She never had any children.

Her efforts with the Underground Railroad made her a hunted woman in the south, resulting in as much as a $40,000 price being put on her head at one point. She served the Union during the Civil War and remained a tireless civil rights advocate up until her death in 1913. Nicknamed ‘Moses’ because of her dedication to seeing her people free, she was also called ‘General Tubman’ by the militant abolitionist John Brown, with whom she worked in Canada. Her efforts to free slaves, even at great personal danger, serve to make her an inspiration to all those who would fight for change.


2 Responses to “Famous Women ~ Harriet Tubman”

  1. […] Famous Women ~ Harriet Tubman (thebigchilicookoffevergreen.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Thanks a lot this helped me on by essay project 🙂

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