Harriet Tubman was born in Dorchester County in 1822. Araminta Ross was her given name at first, but she later took her mother’s maiden name, Harriet. She was the slave’s daughter of Harriet Greene and Benjamin Ross. She did housework, including becoming a child nurse, when she was just five years old (Bradford 18). She ran away from home at the age of seven to avoid being disciplined for stealing sugar; however, she returned home after five days due to a lack of food. She endured many hardships as an infant, including malnutrition, and at one point became disabled as a result of physical violence. At the age of thirteen, she became a slave and worked in the mines. She is memorialized by many streets, schools, and shelters bearing her name. Although illiterate, she had excellent leadership skills, discipline, and excellent strategic sense. The African Americans referred to Harriet as “Moses,” to symbolize her excellent leadership in transitioning slaves to freedom (Bradford 3).
Although young and dutiful she was a natural rebel who disregarded unjust orders. One time she defied the orders of assisting an overseer in tying a slave and further blocked the overseer’s path to allow the man to flee (Taylor). An object weighing two pounds was thrown at the slave, but instead hit Harriet making her suffer immensely from brain fever which she miraculously recovered (Bradford 15). Her aspiration for freedom escalated in 1844 when she got married to John Tubman. She then escaped in 1849 to Philadelphia. In 1851, she set out to liberate her people; she achieved this by keeping her movement secret, gathering money, collecting individuals privately, working with trusted sources, and refraining from entering a plantation (Petry 100). The North Start was her guide, and she was very comfortable in the natural terrain. She was, therefore, capable of telling the time by observing the sun and the moon. She was ingenious and always came up with deceptive tactics for travel (Hobson 6). She changed the travel tricks to encompass railroad, foot, boat, and further, she forged passes and introduced disguises like gender crossovers. When pursued by slave catchers Tubman could change the route to keep her group safe. Although perceived as a caring and gentle character, she was an undisputed, strict leader. She also never walked without a revolver (Hobson 3). According to her dead men tell no tales. As a result, they had to move or die.
According to Bradford, Harriet made approximately nineteen trips south. She did save not only her parents and relatives, but also hundreds of people from enslavement; this included her relatives and parents (19). She empowered and triggered constant flights out of Maryland though independent they were ignited by Harriet example. In 1850 a fugitive slave law was enforced, which forced Harriet to transport the newly freed people into Canada West, now known as Ontario. Harriet placed the emancipated group in this region since England had established laws that abolished enslavement. The traveling routes included New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. These were Turban favorite, but also dangerous routes because of proslavery attitudes (Gara 25). She also received help and support from individuals like Thomas Garrett, who was her primary contact and a Delaware Quaker. Other supporters included abolitionists Frederick Douglass and arch revolutionary John Brown among others. These individuals assisted her in this mission since their radical ideas matched hers.
In 1863, she single-handedly picked the black soldiers who intelligently spied and surveilled throughout the southeastern seaboard. They managed to cut the South Carolina, region supplies. After the war, Harriet settled in New York in Place known as Auburn, where she successfully purchased land and built a home for the aged (Taylor). Irrespective of her numerous accomplishment and bravely, she struggled for recognition, especially for the role she played in the war. In 1890, she was given a meager pension, and this was linked to the fact that her second husband was a Civil War veteran (Petry 135). She later died of pneumonia in 1913.
In conclusion, Harriet Tubman is considered one of the most courageous self-freed black in history. She also freed hundreds of slaves and actively participated as a freedom fighter in the civil war.
Bradford, Sarah H. Harriet: The Moses of Her People: The Life and Work of Harriet Tubman. e-
Gara, Larry. The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad. University Press of
Hobson, Janell. “Harriet Tubman: A legacy of resistance.” Meridians: feminism, race,
transnationalism 12.2 (2014): 1-8.
Petry, Ann. Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the underground railroad. Open Road Media, 2015.
Taylor, Amy. “Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument.” Nps.gov. N.p.,
2014. Web. 17 June 2019.