The Underground Railroad and Siblings Tubman first encountered the Underground Railroad when she used it to escape slavery herself in 1849. Following a bout of illness and the death of her owner, Tubman decided to escape slavery in Maryland for Philadelphia.
What part does Tubman play in the Underground Railroad?
- Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad Tubman made 19 trips to Maryland and helped 300 people to freedom. During these dangerous journeys she helped rescue members of her own family, including her 70-year-old parents. At one point, rewards for Tubman‘s capture totaled $40,000.
Did Harriet Tubman find Underground Railroad?
Harriet Tubman (1822-1913), a renowned leader in the Underground Railroad movement, established the Home for the Aged in 1908. Between 1850 and 1860, Tubman returned to the Eastern Shore of Maryland 13 times and freed more than 70 people, who were her family and friends so they can all be free together as a family.
How did Harriet Tubman communicate?
Harriet Tubman and other slaves used songs as a strategy to communicate with slaves in their struggle for freedom. Coded songs contained words giving directions on how to escape also known as signal songs or where to meet known as map songs.
Did Harriet Tubman say I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger?
She was proud of her accomplishments and in 1896 spoke at a women’s suffrage convention, “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say — I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” Freedom was bittersweet for Harriet Tubman.
Who founded the Underground Railroad?
In the early 1800s, Quaker abolitionist Isaac T. Hopper set up a network in Philadelphia that helped enslaved people on the run.
Why did Harriet Tubman first become involved with the Underground Railroad?
Why did Harriet Tubman first become involved with the Underground Railroad? She became involved with the Underground Railroad in order to rescue all of her family members. The Underground Railroad had to remain secret because it depended on Southerners who were opposed to slavery to provide a means of escape.
How did people on the Underground Railroad communicate?
Spirituals, a form of Christian song of African American origin, contained codes that were used to communicate with each other and help give directions. Some believe Sweet Chariot was a direct reference to the Underground Railroad and sung as a signal for a slave to ready themselves for escape.
How did slaves navigate the Underground Railroad?
Conductors helped runaway slaves by providing them with safe passage to and from stations. They did this under the cover of darkness with slave catchers hot on their heels. Many times these stations would be located within their own homes and businesses.
Why did Harriet Tubman wear a bandana?
As was the custom on all plantations, when she turned eleven, she started wearing a bright cotton bandana around her head indicating she was no longer a child. She was also no longer known by her “basket name”, Araminta. Now she would be called Harriet, after her mother.
Why did Harriet Tubman carry a gun?
Fact: Harriet Tubman carried a small pistol with her on her rescue missions, mostly for protection from slave catchers, but also to encourage weak-hearted runaways from turning back and risking the safety of the rest of the group.
How old would Harriet Tubman be today?
Harriet Tubman’s exact age would be 201 years 10 months 28 days old if alive. Total 73,747 days. Harriet Tubman was a social life and political activist known for her difficult life and plenty of work directed on promoting the ideas of slavery abolishment.
Did Harriet Tubman use a lantern?
When she was thirty-years-old, she ran away to the north to escape slavery and joined the Underground Railway. Harriet used a lantern to see in the night and her courage lead over 300 slaves to freedom.
How did Harriet Tubman escape?
Tubman herself used the Underground Railroad to escape slavery. In September 1849, fearful that her owner was trying to sell her, Tubman and two of her brothers briefly escaped, though they didn’t make it far. For reasons still unknown, her brothers decided to turn back, forcing Tubman to return with them.
How successful was the Underground Railroad?
Ironically the Fugitive Slave Act increased Northern opposition to slavery and helped hasten the Civil War. The Underground Railroad gave freedom to thousands of enslaved women and men and hope to tens of thousands more. In both cases the success of the Underground Railroad hastened the destruction of slavery.
How was Harriet Tubman compared to Moses?
Harriet Tubman is called “The Moses of Her People” because like Moses she helped people escape from slavery. Harriet is well known as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. Using a network of abolitionists and free people of color, she guided hundreds of slaves to freedom in the North and Canada.
Underground Railroad was a network of people, both black and white, who helped escaped enslaved persons from the southern United States by providing them with refuge and assistance. It came forth as a result of the convergence of numerous separate covert initiatives. Although the exact dates of its inception are unknown, it was active from the late 18th century until the Civil War, after which its attempts to weaken the Confederacy were carried out in a less-secretive manner until the Civil War ended.
The Society of Friends (Quakers) is often regarded as the first organized group to actively assist escaped enslaved persons. In 1786, George Washington expressed dissatisfaction with Quakers for attempting to “liberate” one of his enslaved servants. Abolitionist and Quaker Isaac T. Hopper established a network in Philadelphia in the early 1800s to assist enslaved persons who were on the run from slavery. Abolitionist organisations founded by Quakers in North Carolina lay the basis for escape routes and safe havens for fugitive slaves during the same time period.
What Was the Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad was first mentioned in 1831, when an enslaved man named Tice Davids managed to escape from Kentucky into Ohio and his master blamed a “underground railroad” for assisting Davids in his liberation. When a fugitive slave called Jim was apprehended in 1839 in Washington, the press said that the guy confessed his plan to travel north along a “underground railroad to Boston” while under torture. The Vigilance Committees, which were established in New York in 1835 and Philadelphia in 1838 to safeguard escaped enslaved persons from bounty hunters, rapidly expanded their duties to include guiding enslaved individuals on the run.
MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Harriet Tubman and her fellow fugitives used the following strategies to escape through the Underground Railroad:
How the Underground Railroad Worked
The majority of enslaved persons aided by the Underground Railroad were able to flee to neighboring states like as Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made catching fugitive enslaved persons a lucrative industry in the deep South, and there were fewer hiding places for them as a result of the Act. The majority of fugitive enslaved people were on their own until they reached specific places farther north. The escaping enslaved people were escorted by individuals known as “conductors.” Private residences, churches, and schools were also used as hiding places throughout the war.
The personnel in charge of running them were referred to as “stationmasters.” There were several well-traveled roads that ran west through Ohio and into Indiana and Iowa.
While some traveled north via Pennsylvania and into New England, or through Detroit on their route to Canada, others chose to travel south. The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico.
Fugitive Slave Acts
The Fugitive Slave Acts were a major cause for many fugitive slaves to flee to Canada. This legislation, which was passed in 1793, authorized local governments to catch and extradite fugitive enslaved individuals from inside the borders of free states back to their places of origin, as well as to penalize anybody who assisted the fleeing enslaved people. Personal Liberty Laws were introduced in certain northern states to fight this, but they were overturned by the Supreme Court in 1842. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was intended to reinforce the preceding legislation, which was perceived by southern states to be insufficiently enforced at the time of passage.
The northern states were still considered a danger zone for fugitives who had managed to flee.
Some Underground Railroad operators chose to station themselves in Canada and sought to assist fugitives who were arriving to settle in the country.
In many cases, Fugitive Slave Acts were the driving force behind their departure. This legislation, which was passed in 1793, authorized local governments to catch and extradite fugitive enslaved persons from inside the borders of free states back to their places of origin, as well as to penalize anybody who assisted the runaway slaves. Personal Liberty Laws were introduced in several northern states to oppose this, but they were overturned by the Supreme Court in 1842. Aiming to improve on the previous legislation, which southern states believed was being enforced insufficiently, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed.
It was still considered a risk for an escaped individual to travel to the northern states.
In Canada, some Underground Railroad operators established bases of operations and sought to assist fugitives in settling into their new home country.
In his house in Rochester, New York, former enslaved person and celebrated author Frederick Douglasshid fugitives who were assisting 400 escapees in their journey to freedom in Canada. Reverend Jermain Loguen, a former fugitive who lived in the adjacent city of Syracuse, assisted 1,500 escapees on their journey north. The Vigilance Committee was established in Philadelphia in 1838 by Robert Purvis, an escaped enslaved person who later became a trader. Josiah Henson, a former enslaved person and railroad operator, founded the Dawn Institute in Ontario in 1842 to assist fugitive slaves who made their way to Canada in learning the necessary skills to find work.
Agent,” according to the document.
John Parker was a free Black man living in Ohio who worked as a foundry owner and who used his rowboat to ferry fugitives over the Ohio River.
William Still was a notable Philadelphia citizen who was born in New Jersey to runaway slaves parents who fled to Philadelphia as children.
Who Ran the Underground Railroad?
The vast majority of Underground Railroad operators were regular individuals, including farmers and business owners, as well as preachers and religious leaders. Some affluent individuals were active, including Gerrit Smith, a billionaire who stood for president on two separate occasions. Smith acquired a full family of enslaved people from Kentucky in 1841 and freed them from their captivity. Levi Coffin, a Quaker from North Carolina, is credited with being one of the first recorded individuals to assist escaped enslaved persons.
Coffin stated that he had discovered their hiding spots and had sought them out in order to assist them in moving forward.
Coffin eventually relocated to Indiana and then Ohio, where he continued to assist fugitive enslaved individuals no matter where he was.
Ordinary individuals, farmers and business owners, as well as pastors, were the majority of those who operated the Underground Railroad. Several millionaires, including Gerrit Smith, a billionaire who campaigned for president twice, were involved. For the first time in his life, Smith purchased and freed a whole family of enslaved people from Kentucky in 1841. Levi Coffin, a Quaker from North Carolina, was one of the earliest recorded individuals to assist fleeing enslaved persons. Beginning in 1813, when he was 15 years old, he began his career.
They eventually began to make their way closer to him and eventually reached him.
End of the Line
The vast majority of Underground Railroad operators were everyday individuals, including farmers and business owners, as well as preachers and religious leaders. Some affluent individuals were active, such as Gerrit Smith, a billionaire who stood for president on two separate occasions. Smith acquired and freed an entire family of enslaved people from Kentucky in 1841. Levi Coffin, a Quaker from North Carolina, is credited with being one of the first persons to assist escaped enslaved people.
Coffin stated that he had learnt their hiding spots and had sought them out in order to assist them in moving forward.
Coffin eventually relocated to Indiana and then Ohio, where he continued to assist fugitives from slavery everywhere he went.
Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad is a book about the Underground Railroad. Fergus Bordewich is a Scottish actor. A Biography of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom Catherine Clinton is the first lady of the United States. Who Exactly Was in Charge of the Underground Railroad?
‘Henry Louis Gates’ is a pseudonym for Henry Louis Gates. The Underground Railroad’s History in New York is a little known fact. The Smithsonian Institution’s magazine. The Underground Railroad’s Dangerous Allure is well documented. The New Yorker is a publication dedicated to journalism.
Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad: how one woman saved hundreds from hell
Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad is a book about the Underground Railroad and the American Revolution. It was a pleasure to meet Fergus Bordewich. Road to Freedom: The Story of Harriet Tubman Catherine Clinton is a former First Lady of the United States of America who served as Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton. Was it really the Underground Railroad’s operators who were responsible? Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is an American businessman and philanthropist who founded the Gates Foundation in 1993.
New Yorker magazine has published an article about this.
When and where was Harriet Tubman born?
Araminta Ross, Tubman’s given name, would have been put to work on her family’s plantation in Dorchester County, Maryland, practically as soon as she began to walk, according to family legend. It was the same terrible initiation to slavery that she and her eight siblings endured when they were born into it. Her rigorous outdoor job, along with long hours of domestic employment as a maid and then as a cook, resulted in her being underweight and unwell at times. The little Minty, like millions of other slaves in America, became all-too familiar with the awful physical and mental torture she suffered at the hands of her owners.
- She would have been put to work on her family’s plantation in Dorchester County, Maryland, practically as soon as she learnt to walk, as Araminta Ross was her given name at birth. It was the same terrible initiation to slavery that her eight siblings and sisters had experienced. Despite her efforts, she suffered from malnutrition and illness due to the arduous field labor and long hours of domestic employment as a maid and, subsequently, a chef. Minty, like millions of other slaves in America, grew all-too familiar with the awful physical and mental torture she suffered at the hands of her owners when she was young. She was spanked and flogged as punishment anytime the baby screamed when she was working as a nursemaid when she was just five or six years old — believed to have occurred about 1825-30.
Minty’s harsh upbringing resulted in a fervent Christian faith, which she developed as a result of hearing Bible tales read to her by her mother, as well as extraordinary strength, courage, and a desire to put herself in danger in order to save others. These characteristics helped her so effectively in the Underground Railroad, yet they almost resulted in her death when she was a little girl. Once, as Minty was on her way to get supplies from a dry goods store, she found herself stuck between an overseer who was looking for a slave who had fled his property without permission and the slave’s pursuing master.
What was the Underground Railroad?
The term does not allude to genuine trains that went up and down the length of America in tunnels (at least not in the early nineteenth century), but rather to a system of clandestine routes that were designed to assist runaway slaves in reaching the free states of the North or Canada. In order to escape discovery, guides guided them down the circuitous routes, which frequently required trudging into the woods, crossing rivers, and climbing mountains to reach their destination. Although it was not always the case, a route may have involved conveyance, such as boats or carts.
- It was all done in secret, thus the term “underground,” and it made use of jargon from the booming railway industry.
- It was common for those participating – which included everyone from runaway slaves to rich white abolitionists and church officials – to congregate in small groups.
- ‘vigilance committees’ formed established in the bigger cities of the North, such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, to support the railroad.
- It struck Minty in the head, knocking her out cold and leaving her in a pool of blood.
- These remained constant throughout her life (although she claimed them to be premonitions from God).
- There was no reprieve from the horrendous conditions as the years passed, yet all of Minty’s hours of hard labor had given her a surprising amount of strength for her small five-foot body.
Despite the fact that she became Harriet Tubman in approximately 1844 – after marrying a free black man called John Tubman and choosing to use her mother’s first name – it would be another five years before she made her first steps toward freedom.
How did Harriet Tubman escape from slavery?
What makes Tubman’s escape from slavery even more remarkable is that she had to accomplish it twice before she was successful. When Mary left the plantation with two of her brothers on September 17, 1849, Harry and Ben had second thoughts and returned to the plantation with her mother and father. Instead of continuing without them, Tubman made sure they returned before attempting a second time to save her life. The 90-mile trek could have taken her anywhere from one to three weeks if she had done it on foot.
- As a result, in 1850, she returned to Maryland to pick up her niece Kessiah and her husband, as well as their two kids, and bring them back to Pennsylvania.
- (some accounts say she went as many as 19 times).
- It is estimated that she personally freed roughly 300 slaves – including some of her brothers and their families, as well as her own parents – and gave instructions to dozens of others in the process.
- One of the most remarkable aspects of Tubman’s emancipation from slavery is that she had to attempt it twice.
- As opposed to continuing her mission without them, Tubman made certain that they returned before attempting a second time.
- When Tubman arrived in Philadelphia and declared the city to be “paradise,” she quickly came to the realization that her job had only just begun; she now desired to free her family and friends from the horrors of slavery as well.
- In the following decade, Tubman would embark on a total of 13 voyages as a ‘conductor’ on the Underground Railroad (some accounts say she went as many as 19 times).
It is estimated that she personally freed over 300 slaves – including some of her brothers and their families, as well as her own parents – and gave instructions to dozens of others in the process. The legendary Tubman used to brag about not having misplaced a single passenger.
On the Underground Railroad, did coded songs aid people in their attempts to elude enslavement and find freedom? In connection with the Underground Railroad, there is a widespread idea that songs had hidden messages in the lyrics that either assisted slaves in finding their path to freedom or served as a warning. To summarize: The expression “follow the Drinkin’ Gourd” actually refers to the North Star, “Wade in the Water” is an instruction to hide, and the phrase “I am bound for Canaan” could be used by a slave to announce his or her intention to flee and seek refuge in Canada, which would serve as their Canaan in the new world.
Tubman would subsequently vary the speed of the song in order to shift the meaning of the message.
According to a related notion, specific patterns in quilts were created in order to symbolize secret instructions, however this theory has also been called into doubt.
In spite of this, songs formed an important part of the culture of those in bondage, whether employed as prayers (known as’spirituals’), to provide a rhythm to their work, or as oral history in a society where many people were illiterate.
Harriet Tubman and the American Civil War
Although the Underground Railroad came to a close with the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, it did not mark the end of Tubman’s heroic efforts on the Underground Railroad. She worked in the Union Army as a cook, laundress, and nurse, caring for wounded troops and escaped slaves, who were referred to as ‘contrabands,’ without regard for her own well-being. Tubman led a troop of scouts into Confederate territory after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, laying the groundwork for the abolition of slavery.
Because of the intelligence she acquired, Colonel James Montgomery was able to launch a deadly attack on enemy fortifications, making her the first woman to command an armed assault in the United States history.
More than 750 slaves were liberated during the uprising.
What were Harriet Tubman’s actions during the American Civil War?
Tubman’s heroic actions did not come to a stop when the American Civil War erupted in 1861, despite the fact that the Underground Railroad was effectively closed down at that time. She served in the Union Army as a cook, laundress, and nurse, caring for wounded troops and fleeing slaves, who were referred to as ‘contrabands,’ and never once considered her personal safety while on the job. After Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, establishing the groundwork for the end of slavery, Tubman led a team of scouts into Confederate territory, utilizing the talents she had honed as a railroad operator.
During the attack on plantations in South Carolina on June 2, 1863, Tubman escorted Union steamboats along the Combahee River. This resulted in the liberation of more than 750 slaves
- When it comes to slavery, Lincoln said, “If I could save the union without liberating a single slave, I would.”
When it comes to slavery, Lincoln said, “If I could rescue the union without releasing a single slave, I would.”
Jonny Wilkes is a freelance writer specialising in history
With regard to slavery, Lincoln stated, “If I could rescue the union without freeing a single slave, I would.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Who was Harriet Tubman?
In the United States, Harriet Tubman, née Araminta Ross, (born c. 1820 in Dorchester County, Maryland, U.S.—died March 10, 1913 in Auburn, New York) was an abolitionist who managed to escape from slavery in the South and rise to prominence before the American Civil War. As part of the Underground Railroad, which was an extensive covert network of safe homes built specifically for this reason, she was responsible for guiding scores of enslaved persons to freedom in the North. Araminta Ross was born into slavery and eventually assumed her mother’s maiden name, Harriet, as her own.
- When she was approximately 12 years old, she reportedly refused to assist an overseer in punishing another enslaved person; as a result, he hurled an iron weight that accidently struck her, causing her to suffer a terrible brain injury, which she would endure for the rest of her life.
- Tubman went to Philadelphia in 1849, allegedly on the basis of rumors that she was due to be sold.
- In December 1850, she made her way to Baltimore, Maryland, where she was reunited with her sister and two children who had joined her in exile.
- A long-held belief that Tubman made around 19 excursions into Maryland and assisted upwards of 300 individuals out of servitude was based on inflated estimates in Sara Bradford’s 1868 biography of Tubman.
- If anyone opted to turn back, putting the operation in jeopardy, she reportedly threatened them with a revolver and stated, “You’ll either be free or die,” according to reports.
- One such example was evading capture on Saturday evenings since the story would not emerge in the newspapers until the following Monday.
- It has been stated that she never lost sight of a runaway she was escorting to safety.
Abolitionists, on the other hand, praised her for her bravery.
Her parents (whom she had brought from Maryland in June 1857) and herself moved to a tiny farm outside Auburn, New York, about 1858, and remained there for the rest of her life.
Tubman spied on Confederate territory while serving with the Second Carolina Volunteers, who were under the leadership of Col.
Montgomery’s forces were able to launch well-coordinated attacks once she returned with intelligence regarding the locations of munitions stockpiles and other strategic assets.
Immediately following the Civil War, Tubman relocated to Auburn, where she began caring for orphans and the elderly, a practice that culminated in the establishment of the Harriet Tubman Home for IndigentAged Negroes in 1892.
Aside from suffrage, Tubman became interested in a variety of other issues, including the abolition of slavery.
A private measure providing for a $20 monthly stipend was enacted by Congress some 30 years after her contribution was recognized. Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica Jeff Wallenfeldt was the author of the most recent revision and update to this article.
|Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.” During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she “never lost a single passenger.” Tubman was born a slave in Maryland’s Dorchester County around 1820. At age five or six, she began to work as a house servant. Seven years later she was sent to work in the fields. While she was still in her early teens, she suffered an injury that would follow her for the rest of her life. Always ready to stand up for someone else, Tubman blocked a doorway to protect another field hand from an angry overseer. The overseer picked up and threw a two-pound weight at the field hand. It fell short, striking Tubman on the head. She never fully recovered from the blow, which subjected her to spells in which she would fall into a deep sleep.Around 1844 she married a free black named John Tubman and took his last name. (She was born Araminta Ross; she later changed her first name to Harriet, after her mother.) In 1849, in fear that she, along with the other slaves on the plantation, was to be sold, Tubman resolved to run away. She set out one night on foot. With some assistance from a friendly white woman, Tubman was on her way. She followed the North Star by night, making her way to Pennsylvania and soon after to Philadelphia, where she found work and saved her money. The following year she returned to Maryland and escorted her sister and her sister’s two children to freedom. She made the dangerous trip back to the South soon after to rescue her brother and two other men. On her third return, she went after her husband, only to find he had taken another wife. Undeterred, she found other slaves seeking freedom and escorted them to the North.Tubman returned to the South again and again. She devised clever techniques that helped make her “forays” successful, including using the master’s horse and buggy for the first leg of the journey; leaving on a Saturday night, since runaway notices couldn’t be placed in newspapers until Monday morning; turning about and heading south if she encountered possible slave hunters; and carrying a drug to use on a baby if its crying might put the fugitives in danger. Tubman even carried a gun which she used to threaten the fugitives if they became too tired or decided to turn back, telling them, “You’ll be free or die.”By 1856, Tubman’s capture would have brought a $40,000 reward from the South. On one occasion, she overheard some men reading her wanted poster, which stated that she was illiterate. She promptly pulled out a book and feigned reading it. The ploy was enough to fool the men.Tubman had made the perilous trip to slave country 19 times by 1860, including one especially challenging journey in which she rescued her 70-year-old parents. Of the famed heroine, who became known as “Moses,” Frederick Douglass said, “Excepting John Brown – of sacred memory – I know of no one who has willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve our enslaved people than.” And John Brown, who conferred with “General Tubman” about his plans to raid Harpers Ferry, once said that she was “one of the bravest persons on this continent.”Becoming friends with the leading abolitionists of the day, Tubman took part in antislavery meetings. On the way to such a meeting in Boston in 1860, in an incident in Troy, New York, she helped a fugitive slave who had been captured.During the Civil War Harriet Tubman worked for the Union as a cook, a nurse, and even a spy. After the war she settled in Auburn, New York, where she would spend the rest of her long life. She died in 1913.Image Credit: Moorland-Spingarn Research Center|
Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
American bondwoman Harriet Tubman, née Araminta Ross, (born ca. 1820 in Dorchester County in the U.S.—died March 10, 1913 in Auburn, New York, U.S.), who managed to flee slavery in the South and rise to prominence as an abolitionist before to the American Civil War. As part of the Underground Railroad, which was an extensive covert network of safe homes built specifically for this reason, she escorted scores of enslaved individuals to freedom in the North. Araminta Ross, who was born into slavery, subsequently assumed the first name of her mother, Harriet, as her own.
- A terrible brain injury occurred when she was approximately 12 years old, when she apparently refused to assist an overseer in punishing another enslaved person.
- Her marriage to John Tubman, a free Black man, took place around the year 1844.
- She left behind her husband (who refused to leave), parents, and siblings in order to escape.
- Over the next decade, she made a total of around 13 increasingly risky expeditions into Maryland, during which time she transported over 70 runaway enslaved persons via the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada.
- According to reports, if someone opted to turn back, putting the mission’s safety at risk, she threatened them with a revolver and stated, “You’ll be free or you’ll die.” She was also resourceful, coming up with a variety of ways to improve her chances of success in the end.
- Tubman became renowned as the “Moses of her people” after becoming the most famous conductor on the railroad’s system.
- When Tubman was ultimately apprehended, slaveholders offered rewards totaling $40,000 for his apprehension.
She was referred to as “General” Tubman by John Brown, who sought her advice regarding his own plans to lead an anti-slavery attack on a government arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now in West Virginia).
In the years 1862 to 1865, she worked with the Union army in South Carolina as a scout, nurse, and laundress during the American Civil War.
During World War II, Tubman received such a meager wage that she had to rely on her baking business to make ends meet.
Former abolitionist colleagues and people of Auburn rallied behind the house, which remained in operation for several years after her death.
She petitioned for a government pension for her service during the Civil War in the late 1860s and again in the late 1990s.
A private measure offering for a $20 monthly stipend was enacted by Congress some 30 years after her work was recognized by the nation. In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the editors write about: Jeff Wallenfeldt has made the most current revisions and additions to this page.
- In the United States, Harriet Tubman, née Araminta Ross, (born c. 1820 in Dorchester County, Maryland, U.S.—died March 10, 1913 in Auburn, New York) was an abolitionist who managed to escape slavery in the South and rise to prominence before the American Civil War. As part of the Underground Railroad, which was an extensive hidden network of safe homes built specifically for this reason, she was responsible for guiding scores of enslaved persons to freedom in the northern United States. Araminta Ross was born into slavery and eventually took on the first name of her mother, Harriet. She was originally leased out to work when she was approximately five years old, initially as a nursemaid and then as a field laborer, a cook, and a woodcutter. When she was approximately 12 years old, she reportedly refused to assist an overseer in punishing another enslaved person
- As a result, he hurled an iron weight that accidently struck her, causing her to suffer a terrible brain injury, which she continued to suffer throughout her life. She married John Tubman, a free Black man, in around 1844. Tubman went to Philadelphia in 1849, on the strength of rumors that she was due to be sold. She left behind her husband (who refused to leave), parents, and siblings in order to escape. In December 1850, she made her way to Baltimore, Maryland, where she was reunited with her sister and two children who had joined her in the quest for freedom. That voyage was the first of around 13 progressively risky ventures into Maryland during which she guided approximately 70 fleeing enslaved individuals down the Underground Railroad to Canada over the course of the following decade. (Because of inflated estimates in Sara Bradford’s 1868 biography of Tubman, it was long believed that Tubman had made around 19 excursions into Maryland and escorted upwards of 300 individuals out of slavery.) Tubman had great courage, perseverance, and irondiscipline, all of which she instilled in her subordinates. If anyone opted to turn back, putting the mission in jeopardy, she allegedly threatened them with a rifle and stated, “You’ll either be free or you’ll die.” She was also resourceful, coming up with a variety of tactics to improve her chances of success. One such example was evading capture on Saturday evenings since the story would not emerge in the newspapers until the following Monday. Tubman became renowned as the “Moses of her people” after becoming the most well-known conductor on the railroad. Some claim she never lost track of a runaway she was escorting to freedom. Tubman’s capture resulted in a total of $40,000 in rewards from slaveholders. Abolitionists, on the other hand, praised her for her daring. She was referred to as “General” Tubman by John Brown, who sought her advice regarding his own plans to lead an anti-slavery attack on a federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now in West Virginia). About 1858, she purchased a small farm near Auburn, New York, where she settled her elderly parents (whom she had moved from Maryland in June 1857) and herself for the rest of her life. During the Civil War, she worked as a scout, healer, and laundress for Union soldiers in South Carolina from 1862 until 1865. Tubman spied on Confederate territory for the Second Carolina Volunteers, which was under the leadership of Col. James Montgomery. Montgomery’s men were able to launch well-coordinated attacks once she returned with intelligence regarding the locations of munitions stores and other strategic assets in the area. Tubman was paid so little for her wartime labor that she was forced to sustain herself by selling handmade baked products. Following the Civil War, Tubman relocated to Auburn and began caring for orphans and the elderly, a practice that culminated in the establishment of the Harriet Tubman Home for Indigent and Elderly Negroes. It eventually drew the support of old abolitionist comrades and inhabitants of Auburn, and it continued to operate for a number of years after her death. Aside from suffrage, Tubman became interested in a number of other issues, including the abolition of slavery. She petitioned for a government pension for her service during the Civil War twice, first in the late 1860s and again in the late 1990s. Some 30 years after her service, Congress enacted a private measure allowing her a $20 monthly stipend. The Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Editors Jeff Wallenfeldt has made the most current revisions and updates to this article.
The Underground Railroad’s conductors were well-versed in how to take advantage of any and all available opportunities. Freedom-seekers rested during the day and traveled the majority of their long-distance (5-10 mile) journeys at night, when they were less likely to be seen. Whenever it was necessary to travel during the day on the train, passengers took on errands and activities to give the impression that they were employed by someone in the vicinity. In spite of the fact that fleeing during the winter may be risky due to the severely cold environment of the northern hemisphere, the winter provided significantly longer periods of darkness under which to seek refuge.
- The Underground Railroad, on the other hand, has spawned a great deal of legend surrounding the signals that comrades would transmit to one another.
- For further information on more songs from this era, please see the Music in African American History lesson on EDSITEment’s website.
- While historians are divided on whether or not songs and textiles may have been used to transmit secret messages in the Underground Railroad system, they remain vital components of African American culture in the nineteenth century, regardless of whether they were utilized to do so.
- For a more detailed account of an Underground Railroad site financed by the National Endowment for the Humanities, see The President of the Underground Railroad (also known as the Underground Railroad President).
- Activities for the Lesson
Activity 1. The Life of Harriet Tubman
All feasible angles were utilized by the Underground Railroad’s conductors to their advantage. Freedom-seekers rested during the day and traveled the majority of the journey (5-10 miles) at night, when they were less likely to be seen by onlookers. Even when traveling during the afternoon, travelers used their time to do errands and do chores to give the impression that they were employed by someone in the neighborhood. Winter might be a perilous season to leave owing to the severely cold environment of the northern hemisphere, but also provided far longer periods of darkness under which to seek refuge.
- As a result, a great deal of legend has developed around the signals that allies would transmit to one another while traveling on the Underground Railroad.
- In order to learn more about additional songs from this era, please see the Music in African American History lesson on EDSITEment’s website.
- While historians are divided on whether or not songs and textiles may have been used to transmit hidden messages in the Underground Railroad system, they remain vital components of African American culture in the nineteenth century, regardless of whether or not they were employed.
- To learn more about an Underground Railroad site financed by the National Endowment for the Humanities, visit this website.
- Activities for the Lesson Plan
- What attributes or abilities did Tubman possess that distinguished her as an especially effective leader on the Underground Railroad
- And In what ways did Tubman’s allies assist her, and who were they? Why should Harriet Tubman be regarded as a significant figure in the history of the United States
Activity 2. Conducting the Underground Railroad
Students can work in pairs or small groups to evaluate primary materials and reply to the questions that have been set forth by the instructor. All of the letters and papers that were utilized during this activity may be used into the mapping activity and evaluation process as well.
For the primary sources, students can work in pairs or small groups to study them and reply to the questions that accompany them. All of the letters and papers that were utilized during this activity may be used into the mapping activity and assessment process as well.
- What, according to Douglass, is the fundamental difference between himself and Tubman
- Was there anything in Douglass’s letter that revealed what he thought of Tubman’s deed? What is it that Douglass wants Tubman to be recognized for?
After reading this letter from Thomas Garrett to Harriet Tubman, take some time to discuss the following questions.
- What does Garrett have to say about Tubman’s personality
- What kind of knowledge does Garrett have regarding assisting freedom-seekers in their attempts to elude slavery? When it comes to Tubman, how does Garrett feel? Look for proof as well as inferences from his tone of voice
The character of Tubman is described by Garrett. When it comes to assisting freedom-seekers in their escape from bondage, what knowledge does Garrett have to offer? When it comes to Tubman, what does Garrett think? Look for proof as well as inferences from his tone of voice.
- Describe the roles that Tubman played throughout the Civil War. How did her previous experience as a conductor on the Underground Railroad benefit her
- What did she want to do when she finished her military service? What obstacles did Tubman have to overcome in order to receive what she requested
- In the end, what was the result of this conflict
- What was it about Tubman that caused him to have such difficulties? Is there anything that can be done to rectify the situation?
Activity 3. Mapping the Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad produced a large number of lines that went in practically every direction. Some were more successful than others in their endeavors. Detail one route of the Underground Railroad and offer information about that route, using the resources listed below and the handout provided. Include the following information:
- In practically every direction, the Underground Railroad created several routes. The results varied from person to person. Detail one route of the Underground Railroad and offer information about that route, using the following resources and the handout supplied. Include information such as:
In addition to utilizing Google maps to locate the Underground Railroad, students should examine the Historic Hudson’s People Not Property website to learn more about the railroad. This interactive website describes what it was like to be enslaved and how it felt, as well as the implications and trade-offs that enslaved people were forced to make on a regular basis in their efforts to oppose tyranny and emancipation. Lesson Extensions includes a list of maintained Underground Railroad locations in each state, which may be found farther down on this page.
Assessment The students will write a proposal to Congress in order to synthesize the information they have learned about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.
Among the options include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The depiction of Harriet Tubman on U.S. banknotes
- Considering naming a highway or other public place in her name
- Erecting a statue or monument in her honor The declaration of a national holiday every year
Students will argue for Tubman’s significance in history, what sort of recognition she should get, and why a certain day, location, and media was chosen. Students will use primary materials to support their arguments. Their submission should be backed with a prototype, mock-up, or simulation that will provide Congress an idea of what they would be receiving as an award. Students can submit their recommendations to their representatives once they have been reviewed by a teacher. Extensions to the Lesson
Historic Underground Railroad Sites
In collaboration with the National Park Service, a list of historic places believed to have served as stations or major meeting spots on the Underground Railroad has been created. If you were unaware that the network went all the way to Hawaii and the United States Virgin Islands, you would be shocked!
Enter your state or region to see photographs, videos, and educational material about your state or territory, including information regarding student visits. A few sites also provide lesson ideas for students in grades K-12.
National Archival Collections
In collaboration with the National Park Service, a list of historic places believed to have served as stations or major meeting spots for the Underground Railroad has been created. If you were unaware that the network went all the way to Hawaii and the United States Virgin Islands, you might be astonished! Enter your state or region to see photographs, videos, and educational material about your state or territory, including details regarding student visits. K-12 lesson plans are also available on several websites.
Regional Archival Collections
In cooperation with the National Park Service, a list of historic places believed to have served as stations or major meeting spots on the Underground Railroad has been created. You might be astonished to learn that the network reached all the way to Hawaii and the United States Virgin Islands! Look up your state or region on this site to see photographs, videos, and instructional information, as well as specifics regarding school visits. A few websites also provide lesson ideas for students in grades K-12.
HTubman – Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)
Harriet Tubman, about 1871, courtesy of the Library of Congress Harriet Tubman is a national hero in the United States. She was a conductor on the Underground Railroad, a military leader, a suffragist, and a descendant of the Ashanti ethnic group in Ghana. The sacrifices she made in order to free her family and friends from slavery continue to serve as an example for people today.
Enslaved Families in Dorchester County
During the summer of 1822, Araminta Ross (Harriet Tubman) was born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in Dorchester County. Harriet Tubman’s parents, Harriet “Rit” (mother) and Ben Ross (father), were the parents of nine children, including Harriet Tubman. Tubman did not have the opportunity to spend quality time with her family when she was a youngster. The only ones who were sent to Edward Brodess’ property in Bucktown were Tubman, her mother, and her brothers; the rest remained with their slaveholder, Edward Brodess.
- Her mother abandoned her when she was six years old and she was forced to work for various masters to care for their children and capture and trap muskrats in the Little Blackwater River.
- Tubman recalled the emotional anguish she had had when away from her family, and she vowed that she would never go through it again.
- Photo courtesy of the National Park Service’s Beth Parnicza Harriet Tubman fought against slavery for the majority of her years at the plantation.
- While attempting to throw a two-pound weight at the enslaved man, the overseer accidentally flung it at Tubman in the head, nearly killing her.
- Tubman’s mother tried everything she could to nurse her daughter back to health, but she was snatched away from her and forced to return to work once more.
- Tubman rented herself out and worked in the forest fields with her father at Stewart’s Canal at Parson’s Creek, cutting and logging wood down the canal to support the family’s living expenses.
- Another set of navigational abilities that Tubman learned came from African American mariners (sailors) who worked in the Parson’s Creek wood fields during his time there.
- They used their ships to convey products to Baltimore, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, among other places.
- When she was laboring in the marshlands of Parson’s Creek, she met and married her first husband, John Tubman, who happened to be a free man at the time.
- Both free and enslaved African Americans shared the same settlement in Dorchester County, where they lived and worked.
- Liberated African Americans gave information on the location of safe homes and routes on the Underground Railroad to others seeking liberation from slavery.
The marshlands of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge serve as a reminder of the area on which Harriet Tubman toiled as an oppressed child until she reached maturity and eventually escaped slavery. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service’s Beth Parnicza
Escape from Slavery
Tubman’s enslaver, Edward Brodess, passed away in March of 1849, according to historical records. Tubman was well aware that in order for Brodess’s wife to settle her husband’s debts, she would have to sell some of her slaves, which she did not want to do. Tubman did not want to be sold away from her family and into the much more cruel circumstances of slavery in the far South, which would have meant being separated from her children. She escaped from slavery on her own in the fall of 1849, and she eventually achieved freedom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Despite the fact that Harriet Tubman gained her freedom, she was forced to live apart from her family.
It was during the Civil War when Tubman’s service as a liberator was most prominent (1861-1865). Tubman’s connections with well-known black and white abolitionists in the North attracted the attention of various white politicians before to the outbreak of the Civil War. Following Tubman’s success in releasing slaves on the Underground Railroad out of Maryland and transporting them north into Philadelphia and St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, Massachusetts Governor John Andrew became aware of his accomplishments.
Tubman landed at Port Royal, South Carolina, in 1862 to assist Union generals in recruiting black men, to act as a spy for the Union, and to provide nursing services to injured soldiers.
Tubman, Colonel James Montgomery, and the 2nd Carolina Colored Infantry were responsible for the burning of multiple plantations, the destruction of Confederate supply lines, and the abolition of slavery for more than 750 individuals.
Life in Auburn, New York
Harriet Tubman and her family purchased a mansion in Auburn, New York, from Senator William H. Seward in 1859 to use as a home for themselves and their children. The quest for equality and voting rights by women and African Americans did not end with the end of World War II. After joining the National Association of Colored Women, which advocated for the emancipation and suffrage of African-American women, Tubman became a co-founder of the organization. Harriet Davis married Civil War soldier Nelson Davis in 1869, and the couple adopted their daughter Gertie as a child.
She was a fighter all of her life, and she died like a warrior.
During World War II, she was honored by having a ship named after her.
She is set to debut on the next twenty-dollar note in the year 2020, according to the Treasury Department. Tubman’s narrative is one of compassion and courage, and it continues to have an impact on people’s lives today.