How Many Years Was Harriet Tubman Working On The Underground Railroad? (Perfect answer)

FACT: In fact, Tubman was a relatively young woman during the 11 years she worked as an Underground Railroad conductor. She escaped slavery, alone, in the fall of 1849, when she was 27 years old.

What are three facts about Harriet Tubman?

  • Facts about Harriet Tubman. Fact 3: Harriet had many strong visions and dreams. She was a devout Christian, and she attributed these visions as being revelations from God. Fact 4: During the Civil War, Harriet worked as a cook, a nurse and as a scout bearing arms. Later she worked as a spy.

How many years did Harriet Tubman help with the Underground Railroad?

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.”

When did Harriet Tubman start working for the Underground Railroad?

On this date in 1849, Harriet Tubman began her work with the Underground Railroad. This was a network of antislavery activists who helped African slaves escape from the South. On her first trip, Tubman brought her own sister and her sister’s two children out of slavery in Maryland.

How many years did the Underground Railroad operate?

system used by abolitionists between 1800-1865 to help enslaved African Americans escape to free states.

Did Harriet Tubman marry a white man?

Tubman’s owners, the Brodess family, “loaned” her out to work for others while she was still a child, under what were often miserable, dangerous conditions. Sometime around 1844, she married John Tubman, a free Black man.

Is Gertie Davis died?

By age five, Tubman’s owners rented her out to neighbors as a domestic servant. Early signs of her resistance to slavery and its abuses came at age twelve when she intervened to keep her master from beating an enslaved man who tried to escape.

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.

When did the Underground Railroad end?

End of the Line The Underground Railroad ceased operations about 1863, during the Civil War. In reality, its work moved aboveground as part of the Union effort against the Confederacy.

Does the Underground Railroad still exist?

It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.

How many slaves did Harriet Tubman save?

Fact: According to Tubman’s own words, and extensive documentation on her rescue missions, we know that she rescued about 70 people —family and friends—during approximately 13 trips to Maryland.

Did Harriet Tubman have epilepsy?

Her mission was getting as many men, women and children out of bondage into freedom. When Tubman was a teenager, she acquired a traumatic brain injury when a slave owner struck her in the head. This resulted in her developing epileptic seizures and hypersomnia.

How many slaves did Jefferson own?

Despite working tirelessly to establish a new nation founded upon principles of freedom and egalitarianism, Jefferson owned over 600 enslaved people during his lifetime, the most of any U.S. president.

Harriet Tubman

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

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 Was Harriet Tubman Born?

Harriet Tubman was born in 1820 on a plantation in Dorchester County, Maryland, and became well-known as a pioneer. Her parents, Harriet (“Rit”) Green and Benjamin Ross, gave her the name Araminta Ross and referred to her as “Minty” as a nickname. Rit worked as a chef in the plantation’s “large house,” while Benjamin was a wood worker on the plantation’s “little house.” As a tribute to her mother, Araminta changed her given name to Harriet later in life. However, the reality of slavery pulled many of Harriet’s siblings and sisters apart, despite Rit’s attempts to keep the family united.

Harriet was hired as a muskrat trap setter by a planter when she was seven years old, and she was later hired as a field laborer by the same planter.

A Good Deed Gone Bad

Harriet’s yearning for justice first manifested itself when she was 12 years old and witnessed an overseer prepare to hurl a heavy weight at a runaway. Harriet took a step between the enslaved person and the overseer, and the weight of the person smacked her in the head. Afterwards, she described the occurrence as follows: “The weight cracked my head. They had to carry me to the home because I was bleeding and fainting. Because I was without a bed or any place to lie down at all, they threw me on the loom’s seat, where I stayed for the rest of the day and the following day.” As a result of her good act, Harriet has suffered from migraines and narcolepsy for the remainder of her life, forcing her to go into a deep slumber at any time of day.

She was undesirable to potential slave purchasers and renters because of her physical disability.

Escape from Slavery

A fugitive was going to be hit by a big weight when Harriet, then 12 years old, saw and intervened. She was inspired to pursue justice. A heavy weight fell on Harriet’s head as she stood between an enslaved individual and an overseer. “The weight fractured my head,” she subsequently explained of the incident. Helicopters transported me to the home as I was writhing in pain. Because I was without a bed or any other place to rest at all, they threw me on the loom’s seat, where I remained for the rest of the day and the next.

She also began to have intense dreams and hallucinations, which she said were holy experiences, which she described in detail (she was a staunch Christian). Potential slave purchasers and tenants were turned off by her physical disability.

Harriet Tubman: Underground Railroad

On September 17, 1849, Harriet, Ben, and Henry managed to flee their Maryland farm and reach the United States. The brothers, on the other hand, changed their minds and returned. Harriet persisted, and with the assistance of the Underground Railroad, she was able to journey 90 miles north to Pennsylvania and freedom. Tubman got employment as a housekeeper in Philadelphia, but she wasn’t content with simply being free on her own; she desired freedom for her family and friends, as well as for herself.

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She attempted to relocate her husband John to the north at one time, but he had remarried and preferred to remain in Maryland with his new wife.

Fugitive Slave Act

The Runaway Slave Act of 1850 authorized the apprehension and enslavement of fugitive and released laborers in the northern United States. Consequently, Harriet’s task as an Underground Railroad guide became much more difficult, and she was obliged to take enslaved people even farther north into Canada by leading them through the night, generally during the spring or fall when the days were shorter. She carried a revolver for her personal security as well as to “encourage” any of her charges who might be having second thoughts about following her orders.

Within 10 years, Harriet became acquainted with other abolitionists like as Frederick Douglass, Thomas Garrett, and Martha Coffin Wright, and she built her own Underground Railroad network of her own.

Despite this, it is thought that Harriet personally guided at least 70 enslaved persons to freedom, including her elderly parents, and that she educated scores of others on how to escape on their own in the years following the Civil War.

The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico.

Harriet Tubman’s Civil War Service

In 1861, as the American Civil War broke out, Harriet discovered new methods of combating slavery. She was lured to Fort Monroe to provide assistance to runaway enslaved persons, where she served as a nurse, chef, and laundress. In order to assist sick troops and runaway enslaved people, Harriet employed her expertise of herbal medicines. She rose to the position of director of an intelligence and reconnaissance network for the Union Army in 1863. In addition to providing Union commanders with critical data regarding Confederate Army supply routes and personnel, she assisted in the liberation of enslaved persons who went on to join Black Union battalions.

Despite being at just over five feet tall, she was a force to be reckoned with, despite the fact that it took more than three decades for the government to recognize her military accomplishments and provide her with financial compensation.

Harriet Tubman’s Later Years

Following the Civil War, Harriet moved to Auburn, New York, where she lived with her family and friends on land she owned. After her husband John died in 1867, she married Nelson Davis, a former enslaved man and Civil War soldier, in 1869. A few years later, they adopted a tiny girl named Gertie, who became their daughter. Harriet maintained an open-door policy for anyone who was in need of assistance. In order to sustain her philanthropic endeavors, she sold her homegrown fruit, raised pigs, accepted gifts, and borrowed money from family and friends.

  1. She also collaborated with famed suffrage activist Susan B.
  2. Harriet Tubman acquired land close to her home in 1896 and built the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged and Indigent Colored People, which opened in 1897.
  3. However, her health continued to deteriorate, and she was finally compelled to relocate to the rest home that bears her name in 1911.
  4. Schools and museums carry her name, and her life story has been told in novels, films, and documentaries, among other mediums.

Harriet Tubman: 20 Dollar Bill

The SS Harriet Tubman, which was named for Tubman during World War I, is a memorial to her legacy. In 2016, the United States Treasury announced that Harriet Tubman’s portrait will be used on the twenty-dollar note, replacing the image of former President and slaveowner Andrew Jackson. Later, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (who previously worked under President Trump) indicated that the new plan will be postponed until at least 2026 at the earliest. President Biden’s administration announced in January 2021 that it would expedite the design phase of the project.

Sources

Early years of one’s life. The Harriet Tubman Historical Society was founded in 1908. General Tubman was a female abolitionist who also served as a secret military weapon during the Civil War. Military Times is a publication that publishes news on the military. Harriet Tubman is a historical figure. Biography. Biography. Harriet Tubman is a historical figure. Thompson AME Zion Church, Thompson Home for the Aged, and Thompson Residence are all located in Thompson. The National Park Service is a federal agency.

  1. Myths against facts.
  2. Kate Clifford Larson, Ph.D.
  3. Harriet Tubman is a historical figure.
  4. National Women’s History Museum exhibit about Harriet Tubman.

Harriet Tubman, “The Moses of Her People,” is a fictional character created by author Harriet Tubman. The Harriet Tubman Historical Society was founded in 1908. Harriet Tubman is a historical figure. The Underground Railroad (Urban Railroad). The National Park Service is a federal agency.

Harriet Tubman

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Tubman went to Philadelphia in 1849, allegedly on the basis of rumors that she was due to be sold.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. One such example was evading capture on Saturday evenings since the story would not emerge in the newspapers until the following Monday.
  7. 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: Timeline of Her Life, Underground Rail Service and Activism

After fleeing slavery on her own in 1849, Harriet Tubman became a savior for others who were attempting to travel on the Underground Railroad. Between 1850 and 1860, she is reported to have undertaken 13 voyages and freed around 70 enslaved persons, many of them were members of her own family. She also shared information with others in order for them to find their way to freedom in the north. Tubman assisted so many people in escape slavery that she was given the nickname “Moses.” Tubman collaborated with abolitionists in order to put an end to slavery, which she hoped would be accomplished.

Affirming the right of women to vote and speaking out against discrimination were among the many things she did despite her continual financial difficulties in the battle for equality and justice.

c. 1822: Tubman is born as Araminta “Minty” Ross in Maryland’s Dorchester County

Since her parents, Ben Ross and Harriet “Rit” Green, are both enslaved, Ross was born into the same condition as her parents. Despite the fact that her birthdate is frequently given as about 1820, a document from March 1822 indicates that a midwife had been paid for caring for Green, suggesting that she was born in February or March of that year. When Tubman is around five or six years old, her enslavers rent her out to care for a newborn, which takes place around the year 1828. She gets flogged for any perceived errors on her part.

  1. Her responsibilities include checking muskrat traps in damp wetlands, which she does on foot.
  2. An overseer tosses a two-pound weight at another slave, but the weight strikes Tubman in the head.
  3. 1834-1836: She only just manages to survive the traumatic injury and will continue to suffer from headaches for the rest of her life.
  4. Tubman works as a field laborer, which she prefers over inside jobs, around the year 1835.
  5. In 1840, Tubman’s father is released from the bonds of servitude.
  6. When she marries, Tubman takes on the last name of her mother, Harriet.
  7. Tubman and two of her brothers leave for the north on September 17, 1849, in an attempt to escape slavery.

October 1849: Tubman runs away

She was born into a family of enslaved people since her parents, Ben Ross and Harriet “Rit” Green, are both enslaved. Despite the fact that her birthdate has typically been given as approximately 1820, a document from March 1822 indicates that a midwife had been paid for caring for Green, indicating that she was born in February or March of that year instead. When Tubman is around five or six years old, her enslavers engage her to care for a newborn. This takes place around the year 1828. If she is found to have made any mistakes, she will be lashed.

  1. Walks into damp marshes to check on the muskrat traps are part of her responsibilities.
  2. An overseer tosses a two-pound weight at another slave, but the weight strikes Tubman in the head.
  3. 1834-1836 As a result of her traumatic injury, she will continue to suffer from headaches for the rest of her life.
  4. Tubman is employed as a field laborer, a position she prefers over that of an insider.
  5. It is the year 1840, and Tubman’s father has been released from slavery.
  6. She takes on her mother’s maiden name, Harriet, once she marries John Tubman.

Tubman’s owner passes away on March 7, 1849, causing her to dread that she may be auctioned off. Tubman and two of her brothers set off for the north on September 17, 1849, in an attempt to escape slavery in the South. They feel frightened, though, and manage to persuade their sister to come back.

June 1857: Tubman brings her parents from Maryland to Canada

Her parents, Ben Ross and Harriet “Rit” Green, are both enslaved, which means that Ross was born into the same situation as her parents. Despite the fact that her birthdate has typically been given as about 1820, a document from March 1822 indicates that a midwife had been paid for caring for Green, suggesting that she was born in February or March of that year. Tubman is around five or six years old when her enslavers rent her out to care for a newborn in the year 1828. She is beaten for any perceived errors.

  • Her responsibilities include inspecting muskrat traps in wetlands that are flooded.
  • An overseer tosses a two-pound weight at another slave, but the weight strikes Tubman in the head.
  • The possibility that this injury caused her to develop temporal lobe epilepsy, which would account for her visions and sleeping episodes, exists.
  • Tubman’s elder sisters are sold and taken out of Maryland in the 1830s.
  • 1844: She marries John Tubman, a free Black man, despite the fact that her position as a slave makes the relationship illegal.
  • Tubman’s owner passes away on March 7, 1849, causing her to fear being sold.
  • The guys, on the other hand, feel anxious and persuade their sister to come back.
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December 1860: Tubman makes her last trip on the Underground Railroad

Tubman joins Union forces in South Carolina in 1862, following the outbreak of the American Civil War. She decides to become a nurse while simultaneously operating a laundry and works as a chef to supplement her income.

c. 1863: Tubman serves as a spy for the Union

She collaborates with former slaves from the surrounding region in order to gain intelligence on the opposing Confederate army. READ MORE: Harriet Tubman’s Activist Service as a Union Spy (in English) Tubman conducts an armed attack along the Combahee River in South Carolina on the first and second of June, 1863. The expedition damages Confederate supplies and results in the liberation of more than 700 enslaved individuals. Tubman holds the distinction of becoming the first woman to command a military mission in the United States.

  • Tubman is allowed a vacation in June 1864, and she travels to Auburn to see her parents for the first time.
  • After the Civil War is over, she travels to Washington, D.C., where she notifies the surgeon general that Black troops are being treated in terrible conditions in military hospitals during the reconstruction period.
  • After the Underground Railroad, there was a flurry of activity.
  • She is unsuccessful, in part because of the turbulence surrounding President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, and in part because of Seward’s protracted recuperation from stab wounds sustained during an assassination attempt on Lincoln’s life.
  • She protects her rights, but she is forcibly taken from the situation.
  • (though the official publication date is listed as 1869).
  • Harriet Tubman in her early twenties, around 1868 Image courtesy of the Library of Congress/Getty Images On March 18, 1869, Tubman marries Nelson Davis, a 25-year-old freed slave and Civil War veteran who was a former slave himself.

Tubman is robbed by a group of guys who deceive her into believing they can give her with Confederate wealth. It is the year 1873. Tubman and her husband adopt a daughter, whom they name Gertie Davis, who is born in the year 1874.

June 1886: Tubman buys 25 acres of land next to her home in Auburn to create a nursing home for Black Americans.

The rewritten biography of Harriet Tubman, Harriet, the Moses of Her People, is released in October 1886. Tubman’s husband, who had been suffering from TB, died on October 18, 1888. Tubman becomes increasingly interested in the fight for women’s suffrage in the 1890s. Tubman asks for a pension as a widow of a Civil War veteran in June 1890. On October 16, 1895, Tubman is authorized for a war widow pension of $8 per month, which will be paid for the rest of her life. The National Association of Colored Women’s inaugural meeting was held in July 1896, and Tubman delivered the keynote address.

  • Anthony during a suffrage conference in Rochester, New York, in November 1896.
  • Tubman is also invited to visit England to commemorate the queen’s birthday, but Tubman’s financial difficulties make this an impossible for the time being.
  • Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, courtesy of Charles L.
  • Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
  • In 1899, the United States Congress increases Tubman’s pension to $20 per month, although the increase is for her nursing services rather than for her military efforts.
  • It will be run by the AME Zion Church, which has taken over the rights to the site and will be operating it.
  • Supporters are raising money to help pay for her medical expenses.

March 10, 1913: Tubman dies following a battle with pneumonia

Harriet, the Moses of Her People, a rewritten biography of Harriet Tubman, is released in October 1886. Tubman’s husband passes away on October 18, 1888, after contracting TB in the previous year. 1900s:Tubman becomes more active in the fight for the right to vote for women. Tubman asks for a pension as a widow of a Civil War veteran in the month of June in 1890. In the month of October 1895, Tubman is authorized for a $8-per-month war widow pension. The National Association of Colored Women was founded in July 1896, and Tubman was one of the speakers at the first meeting.

  • Anthony introduce Tubman.
  • A visit to England to celebrate the queen’s birthday has also been extended to Tubman, but due to Tubman’s financial difficulties, this is deemed impractical.
  • Charles L.
  • Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
  • Tubman’s pension is increased to $20 per month in 1899, although the increase is for her nursing skills rather than her military service.

Because the AME Zion Church has acquired the deed to the land, it will be operated by the church. Tubman is admitted to the Harriet Tubman Home on May 19, 1911, due to illness. Supporters are raising money to help pay for her medical treatment and other costs of living.

Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad

The rewritten biography of Harriet Tubman, titled Harriet, the Moses of Her People, is released in October 1886. Tubman’s spouse passes away on October 18, 1888, after contracting TB. Tubman becomes more interested in the fight for women’s suffrage in the 1890s. Tubman applies for a pension as a Civil War widow in June 1890. Tubman is authorized for a war widow pension of $8 per month on October 16, 1895. Tubman delivers a speech at the National Association of Colored Women’s inaugural meeting in July 1896.

  • Anthony at a suffrage conference in Rochester, New York, in November 1896.
  • Tubman is also invited to visit England to celebrate the queen’s birthday, but Tubman’s financial difficulties make this an impossibility.
  • Charles L.
  • 50.39 Tubman has brain surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in the late 1890s in an attempt to cure her excruciating migraines.
  • The Civil War heroine Harriet Tubman (far left), about 1900Photo courtesy of MPI/Getty Images The Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged was dedicated on June 23, 1908, and Tubman was present.
  • On May 19, 1911, an unwell Harriet Tubman is admitted to the Harriet Tubman Home.
  • Harriet Tubman: A Resource Guide
  • Harriet Tubman: A Resource Guide
  • Runaway! from Slavery in America: A Resource Guide
  • Slavery in America: A Resource Guide Newspaper advertisements for fugitive slaves, as well as a blog called Headlines and Heroes Topics in Chronicling America: Fugitive Slave Advertisements

A Guide to Resources on Harriet Tubman Runaway! from Slavery in America: A Resource Guide; Runaway! from Slavery in America: A Resource Guide Newspaper advertisements for fugitive slaves, as well as a blog called Headlines and Heroes; Topics in Chronicling America: Fugitive Slave Advertisements

Harriet Tubman (U.S. National Park Service)

Harriet Tubman: A Resource Guide; Harriet Tubman: A Resource Guide Runaway! from Slavery in America: A Resource Guide; Slavery in America: A Resource Guide; fugitive slave advertisements in newspapers, a site called Headlines and Heroes; Topics in Chronicling America: Fugitive Slave Ads;

Learn More

You might be interested in reading the following articles to learn more about Harriet Tubman and her legacy: Identifying the year in which Harriet Tubman was born Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad is a historical fiction novel. Harriet Tubman and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment Harriet Tubman as a Reimagined Figure

Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad: how one woman saved hundreds from hell

She had managed to get away from hell. Slavery in the United States was a hellish experience characterised by bondage, racist treatment, terrorism, degrading conditions, backbreaking labor, beatings, and whippings. Harriet Tubman escaped from her Maryland farm and walked over 90 miles by herself to reach the free state of Pennsylvania, where she died in 1865. In order to make the perilous voyage, she had to go at night through woods and through streams, with little food, and dreading anybody who would gladly give her back to her masters in order to receive a reward.

Her 1849 escape from slavery was described as follows: “When I realized I had crossed the border, I glanced at my hands to check if I was the same person.” “There was such a radiance in everything.” I had the feeling that I was in heaven as the sun filtered through the trees and over the meadows.” Tubman was transferred to a region where she could live somewhat free of bondage thanks to the Underground Railroad; but, while others endured cruelty and misery, she would risk her life as the network’s most renowned conductor.

Tubman made it out of hell just to turn around and walk right back into it.

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.

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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.

The fact that Tubman had to flee slavery twice makes her story even more remarkable. On the 17th of September, she set out with two of her brothers towards the north, only to return to the plantation when Harry and Ben changed their minds. Instead of continuing without them, Tubman made sure they returned before attempting a second time. Walking the 90 miles would have taken her anything from one to three weeks. After arriving in Philadelphia and proclaiming it to be “paradise,” Tubman immediately realized that her mission had only just begun, and she resolved to save her family and friends from the horrors of slavery as well.

Tubman conducted 13 voyages as a ‘conductor’ of the Underground Railroad during the next decade, the first of which took place in 1847 in New York City (some accounts say she went as many as 19 times).

Tubman used to brag about how she had never lost a single passenger on her journeys.

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?

Sophie Beale, a journalist, investigates. The first bullets of the American Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861, in the state of Virginia. Tubman had a large number of abolitionist admirers by this time, and Massachusetts governor John Andrew funded her to travel to Port Royal, South Carolina, which had recently been liberated from the Confederates by Union forces. Her first assignment after the onset of war was as a volunteer with Union troops stationed near Fort Munroe in Virginia. Harriet worked wherever she was needed: nursing those suffering from disease, which was common in the hot climate; coordinating the distribution of charitable aid to the thousands of ex-slaves who lived behind union lines; and supervising the construction of a laundry house, where she taught women how to earn money by washing clothes for others.

Hunter delegated power to Tubman to assemble a group of scouts who would enter and survey the interior of the country.

This persuaded Union leaders of the value of guerrilla operations, which led to the infamous Combahee River Raid, in which Tubman served as scout and adviser to Colonel Montgomery, commander of the second South Carolina volunteers, one of the new black infantry regiments, during the American Civil War.

  • In order to avoid rebel underwater explosives, Tubman escorted them to certain locations along the beach.
  • Others seized thousands of dollars’ worth of crops and animals, destroying whatever that was left behind as they did so.
  • As soon as everyone had boarded the steamers, they began their journey back up the river, transporting the 756 freshly freed slaves to Port Royal.
  • Using the exact people the Confederates wished to keep subdued and enslaved, this well-coordinated invasion had dealt a devastating blow to the Confederates’ cause.
  • She received such low salary that she was forced to sustain herself by selling handmade pies, ginger bread, and root beer, and she received no remuneration at all for more than three decades.
  • A renowned icon of the anti-slavery movement today, she was the subject of two biographies (written in 1869 and 1866) with the revenues going entirely to assist her pay her debts to the institution of slavery.
  • As a result of her lectures in favour of women’s suffrage, she was invited to be the keynote speaker at the first conference of the National Association of Colored Women, which took place in 1896.
  • (When she was a conductor, she had returned to save John Tubman, but he had remarried by the time she returned.) Tubman and Davis became the parents of a newborn girl named Gertie, whom they adopted as a couple.

She died of pneumonia on March 10, 1913, in the presence of her family and close friends. Her dying words, spoken as a fervent Christian till the end, were, “I am going to prepare a place for you.”

  • When it comes to slavery, Lincoln said, “If I could save the union without liberating a single slave, I would.”

If her deeds and accomplishments aren’t enough of a testament, these final remarks eloquently depict a lady who has dedicated her life to others while seeking no recognition or glory for herself. A lady who rose to prominence in the United States while remaining anonymous. A lady who was able to escape the misery of being a slave and went on to assist others in doing the same has been honored. “Most of what I have done and suffered in the service of our cause has been done and suffered in public, and I have received much encouragement at every step of the way,” Frederick Douglass, Tubman’s friend and revered abolitionist, wrote to Tubman about her time as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.

“I have worked throughout the day; you have worked during the night.”

Jonny Wilkes is a freelance writer specialising in history

This article was first published in History Revealed in January 2017 and has since been updated.

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