February or March, 1822 (?)
March 10, 1913
Place of Birth:
Bucktown, Dorchester County, Maryland
Harriet Tubman is credited with having helped free as many as 300 Negro people from slavery.
Her given name was Araminta and she was one of nine children born to slaves Benjamin Ross and Harriet Greene Ross.
She was owned by Edward Brodess who often hired her out to other slave masters.
At one point when Harriet Tubman was just 13, one of her overseers struck her with a two pound weight which caused Tubman to have epileptic seizures the rest of her life.
Although as a slave Tubman was never allowed to attend school, she had innate intelligence and determination.
At 24, she married a freeman named John Tubman but she still had to work as a slave.
She wanted to be free like her husband and, using her own resources, hired a lawyer to check her situation.
The lawyer found out that her mother should have actually been free because of a previous master having died.
This meant that Tubman and her mother should both have been set free but were kept on as slaves.
Finding that she was to be sold to someone in the south, Tubman with two brothers escaped to the north.
At this time, states in the north did not uphold slavery, and Tubman reached Philadelphia through use of the
The Underground Railway was a system of safe houses that protected slaves as they went north.
Tubman disguised herself and returned to Maryland to bring her husband back north.
To Harriet Tubman's disappointment, her husband had taken another wife while she was away.
She then decided to change her name to Harriet and become a "conductor" on the Underground Railway.
Over the next ten years, Harriet Tubman made many trips from Maryland to Philadelphia bringing slaves to freedom.
During the Civil War, Tubman took an active part as a spy, scout, cook, and nurse for the north.
Over the next several years, she was admired by both blacks and white for her tremendous contribution.
She wrote a book about her life which paid off a mortgage on her house.
Harriet Tubman was further recognized by the Postal Service issuing a stamp in her honor.
For detailed research and more information, check out the following:
Harrie Tubman Site
About Famous People
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Last Updated: January 21, 2017
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