Harriet Tubman

Today we are beginning our Start to finish book on Harriet Tubman

Click on the picture of Harriet to hear a jingcast of this post

Harriet Tubman (1820-1913, March 10th)

Harriet Tubman (1820-1913, March 10th)

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 underground_railroadand escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to frederick_douglasFrederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she “never lost a single passenger.”

Tubman was born a slave in plaque11947889Maryland’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.

Underground Railroad safe house- Maryland

Underground Railroad safe house- Maryland

House on the Underground Railroad- Maryland

She set out one night on foot. With some assistance from a friendly white woman, Tubman was on her way.

North Star or Pole star led runaways slaves to freedom in the north.

North Star or Pole star led runaways slaves to freedom in the north.

She followed the North Star by night, making her way to

Harriet went from Maryland to Pennsylvania

Harriet went from Maryland to Pennsylvania

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.

Harriet Tubman with members of her family she helped escape

Harriet Tubman with members of her family she helped escape

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

Harriet often used Master's Horse and buggy to bring slaves to freedom

Harriet often used Master's Horse and buggy to bring slaves to freedom

using the master’s horse and buggy for the first leg of the journey; leaving on a Saturday night, since runaway notices

A runaway slave reward notice

A runaway slave reward notice

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.

Harriet Tubman was called Moses  because she led her people to Freedom

Harriet Tubman was called Moses because she led her people to Freedom

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 [Harriet Tubman].”
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.

47 responses

  1. laura


    February 23, 2009 at 3:02 pm

  2. What a brave woman!

    February 24, 2009 at 8:28 pm

  3. megan fox

    Harriet tubman made a huge difference in slavery. It’s really interesting and exciting to hear about her life.

    March 7, 2009 at 2:41 pm

  4. Detrich

    I’m always intrigued to read about Harriet Tubman. She’s a driving force to read about for the PROUD,STRONG BLACK WOMEN.

    March 22, 2009 at 12:45 am

  5. Ryan C.

    thanks for this post on harriet tubman
    before reading this, i only vaguely remembered learning about her in history, but now i know she is real hero! 🙂

    June 6, 2009 at 4:53 am

  6. KAIA

    she is a strong black WOMEN

    July 11, 2009 at 8:12 am

  7. she was a beautiful women she helped all the black people

    September 10, 2009 at 3:22 pm

  8. Blindly, and without any images, I sculpted Harriet’s head/bust and my hands knew not what was the final art piece! I am sure my clay was controlled by something/someone greater than I. Perhaps I was one Harriet of St. George’s County.

    October 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm

  9. kelci

    she helped alot of people

    November 3, 2009 at 9:33 pm

  10. Alma

    SHe was a strong black woman and never backed down!

    November 4, 2009 at 7:13 pm

  11. preetii

    i think shes a hero even tho im a brown girll i think she is the hero of the dayy:)

    November 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm

  12. tieya

    iam sorry that you got hit with a 2 pouds brick when you was 13 years old

    November 27, 2009 at 11:27 pm

  13. shay

    i love her for that i am glad i am not black no ofence but i am sorry you were treated that way but that was life

    December 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm


    December 14, 2009 at 4:59 pm

  15. Angle

    i never knew anything about Harrit Tumbun but after i read this and see the pictures it showed me how she was a brave strong African American that helped serve her people. To me she is the bravest woman i have ever heard of.

    December 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm

  16. hey what,s going on

    December 15, 2009 at 3:10 pm

  17. It is with the spirit of Harriet Tubman that I will lead my people to financial freedom.

    December 22, 2009 at 1:35 pm

  18. i am 12 and love her. What she did i was on the top of of sit, thinking is her master coming for. But no she got 300 people out of being a slave and got them to the nroth save.So to this day Harriet is my role model. Is she yours??????

    January 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm

  19. Jessica

    Harriet was a very brave woman and I think it took alot of courage to do what she did considering the risks it had on her.

    January 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm

  20. most people should be happy dat harriet tubman showed owr black people how to get to sweet freedow cuz wit out her helping us we would be i slavey till diz same day so i thank her 4 loving her people and we love her… we will awaya remeber u and we love u.. thax 4 freeing owr people. ;’)

    January 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm

  21. harriet you were a good person! thank you for all you did!!!!!
    we love u !! well i do !!!

    January 20, 2010 at 10:57 am

  22. im doing a project on her and she was a great woman

    January 26, 2010 at 4:59 pm

  23. connor

    you are a brave and a kind person thank you for doing that

    January 27, 2010 at 7:21 am

  24. omg she is like so awsome

    February 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm

  25. vip

    she is good

    February 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm

  26. presh

    She’s awesome and i respect her.

    February 23, 2010 at 8:22 pm

  27. you are a brave woman i love you

    March 1, 2010 at 12:49 am

  28. Ron Carlo P.


    March 2, 2010 at 10:37 pm

  29. Antonia

    With all due respect to all the comments that preceed before me, not one person has seemed to have the God-indowed insight to understand that she, and others like her in history {i.e., King}, were unstoppable FORCES based soley on the fact that the ULTIMATE force behind these mere “human” vessels was GOD HIMSELF! I believe When God ordains a certain event for a certain point in time to take place in the world, He also predestines a certain individual to be born, grow up, & at the appointed hour to “heed the call” {in complete submission & obedience AT ANY COST to HIS Will}, to accept and carry out their assignment. They can NEVER be “overthrown” in any true sense of the word if you REALLY understand WHO GOD IS. In otherwords, there is no depravity that has existed or WILL EVER exist amoung humankind that can thrawt any individual annointed/appointed to carry out HIS plan & purpose. Such women & men in history are like “untouchables.” And If they could speak to us today from the grave, it is with afore mentioned God-inspired insight that I can attest unequivocally &
    WITHOUT QUETION that they each would wholeheartedly say, “The world seeks to bestow all this honor on an insignificant vessel who’s only true success & accomplishment was only in MERE OBEDIENCE. Every ounce of credit for my successes & contribution to mankind should rightly go to no-one else Lord…. but YOU.

    March 21, 2010 at 12:29 am

  30. Meisha Fiwelds

    Hi, MY NAME IS MEiSHA AND iM FROM TEXAS.”it breaks my heart to know people who do something like that.SLAVERY is not the answer.im a african american and i really appreciate everything she’s done for her people.

    March 26, 2010 at 11:35 am

  31. I am so amazed of how african-amercians can do such great things.Especailly Harriet Tubman..

    April 14, 2010 at 8:42 pm

  32. ociris


    April 23, 2010 at 9:25 pm

  33. Hailey

    what an amazing woman…

    May 10, 2010 at 12:42 pm

  34. RMuhammad

    Harriet Tubman was not only a great woman but during the trips she forced my black people to stand strong and to keep going, which says a lot. I am so proud to be black and I can NEVER forgive white people for what they did. I would hate to be white because they’re continuously proving why they are the devils on the Planet Earth. I know I better not catch any in my neighborhood or they will DIE!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm

  35. Harriet, you are a amazing person. Inspiring, capable, brave, a truly wonderful hero. We all really love you, and appreciate everything you have done to change the world so much and make it positive.

    May 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

  36. mya

    thanks for what you did if you didnt do this there still would be slaves here thank u we all love you well i certainly do!!!!!<3

    June 4, 2010 at 7:59 pm

  37. Teresa D. Mena

    This is an example of the will of a strong woman, to overcome and produce great accomplishments….

    June 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm

  38. Pingback: “They Mad Because You Fled….” «

  39. Happy Harriet Tubman Day, March 10. Honor Her contributions to the world!

    March 10, 2011 at 11:22 pm

  40. Patree Yang

    I hope that Harriet Tubman will be in PeaceFull in w/ all her Awsome Streght!!!

    March 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

  41. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.

    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:38 am

  42. hg

    very good pic

    February 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm

  43. hg


    February 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm

  44. hanna

    This is awesome! What a brave and noble human! We have a responsibility to God to conduct ourselves with honour and dignity and live by the goldn rule..’do unto others as we would have them do unto us’.

    March 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm

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  47. thehumileatorhacks

    yes she was the bravest woman ever

    March 9, 2016 at 2:07 pm

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