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Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman, an American abolitionist and social reformer, was born in the month of March 1822. She passed away on March 10, 1913. Using the Underground Railroad, a linked system of suffragists and hideouts, Harriet was born into slavery and made 13 journeys to release more than 70 enslaved people, including family members and acquaintances. She had a catastrophic brain injury early in childhood when an enraged overseer accidentally hit her with a significant metal weight intended for another enslaved person.

Dizziness, discomfort, and episodes of hypersomnia were brought on by accident and persisted throughout her life. Following her injuries, Tubman started having weird visions and intense dreams, which she attributed to divine forewarnings. Her Methodist background and these experiences together caused her to develop a solid religious belief system.

Tubman, or Moses, as she was often known, travelled in complete darkness at night and never lost a passenger. She assisted in guiding fugitives farther north into British North America after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was implemented and assisted newly freed slaves in finding employment. When Tubman first encountered John Brown in 1858, he helped him organise and gather support for his 1859 Harpers Ferry attack.

Whenever the Civil War first broke out, Tubman was employed as a cook, nurse, armed scout, and spy for the Union Troops. She commanded the invasion of Creek Ferry, set free more than 700 enslaved people, and conducted the first armed expedition under a woman's leadership throughout the war.

Tubman's parents, Harriet Greene Ross and Ben Ross, both enslaved people, gave birth to different "Minty" Ross. Rit Pattison Brodess was made Rit's slave.. Anthony Thompson, who later married Mary Brodess and had a sizable estate close to the Blackwater River in the Madison region of Dorchester County, Maryland, sold Ben into slavery.

Like many enslaved persons in the United States, Harriet Tubman's birth year and place are unknown, and historians disagree on the most accurate estimate. There is no information on Tubman's other ancestors; her maternal grandmother, Modesty, came to the US on a slave ship from Africa.

Tubman was taught as a little girl that she had the characteristics of an Ashanti person, even though no proof has been discovered to support or refute this genealogy.

Slavery threatened to split Rit's family apart, and she fought to keep them together. Three of her daughters-Linah, Mariah Ritty, and Soph-were sold by Edward Brodess, cutting them apart from the family for good. With the assistance of other enslaved persons and freedmen in the neighbourhood, Brodess concealed Moses for a month when a merchant from Georgia approached her about purchasing Rit's youngest son.


Tubman's mother was allocated to the big house and had little time for her own family; he had to take care of his younger brother and a newborn when he was younger, as is customary in large families. She was employed as a nursemaid by Miss Susan when she was five or six years old by Brodess. Tubman also had a job as a young child working for plantation owner James Cook. Even after catching the measles, she checked the muskrat traps in the neighbouring wetlands.

She fell unwell to the point that Cook had to send her back to Brodess, where her mother cared for her until she recovered. Then Brodess hired her again. When Tubman was a teenager, an overseer hurled a two-pound metal weight at another enslaved person attempting to escape, severely injuring him in the head. Instead, Tubman said that the weight shattered my cranium.

She was brought back to her owner's home bleeding and unconscious, where she was left untreated for two days while lying on the seat of a loom. Following this event, Tubman regularly suffered from excruciating headaches. Additionally, she started having seizures and frequently appeared to pass out, although she insisted that she was awake and alert even when she appeared asleep. She lived with this illness for the remainder of her life; Larson hypothesises that the damage may have caused her to develop temporal lobe epilepsy.

Family and Married

At the age of 45, Anthony Thompson committed to Manumit Tubman's father. A few years later, Tubman hired a white lawyer for $5 to look into the legal standing of her mother. The attorney learned that a previous owner had mandated that Rit Tubman's mother, like her husband, be emancipated at age 45. She wed John Tubman, a free Black man, in 1844.

The mother determined the children's status, and any children born to Harriet and John would be sold into slavery. They could have intended to purchase Tubman's freedom, according to Larson. Although the precise moment is unknown, Tubman changed her name from Araminta to Harriet long after marriage. After the wedding, according to Larson and Clinton, and in line with Tubman's goals to elude enslavement, according to Clinton. She took on her mother's name, either due to conversion to another religion or to commemorate a family member.

Escape from Slavery

Tubman fell ill in 1849, which reduced her worth in the eyes of the slave dealers. She was up for sale, but Edward Brodess could not locate a buyer. Tubman started to pray for her master, pleading with God to change his ways because she was furious at him for wanting to sell her and keep her family in slavery. She recalled: "I prayed for my lord all night till the first of March, and all the while, he brought people to look at me and tried to sell me".

She started "I modified my prayer when it looked like a sale was completed. 'Oh Lord, if you ain't never going to alter that man's heart, kill him, Lord, and take him out of the way,' I started to pray at the beginning of March". When Brodess passed just a week later, Tubman apologised for her last words.

Brodess's passing raised the probability that Tubman would be sold, and her family would be split apart, as is common in estate settlements. Eliza, his widow, started seeking to sell the family's slaves. Despite her husband's attempts to persuade her otherwise, Tubman was unwilling to wait for the Brodess family to decide her destiny. In a subsequent statement, she stated, here was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.

On September 17, 1849, Harriet Tubman and her brothers Ben and Henry escaped from slavery. It's possible that Tubman's brothers also worked for Anthony Thompson, who owned a sizable plantation in Poplar Neck in adjacent Caroline County. After realising I had crossed that threshold, I examined my hands to determine whether I was the same person.

Later Life

Despite working for many years, Tubman was never paid a regular wage and was repeatedly refused remuneration. Because of her unofficial position and the uneven pay provided to black troops, it was challenging for her to prove her service. The US government took a long time to acknowledge its responsibility to her. She was perpetually poor due to her humanitarian efforts for her family and the formerly enslaved people, and she had a tough time qualifying for a government pension.

Tubman spent her last years in Auburn caring for her family and those in need. The 1869 publication of the 132-page book earned Tubman around $1,200. Although the book has received criticism from contemporary biographers for its creative licence and very subjective point of view, it nevertheless serves as a valuable resource for knowledge and insight into Tubman's life. Bradford published a revised edition of Harriet, the Moses of her People in 1886, intending to reduce Tubman's poverty. Harriet Tubman is praised as a modern-day Joan of Arc in both books. With mounting debts, Tubman became a victim of a gold transfer scam in 1873. Two men, Stevenson and John Thomas, declared to have a stash of gold that had been smuggled out of South Carolina. They demanded $2,000 in cash for this prize, which they estimated to be worth $5,000. H.R. 2711/3786, which was presented by Wisconsin's Gerry W. Hazelton and New York's Clinton D. MacDougall, called for the payment of $2,000 to Tubman "for services rendered by her to the Union Army as a scout, healer, and spy." The bill was defeated in the Senate.

Because she was Nelson Davis' widow, Tubman qualified for a pension under the Dependent and Disability Pension Act of 1890. After convincingly demonstrating her marriage and her husband's military service to the Bureau of Pensions in 1895, Tubman was granted an $8 monthly widow's pension.


No of the challenges you confront, "keep going", was part of Harriet Tubman's unbreakable legacy. She constantly established attainable goals and objectives. Booker T. Washington, a legendary figure, praised Harriet Tubman for having "brought the two races together." She lived in 1896, a year when segregation had been sanctioned by the historic U.S. A nobler, higher soul or a more authentic spirit rarely exists in the human form, remarked Senator William Seward of the State of New York of his friend Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman's connections with some of the most influential American political and industry figures were astounding.

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