What Did Harriet Tubman Do: Her Inspiring Journey and Impact

Born into slavery in Maryland, Harriet Tubman escaped in 1849, later aiding others' escapes via the Underground Railroad.

Early Life and Escape to Freedom

Birth and Early Childhood in Maryland

Harriet Tubman, originally named Araminta, was born in Dorchester County, Maryland around 1820.

Born into slavery, Tubman’s family continually struggled with separation as several of her siblings were sold to distant plantations.

Tubman’s mother passionately fought to keep her remaining family intact, both emotionally and physically.

Tubman experienced a life-changing event as a young enslaved girl when an overseer struck her with a heavy weight.

The injury led to frequent seizures and visions, which Tubman would later attribute to her strong religious faith.

Despite these hardships, Tubman’s spirit and determination to seek freedom from slavery persisted.

Marriage to John Tubman and Decision to Escape

In 1844, Harriet married a free man named John Tubman.

At the time, their marital status did not change Tubman’s enslaved status, creating a precarious situation in which she could be forcibly separated from her husband.

An opportunity for escape appeared in 1849 when Harriet’s enslaver, Edward Brodess, passed away.

Fearing the potential sale of herself and her family, Tubman made the momentous decision to escape to the North.

Tubman’s journey was fraught with danger as she became a fugitive slave.

She navigated through the perilous landscapes of Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, relying on the Underground Railroad, a secret network of safe houses and antislavery activists, to guide her to freedom.

After finally reaching Pennsylvania, Tubman had a strong determination to return to Maryland and rescue her remaining family members.

Harriet Tubman’s incredible journey from slavery to freedom would become an inspiring symbol of hope and bravery, as she continued her work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad and led many others to their own freedom.

Role in the Abolitionist Movement and Civil War

Harriet Tubman leads a group of escaped slaves through the Underground Railroad to freedom, evading capture and risking her life

Leadership on the Underground Railroad

Harriet Tubman, an escaped enslaved person, became an influential abolitionist and leader in the fight for freedom.

She earned the nickname “Moses” for her unwavering courage in leading dozens of people from enslavement in the South to freedom in the North and Canada.

Utilizing the Underground Railroad, an elaborate secret network of safe houses and routes, Tubman risked her life to help those in need find liberation.

Service as a Nurse, Scout, and Spy for the Union Army

During the American Civil War, Harriet Tubman’s determination and contributions expanded beyond the realm of the Underground Railroad.

She served as a nurse, scout, and spy for the Union Army.

Stationed at Fort Monroe, Virginia, with an all-white troop led by General Benjamin Buttler, Tubman’s role was pivotal albeit unofficial.

One of her notable exploits involved leading Union forces during the Combahee River Raid in South Carolina.

Through her scouting efforts, she helped facilitate the rescue of over 700 enslaved people from Confederate territory.

Active Participation in Women’s Suffrage

In addition to her work in the abolitionist and Civil War efforts, Harriet Tubman was a passionate advocate for Women’s Suffrage.

Inspired by activists like Susan B. Anthony, Tubman used her influence as a public speaker to campaign for the equality of both Black Americans and women.

Her legacy as a suffragist transcended her own lifetime as she continued to inspire generations of activists fighting for equality and civil rights.