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Famous African American Women in History/Black History Women-pt 4-Harriet Ross Tubman


Famous  African American Women in History/Black History Women  pt-4-Harriet Ross Tubman


SoulTic Magazine Writer”/ Janice Fralin-Steele(Freelance Writer)


Freedom  is  one  of  our  most  basic  human  rights.   Yet  this  country participated  in  the  most  well – known  slave  trade  in  the  history  of  this world.   Many  Europeans  profited  greatly  from  the  slave  trade  of  blacks  from  Africa  to  America . 

 Out  of  the  suffering  of  thousands  of  enslaved Africans  there  was  born  a  true  African  American  Heroe  In History /freedom  fighter .    Harriet  Tubman  did  what  she  knew  to  make  the  lives  of  blacks  better .  She  was  a  true  A frican  American  Heroe  in History  in  aiding  slaves  to  freedom  and  a  better  life.  Harriet  Tubman  was born;  Araminta  “Minty”  Ross .  She  was  born  into  slavery  in  Dorchester County  Maryland ,   In  1820  or  1821  on  the  Plantation  of  Edward  Brodess.  

 Her  parents  were  Harriet  Green  and  Ben Ross. Her mother, Harriet  “Rit”  was  owned  by  Mary  Pattison  Brodess  (and later her son Edward).    Her  father  was  owned  by  Anthony  Thompson , Who  later became  Mary’s  second  husband .    Harriet  was  one  of  eleven  children  born  to  her  parents ; Several  of  her  siblings  were  sold  to  other  plantations  in  the south.  

 At  the  age  of  five  or  six  she  was  rented  out  to work  as  a  house  servant .    She  was  beaten  on  a  regular  base  by  her  slave owner  and  those  she  worked  for.   It  is  said  that  as  a  teenager  she  was struck  with  a  heavy  object  while  standing  between  her  overseer  and another  field  hand .    The  object  was  intended  to  hit  the  slave  but  instead it  hit  her  severely  injuring  her  head .  

 The  injury  left  her  with  seizures, headaches  and   sometimes  blured  vision.    It  was  said  that  the  injury caused  her  to s uddenly  fall  asleep , This  side  effect  lasted  for  the  rest  of her  life .  When  her  old slave   master  died  his  son  inherited  her.   The  son decided  to  rent  Harriet  out  to  a  lumber  merchant  where  she  was  able  to keep  part  of  her  earnings . 

 In  1844  she  married  a  free  black  man  named John  Tubman .   She  took  his  last  name,  “Tubman”  and  changed  her  first name  to  Harriet  (after her mother) .    There  were  several  events  in  her  life that  inspired  her  to  take  action  and  run  away .    In  1849  she  and  other slaves  ran  away  in  fear  of  being  sold off .  With  assistance  of  a  friendly white  woman  she  escaped  to  freedom .   She  made  her  way  to Pennsylvania  and  then to  Philadelphia  where  she  found  work  and  was able to  save  money .

 Shortly  after  arriving  in  Philadelphia  she  returned  to Maryland  to  rescue  her  family .    She  continued  to  travel  south ; First bring  her  family  members  then  guiding  dozens  of  others  to  freedom . One of  her  more  challenging  trips  was  to  rescue  her  70  year  old  parents .    On her  third  trip  she  went  back  for  her  husband  only  to  find  that  he  had taken  another  wife . 

Nevertheless  her  endless  devotion  to  freeing  slaves earned  her  the  name  “Moses”  because  every  trip  was  successful .    For  10 years  she  made  about  20  trips  from  the  North  into  the  South  rescuing more  than  300  slaves .    She  traveled  by  night  using  the  North  Star  as  her  guide .    Tubman  used  many  different  means  to  insure  a safe  journey .   

  History  recordes  while  on  the  journey  any  slave  changed  their mind  she  would  place  a  gun  to  their  heads .  Then  she  told  them  “you’ll  be  free  or  die “.    Large  bounties  were  placed  on  the heads  of  the  runaways  but  never  as  high  as  for  Tubman .   By  1856,  there  was  a reward of  $40,000  for  the  capture  of  Tubman .   The  Southern- dominated Congress  passed  the  Fugitive  Slave  Act  of  1850,  Requiring  law  officials  in Free  states  to  aid  efforts  to  recapture  slaves .  

 She  then  decided  to  help guide  fugitives  further  north  into  Canada, Where  slavery  was  prohibited.   During  the  Civil  War  she  worked  for  the  Union  Army  as  a  cook ,  A  nurse and  a  spy .    The  army  was  specifically  interested  in  her  ability  to  travel undetected .  

 She  was  one  of  the  first  Black  Women  In  History  to be  used as  a  scout  because  of  her  knowledge  of  the  terrain  gained  while  traveling on  the  Underground  Railroad .  Tubman  wa s one  of  the  first Black Women In History  to  lead  an  armed  expedition  in  the  war ; She  guided  the Combehee  River  Raid .    They  were  successful  in  liberating  more  than  700 slaves  in  South  Carolina .   

 It  is  a  little  known  black  history  fact  that  she was  on e of  the  first  Black  Women  In  History  to  get  a  medal  from  Queen Victoria .      After  the  war  she  retired  to  her  home  in   Auburn ,  New York, where  she  cared  for  her  aging  parents .   She  also  was  one  of  the first  Black Women  In  History  to  be  an  active  participant  in  the  women’s suffrage  movement  in  New  York . 

 In  1868  Sarah  Bradford  wrote  Tubman’s biography .   She  was  able  to  receive  the  proceeds  of  the  book . Tubman was  a  strong  and  fearless  Black  Women In History.    She  helped  find  homes  for  the  aged  and  needy , Which  was later , Renamed  the  Harriet Tubman  Home .   She  died  in  1913  at  her  home  in  Auburn ,  New  York.