January 21, 2020
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.