Harriet Tubman's Wax Figure at Madame Tussauds Washington D.C.

Harriet Tubman PNG

Harriet Tubman

Meet the conductor of The Underground Railroad!

Harriet Tubman was an African-American abolitionist and humanitarian. She was the fifth of nine children born into a family of slaves in Dorchester County, Maryland. Tubman was beaten by her slave masters, and ended up with a severe head injury that gave her seizures and headaches, which she endured the rest of her life.

Tubman escaped from slavery in 1849 using a network of free and enslaved black people, white abolitionists and others, including the local Quaker community. This is famously referred to as The Underground Railroad.

Guided by the North Star, she used The Underground Railroad to lead over 70 slaves to freedom in thirteen separate missions. Huge rewards were offered for returning the fugitive slaves, but Tubman was never found out.

Tubman went on to work for the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861) as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. She also freed more than 700 slaves as part of the Combahee River Raid.

Towards the end of her accomplished and highly respected life, Tubman continued to dedicate herself to her beliefs by campaigning for women's suffrage and supporting her church.

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More information

  • 1820: Harriet Tubman is born Araminta Harriet Ross in Dorchester County, Maryland
  • 1849: Tubman escaped from slavery to Philadelphia then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family and others
  • 1861: Joined the Union Army as a cook and nurse, then as an armed scout and spy
  • 1863: Became the first woman to lead and armed expedition in the Civil War during the Combahee River Raid, freeing more than 700 slaves
  • 1896: Delivered the keynote address at the first meeting of the National Federation of Afro-American Women
  • March 10, 1913: Died at the age of 93 in Auburn, New York

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