Sunday, February 12, 2017
February is Black History Month and I would like to pay tribute to one of the greatest Black women in history - Harriet Tubman. My daughter has forever admired her.
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland sometime between 1820 and 1822. She was an abolitionist, a nurse, a Civil War spy, a humanitarian and a suffragist and many other things. Harriet led many along the Underground Railroad as a conductor. The Underground Railroad was established in the U.S. to aid slaves in finding a route to freedom. The help of anti slavery advocates. Hundreds of slaves made their way north to escape the shackles of slavery. Many will continue on to Canada because slavery had already been abolished here.
Harriet Tubman would risk her own life many times to help her people escape to freedom. The nickname Moses was dedicated to her because of her determination to free her people from slavery. Tubman herself had escaped to freedom from slavery via the underground railroad. She would travel by night using the North Star as her compass. Tubman would arrive in Philadelphia and find work as a domestic. Here she would work to raise money to help her own family escape the bonds of slavery.
Between 1850 and 1860, Tubman conducted approximately thirteen escapes and brought seventy-five slaves to freedom. In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act had been passed and all escaped slaves were in danger of being returned to their owners. In 1851, Tubman brought her family to St. Catherines, Ontario. On Christmas Day, 1854, she helped her brothers escape and led them first to Philadelphia and then on to St. Catherines where she had established a home for herself. She and her brothers attended the African Methodist Episcopal Church which was just behind her home. It still stands today and is pictured below.
In 1857, Tubman brought her parents to St. Catherines because she learned her father was to be arrested for helping slaves escape. The following year, John Brown visited Tubman at her home on North St. in St. Catherines. Tubman was a strong supporter of Brown.
Harriet would work hard as a cook, laundress, nurse, scout, spy and teacher during the Civil War. The first woman to lead Union Soldiers and defeat the Confederates. More than 700 slaves were freed in the raid. In 1857 Tubman would return to Auburn New York and take her parents with her. Here whe would lead another battle one for women's rights. She would fight til her death in 1913
The legacy that Harriet Tubman left to the world is a great one. She was a courageous woman who was years ahead of her time and she left her mark on the world.
Photo of Harriet Tubman
Courtesy of the Library of Congress 5910
No known restrictions on publication
Photographer: H.B. Lindsay
Photo is believed to have been taken between 1860 and 1875