Harriet Tubman and Why She Was Important


Isabella Thomas, Author

We have all heard about Harriet Tubman but let me explain in detail what happened to her. Harriet Tubman was born in Dorchester County, Maryland in the year of 1820. She grew up with eight siblings so I can bet that was pretty hard for her. She was born into slavery in Maryland. Harriet was originally named Araminta Harriet Ross. She later changed her name to Harriet around the time of her marriage possibly to honor her mother.

Tubman’s early life was full of hardship. Mary Brodess’ son Edward sold three of Harriet’s sisters to distant plantations. Physical violence was daily life for Harriet and her family. Harriet recounted the time when she was lashed five times before breakfast, she carried those scars for the rest of her life. Tubman would experience many injuries but the worst one she stated was when she encountered a slave at a store who left the fields without permission, the man’s overseer demanded that she restrained the runaway slave but when she refused, the man threw a two-pound weight that struck her in the head. She also experienced intense dream stated, which she classified as religious experiences.

On September 17, 1849 Harriet, Ben, and Henry escaped their Maryland plantation and ran off. The two brothers, however, decided to go back so they went. She soon came back to help lead her niece and her niece’s children to Philadelphia via the Underground Railroad. In a ten year span Harriet made 19 trips to the South. She rescued over 300 slaves and claimed that she “never lost a single passenger”.

In 1844 she married John Tubman. She was 25 years old when she married. Her husband did not share her dream of freeing slaves. Very little information about the marriage is known. We don’t know how long they were married for. They adopted one child as far as we know. Her name was Gertie Davis.

During her trips to the North, she would stop in different houses to rest. These houses were owned by abolitionists. These people were in very hot water if they were found hiding runaway slaves. During trips, if anyone decided to go back, she would threaten to shoot. She would do this because it was to dangerous to go back and risk getting caught. She was leading many slaves to freedom with a bounty over her head if she were caught. Though her perseverance really shined through because she kept doing what she thought was right.

On the fretful day of March 10, 1913, she was surrounded by loved ones on her death bed. She died of pneumonia and injuries. Before her death she uttered the words “I go to prepare a place for you”. She was buried with military honors in Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York. Her love for freeing slaves was truly incredible and her bravery was unmistakable. History truly had an eye on her.

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