BY:LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE
Harriet Tubman was born Araminta “Minty” Ross , sometime around 1822 (being a slave, the exact year of her birth is unknown ), in Dorchester County, Maryland, to parents Harriet “Rit” Green and Ben Ross, later in life, Tubman would take her mother’s name of Harriet.
As a young girl in Maryland, Tubman was beaten on countless occasions by her masters. On one occasion she was hit in the head with a heavy metal weight. The result would be an injury that would cause her to have epileptic seizures and headaches for the rest of her life. She even began to have visions, Tubman being a devout Christian believed those visions to be signs from God.
Around the year 1844, Harriet still a slave would marry a freeman named John Tubman. In Maryland at the time, marriages between enslaved people and free blacks were not uncommon.
On September 17, 1849, Tubman would escape from slavery with her two brothers Ben and Henry, but Tubman would be forced to return when her brothers changed their minds about running away. But Tubman would not stay with her masters for long, she would escape again, this time without her brothers, she used the help of the Underground Railroad, which was a network that consisted of enslaved blacks, freemen , Quakers and white abolitionists, all with the common goal of setting enslaved blacks free.
Once free and settled in Philadelphia, Tubman would go back in the slave states, putting both her freedom and life at risk, to save not only family members , but many other blacks still held in bondage. It is estimated that Tubman made 19 trips using the Underground Railroad to save approximately 300 black slaves.
During the civil war, Tubman would work for the union army , she helped nurse wounded soldiers back to health and even performed duties as a armed scout and spy.
After the war was over and black people were free, at least on paper, Tubman would begin to fight for women’s rights with the suffragist movement.
Sadly on March 20, 1913, in Auburn, New York, at the age of 91, Harriet Tubman would die of pneumonia. Tubman would be buried at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn. She was given semi-military honors for her service during the American civil war.
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