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Welcome to the Infinitum Tuesday. Today we are glad to talk about Harriet Tubman’s biography, the extraordinary woman, who saved hundreds of slaves with the help of an Underground Railroad route. It is quite interesting to know that she was the first woman to lead an armed force in the civil war. Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist born with a poor slavery background was a heroine to many people and was named the “Moses” for her services.  

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Biography of Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was born in slavery in the 1820s in Dorchester Country Maryland. Her mother was Harriet Rit Green, a cook in a plantation owned by Mary Brodess and her father was Ben Ross who managed a timber business owned by a nearby plantation. Harriet Tubman was originally named Araminta Ross and was called by her parents in the name of Minty. The name Harriet was adopted to honor her mother. She was one of nine children. Edward Brodess, the son of Mary Brodess sold two of Harriet’s elder sisters as slaves to a distant plantation and they were separated forever.

But when a Georgia trader approached Edward to sell the youngest brother of Harriet as a slave, Harriet’s mother Rit managed to hide him with the help of other slaves and threatened the ones who tried to get him. And this act influenced Harriet and she believed in resistance. At age 5, Harriet was hired to work as a nursemaid and later as a domestic servant.

Her childhood life was really hard, as she underwent physical violence and these caused her permanent physical injuries in her life. At the age of 12, she refused to help her angry overseer to punish an enslaved man who tried to escape, and so the overseer threw a two-pound iron weight that hit her head and caused lifetime headaches and seizures. The freedom of slavery was not sure for Harriet and her family.

In 1844, Harriet wedded a free black man called John Tubman and so she was called Harriet Tubman. In 1849, she was feared to be sold along with other slaves on the plantation and so she decided to escape. In the late 18th century, black and white abolitionists established an underground railroad and this benefited for Harriet to escape to Philadelphia. But her husband refused to go with her and decided to remarry and so she found her way alone to be saved and found her work. In 1850, she went to Baltimore, Maryland, and saved her two sisters and their children to freedom. And then moved to the south to free her brother and another two men from slavery.

It is said that Tubman made 19 trips from north to south along the underground railway and learned the transportation routes while guiding 300 people from enslavement. She used various strategies to save them, where she was successful in saving people by going on Saturday nights because the news will be published on Monday mornings. She was inventive and had extraordinary courage to save the slaves. She helped many people to find food, shelter, and jobs in the north. She never missed a fugitive and was leading them to freedom.

In 1858, she got introduced to John Brown who supported destroying slavery with antislavery meetings and attacked the slaveholders. During the civil war she remained active by serving the soldiers as a nurse and cook and then she became a spy and scout and became the first woman to lead an armed force in the war. 

In 1859, an abolitionist sold her a small piece of land in Auburn, New York and she lived with her family and friends. She married a union soldier named Nelson Davis and they adopted a daughter. She was not financially secured and her supporters raised funds for her and she obtained money for her services. But still, she donated a part of her land for a church and the home to the aged people in 1908. When she was getting old she experienced her head injuries becoming more severe and underwent brain surgeries.

On March 10, 1913, she died of Pneumonia and with military honors, she was buried at the fort hill cemetery in Auburn. The Harriet Tubman biography will be an inspiration for many women in the world to make things possible.

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