Learning about Harriet Tubman, it is hard to imagine the sort of hardship she endured and overcame, and the bravery that would have been needed to return again and again to the south to rescue more slaves to freedom.
NEW! Children can learn a little about Harriet Tubman, remarkable "Moses" of the Underground Railroad, and print out our short biography and writing page.
Who Was Harriet Tubman?
Harriet Tubman was an American political activist who escaped slavery before the start of the American Civil War to become a leading abolitionist. Born into slavery, she later escaped and went on to rescue 300 enslaved people and made 13 rescue missions using a network of safe houses and antislavery activists known as the Underground Railroad.
Harriet Tubman Quotes
I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.
I would fight for my liberty so long as my strength lasted, and if the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
A Short Biography of Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman was born a slave on a plantation (a big farm) in Maryland, in about 1820. Her mother was a cook and Harriet learned her skills, but she worked hard manual jobs on the farm.
In 1849, Harriet escaped to the north, where slavery was not allowed. She used an escape route known as the Underground Railroad, where people (conductors) helped slaves like her, feeding them and hiding them along the way. She was free!
Despite the danger to herself, Harriet joined the Underground Railroad as a conductor, making many dangerous raids into the south and leading around 300 slaves to freedom, including her family. They called her Moses, as, like Moses in the Bible, she “set her people free”.
Harriet didn’t stop there! She nursed wounded soldiers in the Civil War, worked as a cook and helped lead a daring attack which freed another 750 slaves. She even worked as a spy! She was a deeply religious woman and she never stopped helping others.