Imagine leading 300 slaves into the darkness, not knowing if you or they will be killed. Harriet Tubman – a black African American – shocked the world when she risked her life for her people. Harriet Tubman changed the world forever, saved the lives of those she loved, and inspired many. Araminta (Harriet’s) family history is interesting. Tubman’s mother, who was brought to America on a ship as a sultan, was sold by a Pattison-like family and given the nickname Modesty. Before 1790 she gave birth a Harriet named Rittia, but her family called it Rit. Mary Pattison was the inheritor of Rittia by 1797. Three year later, Mary married Joseph Brodess. Rittia went with Mary Brodess to her new household on March 19, 1800. He was born in 1795 according to his owner, making him younger than Tuman’s wife. Ben was born in 1795, but his master calculated that age. Ben is entitled to freedom at age forty-five. Tubman’s parents were slaves and forced to follow orders from their master. The fate of their child was determined by the chattel status.
Araminta Ross was born on a Dorchester County, County plantation around 1820. Because she was born as a slave, her exact birth year is unknown. Tubman’s parents nicknamed her “Minty”. She was born Araminta Harriet Ross. Harriet Green & Benjamin Ross were a slave pair who lived close to each other for a large part of their married lives. Like most enslaved couples, they struggled to create conditions that allowed them to live near or together. The slaves negotiated with the owners they were working for and had many different owners during their slavery. “There isn’t any evidence to prove Araminta’s birth order. She did later recall that her mother left her to take care of a child and another young brother, while she went into The Big House to cook. Tubman’s childhood was filled with hardship. Rit’s family was shattered when Brodess offered to buy Moses, Rit’s son. Rit refused, setting an excellent example for her young daughter.
Araminta’s life was marked by the trauma of her childhood. The terrible events that took place around her only made matters worse. “Araminta is born just a few miles from the Cannon crime ring’s headquarters. Cannons were accused in Virginia of kidnapping blacks for sale as early 1815. Tubman grew up in a world where there were abolitionists who were also kidnappers and slave catchers. Araminta, then five years old, was asked to care for a baby by a neighbor, “Miss Susan.” She was not hesitant to send her off. Araminta, a five-year-old girl, was sent to work after a day of fulfilling her mistresses’ orders. Araminta’s domestic labor had paid off by the time Araminta turned twelve. Once a fragile child, Araminta grew up to be a strong young woman. Harriet never gave up on herself, no matter how difficult her teenage years were. Araminta’s adolescence was spent hoisting flour from barrels onto carts. She began to appreciate the land where seasonal changes in flora, fauna and climate were reflected.
Harriet is known for her bravery. “Araminta, an adolescent girl, was hired to harvest corn for Barrett when she was a teenager. The overseer followed a slave who left the fields to go to Bucktown. Araminta was a field hand who knew trouble would come. She raced ahead, warning her coworker. At this small store, at a crossroads in the village, whites and blacks faced off. In the confusion, the slave fled from the shop. Araminta blocked the furious overseer’s path by blocking the doorway. He did this as the slave was running. The lead weight struck Araminta’s head, delivering a devastating blow. Araminta’s situation was so dire that Brodess was told that Araminta wasn’t worth anything. She was so ill that her parents were worried she wouldn’t recover. She would then slip into a slumber that was difficult to waken. The “spells”, which would occur without warning, would overtake her. “When Araminta got well, she went to a local businessman, John Stewart. He had worked with other members in her family for years, including her dad. Stewart invited Araminta to join her father and his brothers in the growing lumber business. Stewart supervised Araminta, who gained strength while working for him. As soon as she arrived, she started to carry logs. Her daily haul consisted of about half a Cord, an amount that is hard to match by men. At this point, she was at her full adult size of 5 feet. Araminta’s dad managed the shipment of Stewart’s timber to Baltimore. Araminta’s father managed the shipping of Stewart’s timber to Baltimore.
Harriet’s dad went through a major change, which would forever change both her and her father’s life. Anthony Thomson promised Ben Ross that he would emancipate Ben Ross at age forty-five. Anthony Thomson passed away in 1836. Anthony Thomson’s son, the man heir and Dr. Anthony Thomson, kept his promise to Ben when he decided that he had reached forty-five years of age. Ben Ross’s freedom was granted in 1840″. You will probably be happier if you marry someone. John Tubman was the man she would marry. He was from White Marsh in Dorchester County. He was free by the time Araminta and he married in 1844. However, it is not known if he had been born in freedom. Tubman, the family name of Dorchester County’s wealthy planters, was Tubman. These Eastern Shore Tubmans were Catholic slaveholders…Intermarriage between free and a slave was not the general rule, But in Maryland, especially along the Eastern Shore. Araminta’s courtship with John isn’t described anywhere, and neither are any details about their initial meeting. “It is probable that Araminta and John met while working together for John Stewart”.
“…Tubman has been visited by powerful dreams and visions. She felt as though they were delivering her messages. She has been experiencing episodes similar to narcoleptic attacks ever since she sustained a skull injury. She could have multiple episodes per day. The images used to hunt Tubman, regardless of their origin, were horrifying and graphic. Araminta did not have children yet, but she married John Tubman and this marriage brought up fears about any children that Araminta might give birth to while still in slavery. Araminta spoke of a longing to be in a certain place, the promised land of North”, as she and John Tubman felt pulled apart. Araminta was unable to do anything about the difficulties that were occurring. She prayed a lot and did everything possible to free herself. She planned to flee to the North to free her family. Araminta & Ben fled their Maryland Plantation on September 17th, 1849. Araminta pushed on 90 miles to the north. “Tubman has confirmed that she was assisted by a woman of color on her first leg”. The law punished Tubman for the assistance she received. Penalties were stiff. Harriet’s story shows that she has other talents besides being a skilled field worker. She also had contact with both blacks and whites in the area. Harriet’s journey would continue northward after dusk.
Harriet, who leaves behind her owners and family to travel alone in an unknown location would be very different. “Tubman has not left any trace of the person who helped her on her journey to freedom. She was able to reach Philadelphia without any injuries. Tubman was able to find work and support herself shortly after arriving in Philadelphia, although little is known of the type of job she did. Her and other newly arrived blacks would have learned that the demand for domestics was high, particularly nursemaids. Tubman got a warning in December 1850 from her nephew Kessiah that she and her children would be sold.
Harriet was determined not to let her niece and children be auctioned. She was also determined to save her brother, James Isaac. She wanted John Tubman to accompany her. She went back to Eastern Shore and asked John to meet her. Tubman learned that her husband, John, had married another woman, Caroline. Her friends said that Harriet was devastated by this news. John Tubman’s affair with Caroline (a woman that would give birth to his children) shattered all of Harriet’s dreams.
She carried the gun to protect herself and “encourage’ her slaves who were having second thoughts. She would often give drugs to babies and small children in order to keep slave catchers away from their cries. Harriet grew close to other abolitionists, including Thomas Garrett, Martha Coffin Wright & Fredrick Dougs. She established her Underground Railroad over the course of ten more years. Many people believe she freed 300 slaves. Harriet didn’t let her marital problems affect what she desired for others. She would keep going. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed slaves who had escaped and were free to be captured by the authorities and made slaves. Harriet became a conductor of the Underground Railroad and was forced to guide slaves to Canada by night.
Tubman’s migration pattern became seasonal: she would rescue a large group in the fall and then return to Canada for the winter. Tubman developed a seasonal migration pattern, rescuing large groups in the fall before returning to Canada to spend the winter. Harriet Tubman pioneered the use of railways to create her “underground’ railroad. She took the train south often, believing it to be less suspicious for black women to travel in public transport into slave states than vice versa.
Harriet has a crucial role to play in a war about to start. “Abraham Lincoln tried to keep his nation united. The Confederates began firing at Fort Sumter April 12, 1861, just weeks after Lincoln’s inauguration. After a month’s worth of speculation and tension, North-South war was finally declared. Harriet Tubman crossed the border back into America. Soon, soldiers were enlisting on the streets of American cities. The South had an eligible pool of 900,000. While the North boasted a pool larger than 4,000,000. Tubman accompanied Butler’s troops of all-whites to encampments in May 1861. When “contrabands”, i.e., people from outside the United States, started flooding into federal camps… Tubman interpreted the Confederate refugees’ flight as a sign of race rising. She took care of the refugees without complaining, whether as a laundresse, cook, or nurse. Even though Tubman’s aspirations were more militaristic, she dedicated herself to household duties during the early weeks of the war.
Harriet took over the Union Army scout and spy network in 1863. She helped the Union commanders gather vital intelligence about Confederate Army troops and supply routes. “…a boy who Tubman had once known in the South while she was serving in wartime returned to her. Private Nelson Charles, born near Elizabeth City in North Carolina as a servant, escaped and fled to upstate New York. Charles, then 19, trained in Philadelphia. In January 1864, Charles and his unit moved to South Carolina. Harriet Tubman welcomed him to South Carolina when he landed. Nelson was honorably released from the army on November 1865 in Brownsville, Texas. From there, he traveled to Auburn and upstate New York. Davis worked as bricklayer for Tubman and became his boarder. On 18 March 1869, Reverend Henry Fowler was able to marry the couple. Davis was only 25 at the moment, while Harriet had a much older age.
Harriet was always willing to help anyone who needed it. Her philanthropic work was supported by her selling of home-grown vegetables, raising of pigs as well accepting donations and loan from friends. She was illiterate, but toured the Northeast to speak on behalf of women’s rights and worked with notable suffrage activists. Harriet Tubman opened her Harriet Tubman home for the aged and indigent colored people on land she purchased adjacent to her residence in 1896. Her head injury from her youth plagued her for years and she underwent brain surgery in order to alleviate her symptoms. She was forced to move in to the home named after her. People die someday. “Harriet Tubman saw the burials for Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. She also witnessed so many politicians, statesmen, and all of her colleagues who were involved in the fight to free slaves. She survived her Civil War comrades’ deaths – General Saxton and Gillmore as well Montgomery – and many other officers, soldiers, and friends she knew. She outlived her siblings, nieces, nephews, and two husbands. As a loving tribute, Harriet Tuman said to the mourners on March 10,1913 that evening, “I’m going to prepare you a place.” She was buried at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn with military honours.
Harriet Tubman was able to change the world with her work for so many people. You may find it difficult to fight for your beliefs. Harriet Tubman’s efforts to help her people escape slavery and fight in the Civil War showed that. Harriet Tubman will live forever in the legacy she leaves behind. She will always be remembered for bravery and love of people. But most importantly, she will be remembered for fighting for the truth. Harriet Tubmans’s talents and work ethic were inspiring. Harriet Tubman is a woman I had never heard of before reading this book. But after reading it, I was amazed at how she persevered through all the hardships. Her life from childhood to adulthood is an interesting chapter in history.