Harriet

Harriet

[har-ee-uht]
Tubman, Harriet, c.1820-1913, American abolitionist, b. Dorchester co., Md. Born into slavery, she escaped to Phildelphia in 1849, and subsequently became one of the most successful "conductors" on the Underground Railroad. Returning to the South more than a dozen times, she is generally credited with leading more than 300 slaves (including her parents and brother) to freedom, sometimes forcing the timid ahead with a loaded revolver. She became a speaker on the anti-slavery lecture circuit and a friend of the principal abolitionists, and John Brown almost certainly confided his Harpers Ferry plan to her. During the Civil War, Tubman attached herself to the Union forces in coastal South Carolina, serving as a nurse, cook, laundress, scout, and spy, and in 1863 she played an important part in a raid that resulted in the freeing of more than 700 slaves. At Auburn, N.Y., her home for many years after the war, the Cayuga co. courthouse contains a tablet in her honor.

See biographies by S. Bradford (1869, new ed. 1961), E. Conrad (1942), C. Clinton (2004), J. M. Humez (2004), and K. C. Larson (2004).

Monroe, Harriet, 1860-1936, American editor, critic, and poet, b. Chicago. In 1912 she founded Poetry: a Magazine of Verse, which paid and encouraged both established and new poets. Monroe's literary reputation is based on her editorship of this important magazine. She introduced to readers such writers as Carl Sandburg, Rabindranath Tagore, Vachel Lindsay, Rupert Brooke, and Robert Frost. Her own works include several volumes of poetry; her essays Poets and Their Art (1933); the anthology she compiled with Alice Corbin Henderson, The New Poetry (1917); and her autobiography, A Poet's Life (1938).

See study by D. J. Cahill (1974).

Martineau, Harriet, 1802-76, English author. A journalist rather than a writer of literature, she was an enormously popular author. Her success is the more remarkable since she was deaf from childhood and the victim of various other illnesses throughout her life. The sister of the Unitarian minister James Martineau, she began her career writing articles on religious subjects. Her fame spread with Illustrations of Political Economy (9 vol., 1832-34) and Illustrations of Taxation (1834), two series of stories interpreting classical economics to the layman. After a visit to the United States in 1834, she became an advocate for the abolition of slavery and wrote several unflattering works on the American way of life, including Society in America (1837) and Retrospect of Western Travel (1838). Her later writings include Deerbrook (1839), a novel; The Playfellow (4 vol., 1841), tales for children; Letters on Mesmerism (1845); The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte (1853); and a very candid autobiography (1877), containing commentaries on the literary figures of her day.

See biography by V. Wheatley (1957); study by R. K. Webb (1960).

Harriet's Magic Hats was a TV series created by ACCESS TV, which aired on Alberta ACCESS TV and TVOntario from 1980 - 1986. The premise was an aunt named Harriet who had a trunk full of magic hats in her attic. Her young niece was transported to a place related to the hat she chose from the trunk. For example, if she wore a chef's hat from the trunk, the girl was transported to a kitchen with professional chefs, where she would learn about the profession. The show was 15 minutes long, and gave children a diverse view of the working world.

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