Tubman, Harriet

Tubman, Harriet

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).

orig. Arminta Ross

(born circa 1820, Dorchester county, Md., U.S.—died March 10, 1913, Auburn, N.Y.) U.S. abolitionist. Born into slavery, she escaped to the North by the Underground Railroad in 1849. She made frequent trips into the South to lead over 300 slaves to freedom, despite large rewards offered for her arrest. Known as the “Moses of her people,” she was admired by abolitionists such as John Brown, who called her General Tubman. In the American Civil War, she served as a nurse, laundress, and spy for Union forces in South Carolina. She later settled in Auburn, N.Y., and was eventually granted a federal pension for her war work.

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in law

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