Harriet Tubman was born in Dorchester County, Md., as a slave. In 1849, she ran away from her plantation and made her way to freedom in the North. She later returned to the South to help others escape slavery through what was known as the Underground Railroad.
Originally named Araminta Harriet Ross, Tubman worked as a nursemaid and had to endure physical abuse, such as being whipped and struck in the head with a weight. She risked her life to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom through the network of "stations," safe houses and other secure places that created a route from Southern states all the way to Canada.