What Was Harriet Tubman's Connection to the Underground Railroad?


Quick Answer

Harriet Tubman was one of the most famous "conductors" of the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a network of hidden trails and safe houses used by abolitionists to help escaped slaves reach freedom in the North and in Canada; those who helped guide the slaves were called conductors.

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Full Answer

Tubman helped at least 70 escaped slaves travel this network and reach freedom. An escaped slave herself, she returned to Maryland numerous times to help family members and friends. She was familiar with the wooded trails of the region and avoided search parties and recapture by traveling at night, using the stars for navigation. During the Civil War, Tubman worked for the Union army as a nurse and armed scout, leading a raid at Combahee Ferry that freed over 700 slaves. She retired after the war, but became active in the campaign for women’s suffrage near the end of her life.

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