Black History Month: Harriet Tubman

 Harriet Tubman was born into slavery and lived from an unknown date in 1820 to Mar. 10, 1913. She had eight siblings, and as she grew up her family was separated because many of her siblings were sold to faraway plantations. She experienced violence throughout her childhood and was beaten and treated horribly by her masters. Many of the beatings she took when she was younger left scars for the rest of her life.

        In 1844, Tubman married a free Black man named John Tubman. He did not make the journey on the Underground Railroad with Harriet because he wanted to stay in Maryland.  In 1849, Tubman escaped slavery to the North. Soon after, she began to help other abolitionists with the Underground Railroad. Tubman was most famous for her work with the Underground Railroad and helped slaves escape to the North. Harriet Tubman risked her life as she moved slaves from plantations in the South to freedom in the North. The process involved moving slaves through an intricate set of networks, that included safe houses owned by white abolitionists. 

       Between 1850 and 1860, Tubman made 19 trips using the Underground Railroad and guided more than 300 slaves, including her siblings and parents. Two of her brothers accompanied her in 1849, but there was a reward for their return to the plantation. Her two brothers went back to the plantation, but Tubman refused to return to that life. 

        In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Law was enforced and stated that escaped slaves could be brought back into slavery if they were caught in the North. After this law was enforced Tubman rerouted the Underground Railroad to Canada, where the law was not enforced.

        During the Civil War, Tubman helped the Union as a cook and nurse, and as the war progressed, Tubman became an armed scout and eventually a spy. She was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war and eventually led the Combahee River Raid, which freed more than 700 slaves. Afterward, Tubman was given land in New York where she lived with her family in her later years before she passed away in 1913 at age 93.