Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Museum of History >> Hall of Women >> Harriet Tubman





American’s Four United Republics: Discovery-Based Curriculum

For More Information go to America's Four United Republics Curriculum


 


Harriet Tubman

c.1820 - 1913

Abolitionist

             Student Biography of Harriet Tubman

by:
Kara G.  -- Wheeling Park High School -- Dan Wilhelm, Teacher

    

            Harriet Tubman was born around 1820 in Dorchester County, Maryland.  She was one of eleven children to Benjamin and Harriet Ross, her parents.  She was born into slavery, and by the age of five, she was hired out as a laborer.  She hated to work indoors, so by her early teens, she was forbidden to work indoors and was hired out as a field hand.  When Harriet was fifteen years old, she tried to help a runaway slave.  She was caught by the overseer and beat on the head with a lead pipe, which put her in a coma that lasted for months.  After that, Harriet suffered from frequent blackouts.

            In 1844, Harriet married a free black man, John Tubman, and for the next five years, she lived in a state of semi-slavery.  She remained a slave legally, but her master allowed her to live with her husband.

            Around 1847, Harriet's master died, and two years later, in 1849, his son died also, which meant that Harriet had to be sold.  Because of her frequent blackouts, Harriet knew that it was not likely that she would get sold, and if she did, then the chances of death were very high, so she made plans to escape.  Since she knew that her husband would expose her, Harriet told only her sister, and later that year, Harriet made her first ninety mile trip to the Mason-Dixon line with the help of contacts from the Underground Railroad.  She settled in Philadelphia where she worked as a dishwasher.  The next year, she traveled back down to Maryland and rescued her sister's family.  Later, she returned for her brothers and transported them back into the north.  She went back another time for her husband, John Tubman, but he had remarried, and refused to follow her.  Finally, in 1857, Harriet returned to the south for her parents.  They were too feeble to walk the whole trip, and eventually, Harriet was forced to hire a wagon, which made her journey very dangerous, but she was never caught.  When they reached the north, Harriet's parents decided to settle in Auburn, New York.

            By this time, Harriet was becoming very well known, and rewards of up to forty-thousand dollars were being offered for her capture.  She also became known as the "Black Moses," because she freed over three hundred slaves in her nineteen trips on the Underground Railroad.

           
She was never caught for many reasons.  Harriet constantly changed her route and her methods of operation, and she always carried sleeping powder to stop babies from crying. She also carried a pistol to prevent the slaves from backing down once the journey had begun.  Another method that Harriet used was that she would always begin her escapes on Saturday nights.  One reason was because most masters didn't make slaves work on Sundays, so they probably wouldn't notice that they were missing until Monday.  Another reason was that the newspapers would not be able to advertise the escape until later in the week, and by that time, Harriet and her slaves would have been very close to the north.  The last method that Harriet used was the method of disguise.  Sometimes she even tried to dress like a man.   A former master of Harriet's didn't even recognize her when she ran into him on the street. 

            When the Civil War started, Harriet became a spy for the Union Army.  She was a nurse and a scout as well.  Then she began to prepare food for a regiment in Massachusetts that was composed of all black people.  Later, before the war ended, she worked in Washington D.C. as a government nurse.  She received approval from the government, but they never paid her for her efforts. 

            After the Civil War, she returned to Auburn to be with her parents.  In 1870, Harriet married Nelson Davis, an African American war veteran.  They were married for eighteen years, until he died.  In 1896, Harriet purchased land to build a home for sick and needy blacks.  She had to give the land to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church because she did not have enough money to finish her project.  The church completed the home in 1908, and several years later, she had to move in.  She spent the last few years of her life in the home, telling her life stories to the visitors.  On March 10, 1913, at the age of ninety-three, Harriet died of pneumonia.

            In 1974, more than sixty years after her death, the Department of the Interior made Harriet's former home in Auburn a national historic landmark.  Harriet also has a school that was named after her (Harriet Tubman High School), and the John Brown Home for Aged and Indigent Colored people is still around today



References

"Harriet Tubman."  <http://www.davison.k12.mi.us/dms/projects/women/ftubman.htm>   (9 February 2001). 

Cativo, Karina. "Harriet Tubman."   <http://www.rialto.k12.ca.us/frisbe/cativo/tubman.html> (9 February 2001) 

Smith, Russell. "Harriet Tubman: Moses of the Civil War."         <http://www.camalott.com/~rssmith/Moses.html> (10 February 2001)


Start your search on Harriet Tubman.


America's Four United Republics Exhibit - Click Here


Unauthorized Site: This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected, associated with or authorized by the individual, family, friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated sites that are related to this subject will be hyper linked below upon submission and Evisum, Inc. review.

Research Links

  • National Women's Hall of Fame
  • Women of the Millennium

    Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
    Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy

  • Search:

    About Us

     

     

    Image Use

    Please join us in our mission to incorporate America's Four United Republics discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here

     

    Childhood & Family

    Click Here

     

    Historic Documents

    Articles of Association

    Articles of Confederation 1775

    Articles of Confederation

    Article the First

    Coin Act

    Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence

    Emancipation Proclamation

    Gettysburg Address

    Monroe Doctrine

    Northwest Ordinance

    No Taxation Without Representation

    Thanksgiving Proclamations

    Mayflower Compact

    Treaty of Paris 1763

    Treaty of Paris 1783

    Treaty of Versailles

    United Nations Charter

    United States In Congress Assembled

    US Bill of Rights

    United States Constitution

    US Continental Congress

    US Constitution of 1777

    US Constitution of 1787

    Virginia Declaration of Rights

     

    Historic Events

    Battle of New Orleans

    Battle of Yorktown

    Cabinet Room

    Civil Rights Movement

    Federalist Papers

    Fort Duquesne

    Fort Necessity

    Fort Pitt

    French and Indian War

    Jumonville Glen

    Manhattan Project

    Stamp Act Congress

    Underground Railroad

    US Hospitality

    US Presidency

    Vietnam War

    War of 1812

    West Virginia Statehood

    Woman Suffrage

    World War I

    World War II

     

    Is it Real?



    Declaration of
    Independence

    Digital Authentication
    Click Here

     

    America’s Four Republics
    The More or Less United States

     
    Continental Congress
    U.C. Presidents

    Peyton Randolph

    Henry Middleton

    Peyton Randolph

    John Hancock

      

    Continental Congress
    U.S. Presidents

    John Hancock

    Henry Laurens

    John Jay

    Samuel Huntington

      

    Constitution of 1777
    U.S. Presidents

    Samuel Huntington

    Samuel Johnston
    Elected but declined the office

    Thomas McKean

    John Hanson

    Elias Boudinot

    Thomas Mifflin

    Richard Henry Lee

    John Hancock
    [
    Chairman David Ramsay]

    Nathaniel Gorham

    Arthur St. Clair

    Cyrus Griffin

      

    Constitution of 1787
    U.S. Presidents

    George Washington 

    John Adams
    Federalist Party


    Thomas Jefferson
    Republican* Party

    James Madison 
    Republican* Party

    James Monroe
    Republican* Party

    John Quincy Adams
    Republican* Party
    Whig Party

    Andrew Jackson
    Republican* Party
    Democratic Party


    Martin Van Buren
    Democratic Party

    William H. Harrison
    Whig Party

    John Tyler
    Whig Party

    James K. Polk
    Democratic Party

    David Atchison**
    Democratic Party

    Zachary Taylor
    Whig Party

    Millard Fillmore
    Whig Party

    Franklin Pierce
    Democratic Party

    James Buchanan
    Democratic Party


    Abraham Lincoln 
    Republican Party

    Jefferson Davis***
    Democratic Party

    Andrew Johnson
    Republican Party

    Ulysses S. Grant 
    Republican Party

    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Republican Party

    James A. Garfield
    Republican Party

    Chester Arthur 
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland
    Democratic Party

    Benjamin Harrison
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland 
    Democratic Party

    William McKinley
    Republican Party

    Theodore Roosevelt
    Republican Party

    William H. Taft 
    Republican Party

    Woodrow Wilson
    Democratic Party

    Warren G. Harding 
    Republican Party

    Calvin Coolidge
    Republican Party

    Herbert C. Hoover
    Republican Party

    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Democratic Party

    Harry S. Truman
    Democratic Party

    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Republican Party

    John F. Kennedy
    Democratic Party

    Lyndon B. Johnson 
    Democratic Party 

    Richard M. Nixon 
    Republican Party

    Gerald R. Ford 
    Republican Party

    James Earl Carter, Jr. 
    Democratic Party

    Ronald Wilson Reagan 
    Republican Party

    George H. W. Bush
    Republican Party 

    William Jefferson Clinton
    Democratic Party

    George W. Bush 
    Republican Party

    Barack H. Obama
    Democratic Party

    Please Visit

    Forgotten Founders
    Norwich, CT

    Annapolis Continental
    Congress Society


    U.S. Presidency
    & Hospitality

    © Stan Klos

     

     

     

     


    Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum