1849 Harriet Tubman Escaped



In July 1849, Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in Maryland. She is the best known Black woman abolitionist. She returned to Maryland and Virginia twenty times, freeing over three hundred slaves. In the course of her efforts she freed her brothers and sisters and her parents.

In July of 1849 Harriet Tubman, a slave herself, made a daring escape from a plantation in Maryland. This act of defiance marked the beginning of a journey that would forever etch her name in the annals of American history.

Harriet Tubman's contribution to the abolitionist cause has made her one of the most well-known Black women in the movement. Born Araminta Ross around 1822, Tubman was one of nine children. Her early years were marked by hardship and suffering, which shaped her unyielding resolve to fight against the inhumane institution of slavery.

Following her successful escape, Tubman became a 'conductor' on the Underground Railroad, a network of anti-slavery activists and safe houses that helped slaves escape to free states and Canada. Despite the extreme danger she faced, including a bounty on her head, she remained undeterred.

Displaying remarkable courage, Tubman ventured back to Maryland and Virginia on approximately twenty separate occasions. Her purpose was clear – to guide enslaved individuals on their journey to freedom. Over these journeys, it is estimated that she led more than three hundred people to emancipation, defying the Fugitive Slave Act and the prevailing socio-political norms of the time.

The people she led to freedom were not just strangers bound by the common experience of enslavement; they also included her own family members. Tubman, in an extraordinary show of bravery, facilitated the escape of her brothers and sisters from the bonds of slavery. Moreover, she was instrumental in securing the freedom of her elderly parents, bringing them to live with her in Auburn, New York, which served as her home base in the latter part of her life.

Each of these rescue missions was fraught with peril. Tubman had to employ a combination of cunning, daring, and an intimate knowledge of the Southern landscape to evade capture. Despite the constant threat of danger, she never once faltered in her resolve, earning her the nickname "Moses," likening her to the biblical figure who led his people to freedom.

Harriet Tubman's commitment to the abolitionist cause went beyond these rescue missions. During the American Civil War, she served as a nurse, a cook, and a spy for the Union Army, further exemplifying her dedication to freedom and equality.