Harriet Tubman

web-presentation-harriet-tubman From slavery to freedom, then from the Underground Railroad to the Union Army. Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. 1822 – March 10, 1913) was there every step of the way in the struggle for African-American freedom.

Her latest recognition (proposed at the date of this publication) is to honor her with her portrait on the U.S. $20 bill, replacing the image of a president that supported genocide and the forced relocation of Native Americans which provided free land for Whites.

To appease southern states, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed. The United States Congress assisted slave owners effort to reclaim human property that had escaped to freedom even into “free states”.  Now that meant northern states were no longer the “promise land”. That meant blacks had to make their escape all the way to Canada to avoid being captured and returned south. During the 1850’s Tubman became aware of a network of Underground Railroad safe houses in the South and North. She rescued thousands from slavery with the help of countless abolitionist accomplices.





When Tubman escaped from a plantation in Maryland, she made it to Philadelphia and received the assistance of William Still, a prominent African American and leader of the Underground Railroad. He had roots in slavery himself and had connections with a network of abolitionists, that provided support and guidance to the newly free.  Still provided a destination for many of Tubman’s charges.

Tubman’s involvement in the anti-slavery movement touched many lives, used many and various resources, both before the Civil War and after it ended. Tubman provided land, shelter and support for the newly free and indigent. She received a pension from the U.S. government for her service in the military as a spy, nurse and cook. Tubman is considered to be the third most famous non-military person in American history.  Her association with other abolitionists including, John Brown of Harpers Ferry, Virginia, helped to shape America’s Civil War efforts and opinions in the North.






Tubman was awarded a pension from the U.S. government as a spouse of the a deceased veteran.  However, Tubman insisted on a pension to be given to her directly for her work with the U.S. Army during the Civil War. Congress approved the pension in 1897 at the rate of $20 per month, a full 32 years after the war had ended.  In 1990 on March 13th the United States Congress approved the observance of “Harriet Tubman Day”.  She was recognized nearly 80 years after her extraordinary service to the war effort during the Civil War, that ended 125 years earlier.  In 2004, then Senator Hillary Clinton introduced legislation that would order the U.S. Treasury to pay the estate of Harriet Tubman the shortage of pension funds for the nearly 30 years at the end of Tubman’s life. Her pension should have been $25 per month.

Harriet Tubman died of pneumonia in Auburn, New York. Tubman’s life has become a model and widely respected.  When she died Booker T. Washington delivered the keynote address at the dedication ceremony, placing the commemorative plaque at the courthouse in Auburn, NY.

The quiz below continues the story of Harriet Tubman.  10 Questions that will test your knowledge of Facts You Should Know.


sources: HarrietTubman.com, Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, By Catherine Clinton



Harriet Tubman

10 Questions about the Freedom Fighter, Harriet Tubman

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