Harriet Ross Tubman was an African American who escaped slavery and then showed runaway slaves the way to freedom in the North for longer than a decade before the American Civil War. During the war she was as a scout, spy, and nurse for the United States Army. After that she kept working for rights for blacks and women.
Harriet Tubman was originally named Araminta Ross. She was one of 11 children born to Harriet Greene and Benjamin Ross on a plantation in Dorchester County, Maryland. She later took her mother's first name. Harriet was working at the age of five. She was a maid and a children's nurse before she worked in the field when she was 12. A year later, a white guy either her watcher or her master smacked her on the head with a really heavy weight. The hit was so hard it left her with permanent neurological damage. In result of the hit she had sudden blackouts during the rest of her life.
In 1844 she got permission from her master to marry John Tubman, a free black man. For the next five years Harriet Tubman was a semi-slave. She was still legally a slave, but her master let her live with her husband. In 1847 her master died. Followed by the death of his recipient and young son in 1849. That made Harriet's status uncertain. In the middle of rumors that the family's slaves were being sold to clear the estate, Harriet Tubman went to the North and freedom. Her husband stayed in Maryland. In 1849 Harriet Tubman moved to Pennsylvania. She returned to Maryland two years later hoping to get her husband to come to The North with her. John Tubman had remarried by then. Harriet did not marry again until after John Tubman died.
In Pennsylvania, Harriet Tubman became an abolitionist. She worked to end slavery. She decided to become a conductor on the Underground Railroad (a network of antislavery activists who helped slaves escape from the South). On her first trip in 1850, Harriet Tubman brought her sister and her sister's two children...
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