March 6, 2012
Harriet Ross was born into slavery on a Maryland plantation in 1820. She was one of eleven children born to African slaves named Harriett Green and Benjamin Ross. They were slaves of the Maryland planter named Edward Brodas. Her family came from the Ashanti tribe based in West Africa. Harriet was injured as a teenager when she was hit by a lead stone while attempting to help a slave get away. The impact knocked her unconscious and into a short coma. She would suffer from blackouts related to this injury for the remainder of her life. Harriet Ross became Harriet Tubman when she married a free black man named John Tubman. John always threatened to turn Harriet in if she ran away. Harriet decided to keep quiet about her ambition to be free. Then , one might in 1849, she escaped to the North. Harriett Tubman would become the “Moses of her people” as she returned to the south over and over to guide more than 300 black people to freedom. Harriet Tubman played a major part during the civil war of the 1860’s. She served as a nurse and helped care for thousands of newly freed slaves. As a spy, she helped to make deep inroads into enemy territory. As a commando, she led a series of devastating raids on Confederate positions. After the war up, she continued to serve those in need by offering food and shelter to the hoeless. In her final years, she helped build a home for old and impoverished blacks in Auburn, New York. Risking capture and death at every turn on the underground railroad, Harriet Tubman led more slaves to freedom than anyone else in American history. Harriet Tubman died on March 10, 1913 of pneumonia at the age of 93. Friends sand her favorite spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” at her bedside before she died.
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