11 Amazing Harriet Tubman Facts That You May Not Know | Kidadl


11 Amazing Harriet Tubman Facts That You May Not Know

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

She was the Moses of her people and the very first African American woman to have served as a Union spy.

Harriet Tubman was an impressive young Black woman. She continued to amaze everyone by fighting for the freedom of Black people from slavery.

Tubman was born into slavery and after her escape, she made sure she brought freedom to the rest of the enslaved people as well. She fought for their freedom and helped the slaves reach the free states to lead a new life. Even though she served her whole life and also worked as an aid during the Civil War, she was never really paid. Later in her life, Tubman made a claim to the Library of Congress for her pay, to which the Library of Congress passed a private bill, after 30 years of her service, providing Harriet with 20 dollars monthly.

Who was Harriet Tubman?

Harriet Tubman was born with the name Araminta Ross in March 1822. (The exact birth date and place is unknown, like every other slave during the period of slavery.) She eventually changed her name after her marriage and opted for her mother's name, Harriet. Tubman was an abolitionist and a political activist.

She was born during a period where slavery was prevalent and being born in Dorchester County in Maryland, she was beaten and whipped by the masters that she served early in her life. She was injured when an overseer threw a heavy two-pound weight that was intended to hit another slave but instead hit Tubman on the head. The injury caused Harriet to feel nauseous and dizzy; she began to see religious visions and vivid dreams which she described as visions of God. These visions and her Methodist upbringing made her quite religious. Harriet later underwent brain surgery in 1898 to help with headaches and seizures caused by this injury, and chose no anesthesia for the procedure, instead biting on a bullet as she had seen soldiers do in the Civil War.

In 1849, Harriet Tubman escaped to Philadelphia and returned later to save her whole family. She helped all of her relatives escape from Dorchester at night in extreme secrecy. 'Moses', as Tubman was named, never lost any passengers and made 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, using the network of antislavery activists, escape routes, and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. Her autobiography says that she saved 700 slaves (which is claimed to be an exaggerated number by the author of her biography). During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. Later she was also an activist during the Women's Suffrage movement.

Harriet Tubman Biography

Harriet Tubman was born with the name Araminta Ross to enslaved parents Harriet Rit Green and Benjamin Ross. The exact birth date of Tubman is not known, much like other slaves during that period, but the estimation is between 1820-22. She had eight siblings, and by the age of five, she was given away to a domestic house to serve as a helper. She started to work in the fields owned by Anthony Thompson, who her father Ben Ross served. Harriet started to show signs of being a rebel at the age of 12 when she took that hit from the master, meant for another enslaved person. The injury caused Harriet to have visions which she described as the visions of God.

Tubman escaped Maryland to save herself from being sold. She ran away to Philadelphia and worked there for about a year to save money, only to come back and save her family and several other slaves through the Underground Railroad. She had married a free Black man before she ran away, but after she came back to save him, he had already married another woman. Harriet Tubman's techniques saved the people from the slave catchers and she never lost a single passenger in her missions. After the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed, Harriet helped the fugitives to escape to Canada (which was a free state), and live a free life.

Tubman met John Brown in April 1858. Brown was an insurgent who advocated the use of violence in order to free the slaves in the United States. Up till now, Tubman had rescued the slaves of Maryland by being discreet and peaceful and never had used violence against any white person. Even so, she agreed to the plans of Brown, and Tubman helped him to attack the slaveholders. 'General Tubman', as Brown called her, had helped him by using her experience and networks to achieve his goals. In May 1858, Brown revealed his plan of raiding the Harpers Ferry, Virginia, but the plan was leaked to the government which made him put a hold on it. When the raid eventually happened Tubman wasn't present. Some say she was busy with saving other slaves, while some predict she was in New York, extremely ill, suffering from her childhood head injury, which affected her for the rest of her life.

When the Civil War started Harriet became a Union spy and she joined a group of abolitionists in Boston and Philadelphia who were heading towards South Carolina. She became a fixture in the camps of South Carolina and provided assistance to the fugitives there. She also played the role of spy and nurse during the Civil War, and helped injured soldiers heal. After the Civil War ended, she dedicated her time to raising funds for the women suffragettes and helping the leaders of that movement. Along with this, she looked after her aging parents and worked with writer Sarah Bradford on her autobiography to get some income. She also got married to a Union soldier, Nelson Davis, who was also a formerly enslaved man.

Harriet Tubman's life continued in New York helping the elderly and soon she and Nelson adopted a daughter as well. Tubman died in 1913 and was buried with military honors in the Fort Hill Cemetery, New York.

Harriet Tubman is said to be the first woman to serve during the Civil War.

What did Harriet Tubman do?

Tubman was known as the Moses of her people, and being born during the period of slavery she escaped and then rescued several enslaved people to achieve freedom. She acted as the conductor of the Underground Railroad which had safe houses, hiding escaped slaves at night.

Tubman also served as a spy, scout, guerrilla soldier, and as a nurse for the Union army during the Civil War. She is considered the very first African American woman to serve in the Army. After the war, Tubman raised funds to aid the women's suffrage movement. She joined hands with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony on their fight for women's rights.

How many slaves did Harriet Tubman free?

Tubman was born as a slave in Dorchester County and soon she was sent to work in the fields. She married a free Black man named John Tubman in 1844. Later in 1849, when the field workers were to be sold, Harriet Tubman got scared and decided to run away.

She found her way to Philadelphia and worked to save money. She came back to Maryland to save her friends and family and other enslaved people, as being a former slave she knew about the life of slavery. At night, through several safe houses and secret passages, Tubman conducted the way out for the slaves, and she never lost a passenger. The very first time she came back was for her sister and her two young children. Soon she came back to rescue her brother and two other men. The third time she came back for her husband, but he had taken another wife, which didn't affect Harriet's missions and she kept on rescuing other slaves.

Written By
Lydia Samson

<p>A diligent and driven mass communications graduate from Caleb University, Lydia has experience in media and a passion for digital marketing and communications. She is an effective communicator and team-builder with strong analytical, management, and organizational skills. She is a self-starter with a positive, can-do attitude.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?