The Life and Work of Harriet Tubman Essay

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The Life and Work of Harriet Tubman

One of the most memorable African American women known to this day is Harriet Tubman. Everyone knows her by Harriet Tubman, but what society does not know her by, is Araminta Harriet Ross. She decided to change her name to Harriet in her teens because it was her mother’s first name. She did not have any choice but was to be born into slavery. Ever since she was a baby, that was all she known. She was born in the 1820’s in Dorchester County, Maryland on a plantation. Died on March 10th, 1913 in Auburn, New York. Harriet is known to be an African American abolitionist, humanitarian and was a Union spy during the American Civil War. Tubman had made a choice and escaped from slavery. She made thirteen missions to rescue more than seventy slaves all around. The Underground Railroad was a way she used antislavery activists and safe houses. Later in her days, she helped a man named, John Brown who recruited men for his raid on Harpers Ferry. There soon was a post-war era that struggled for women’s suffrage. Harriet Tubman was a very strong, independent woman and never gave up to help other African Americans from becoming marketed in the slave trade.
Harriet’s mother had been selected to be apart of the big house where they sold off slaves to people. Tubman acted like a big sister and took care of her younger brother and a baby in the house. When Harriet Tubman was about five or six years of age, Brodess hired her out to Miss Susan whom had a baby she wanted Harriet to watch and be her nursemaid. Miss Susan had Harriet only watch the baby when it was sleeping and if the baby woke up and started to cry when it was not suppose to, Harriet got punished for it and was whipped. Till the day that Harriet died, she still had the scars on her from the beating. Harriet Tubman knew that what this lady was doing to her was very wrong and she found a few ways to resist the beating. She first thought it was okay to runaway but that only lasted for about five days. She found a way to try to protect herself from getting hurt so bad by putting more layers of clothing on and if that did not work for her, she fought back.
Early in her life, she suffered a severe head wound when hit by a heavy metal weight. The injury caused disabling seizures, narcoleptic attacks, headaches, and powerful visionary and dream experiences, which occurred throughout her life. A devout Christian, Tubman ascribed the visions and vivid dreams to revelations from God.1
Harriet was sold off to a planter that made her do all of his dirty work for him, James Cook. James made Harriet go and check his muskrat traps nearby the marshes. She later than got the measles and became so ill that he had to send her back to Brodess. Brodess helped Harriet get healthy again just to sell her off. Harriet Tubman just grew older and stronger for herself and she was capable to field and do forest work. She even drove oxen to plow and to haul logs. People said that Harriet was getting even stronger than a man. Everything that happen to Harriet Tubman as a child, led her to be a great leader and get her through the toughest times. Harriet Tubman is known to be an abolitionist. “Abolitionism is the movement chiefly responsible for creating the emotional climate necessary for ending the transatlantic slave trade and chattel slavery.”2 Harriet was able to escape from slavery in the South, which led for her to be a leader as an abolitionist before the American Civil War. Tubman was able to lead more than hundreds of bondsmen to their freedom under the order of the Underground Railroad and this led them to the North. “Harriet guided some 300 fellow runaways to freedom as one of the most famous and successful "conductors" on the Underground Railroad.”3 This was a big deal for her because not many African American women were able to accomplish this task on their own. Tubman was a very strong women and she