Alot of people are brave for different reasons, most people associate Harriet Tubmanwith being an African American slave in Maryland. Butshe was a lot more than just a slave, shebecame the most famous leader of the underground railroad (World Book,1990 p.480).
In1820 Araminta Ross, Moses,or Harriet Tubman whichever you knew her as, was born into slavery by her parents Harriet Greenand Benjamin Ross in Dorchester County, Maryland (Harriet tubman.org). Back in the 1800’s it wouldn’t be a surprise for an AfricanAmerican person to be influential. But for an African American woman to have a very important rolein that time period was almost unheard of. Slavery filled the nation in the 19thcentury. AfricanAmericans were seen and treated like they were a piece of property.
Harriet Tubman was all toofamiliar with the reality of slavery. In 1933 Harriet Tubman was struck in thehead with a metal weight and was injured. She started having seizures and shewould black out. Unfortunately,this would affect her for the rest of her life.
Harriet Tubman also started having dreams thatgod was trying to communicate with her. It was her belief in god that gave her the courage to lead theslaves to freedom. She had married John Tubman in 1844who was a free African American man (pbs.org) In 1894 Harriet Tubman’s master had died and she decided to escapeslavery. she used the underground railroad to escape to Philadelphia. The undergroundRailroad was nothing but secret routs, meeting places, passageways and safehouses that was used by slaves. The safe houses would provide the slaves withfood and shelter (pathways.
think) until it was safe to continue on the undergroundrailroad. But the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 but a dangerous factor to play. Before the law was put into act if a slave had escapedsuccessfully and made it to free land, they were safe. But once the FugitiveSlave Law of 1850 was put into act, slave owners were allowed to recapturetheir slaves. Also, anybody who got caught hiding or helping slaves was goingto face consequences. Which would have put a lot of people at risk besides theslaves who were running away.
After this law was put into act it would havebeen extremely dangerous for Harriet Tubman to even think about going back andforth to Maryland just to rescue those that were enslaved. At a point in timeHarriet Tubman’s reward money was $40,000 for the south if she was found andcaptured. (pbs) She could have just escaped, never looked backand moved on with her life but she didn’t. Instead she used the skills thatwere taught to her by her father to return to Maryland and help other slavesescape to freedom.
That’sextremely brave, I couldn’t even imagine going back once I had already escaped successfully.Also, you risk getting caught, if I escape once without anybody realizing, Idefiantly would not want to go back and risk my safety and possibly my lifemultiple times. Not only did she just go back once she went back a totalof 19 times. She was never caught nor did she lose a slaveon route. Not a lot of people can say they helped slavesescape to freedom without being caught. If a slave was caught running away theconsequences are unfortunate.
Sometimes they were sold,severely beaten or they could even be killed. As the years went on with her rescuing slavesfrom plantations, she eventually moved to Auburn, New York, which is a lotcloser to the Canadian border. Becauseof the Fugitive Slave Law, some runaway slaves wouldn’tbe considered safe or free until they were at the Canadian border. shewent back and forth to rescue captured slaves until 1861. If that wasn’t enough for her in 1862she had offered her services to the Union Army which was a part of the civilwar.
Harriet Tubman had many roles andjobs in the civil war. She was a cook, she nursed the injured, and she was alsoa spy. She had recruited a lot of formerslaves to hunt for camps called rebel camps and to report on the movement ofthe confederate troops. In June of 1863 Harriet Tubman andColonel James Montgomery rescued 700 slaves along the Combahee river.
Throughout her life Harriet Tubmanhad done some brave things. She is a very important part of history because ofall the things she has done. Risking your life multiple times just to escape slavery,going back and forth to rescue other slaves, being one of the only AfricanAmerican women to work alongside men to be a part of the civil war. Noteverybody can say that they were a part of something that made a breakthrough inhistory. Despite having an injury as a childthat caused her to have seizures and black out for the rest ofher life, she still made it a priority of hers to rescue slaves and lead themto freedom. Because of Harriet Tubman’s courage, it inspired many other peopleand events. She got the names “Moses” and “General Tubman” because of herleadership skills and for all her bravery.
There were hundreds of slaves duringthat time period, and any one of them could have done what she did, but not oneslave did what she did. She was the only one who risked her life to make adifference. She took the first steps into getting slaveryabolished, also being a part of the civil war was another big step. EvenFrederick Douglass said, “Excepting John Brown – of scared memory – I know ofno one who has willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve outenslaved people other than Harriet Tubman” (pbs) also John Brown once said that”Harriet Tubman was one of the bravest persons on the continent”. (pbs) So itis not just my opinion that she is a brave person and important person,multiple people have made this statement throughout history.
Because of HarrietTubman’s bravery, a lot more slaves would have died due to the harsh slavery conditions.