My Passion: Helping slaves from the American South escape captivity via The Underground Railway to Canada, and fighting for suffrage – the right for American women to vote.
I was born into slavery around 1820 (no-one knew my exact date of birth) on a plantation in Maryland and after many years of bondage, married a black free man, John Tubman. Still a slave myself, I decided to escape with two of my brothers who were about to be sold, and eventually made my way 145 kilometres (90 miles) north to Pennsylvania, where slavery had been abolished.
Over the next 10 years or so, I led or helped lead more than 70 slaves including my parents to their freedom via The Underground Railroad; some say the actual number was closer to 300. After the American Civil War began in 1861, I also helped slaves in Fort Monroe, Virginia achieve their freedom, and assisted slaves in the south to escape north and join a black regiment fighting for the Union.
After the Civil War, I settled in New York state and worked with Susan B. Anthony and many others in the struggle to achieve suffrage for American women. In 1919, six years after my death, the US Congress passed the 19 th Amendment granting all women the right to vote.
Harriet Tubman Notable Quotes:
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember that within you, you have the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
“God’s time is always near. He gave me my strength and he set the North Star in the heavens. He meant I should be free.”
“I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to: liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would have the other.”
“I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”