Posted by: Ron DuBour | February 27, 2019

Knowing your American Heroes~Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross,) (1820 –1913)~by rldubour

Celebrating Black History Month:


Knowing your American Heroes

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross,) (1820 –1913)

Image result for Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross,) (1820 –1913)

Record keeping was very poor

For slaves in the United States.

Araminta Ross to slave parents

Both birth and death have conflicting dates.


Her fathers name was Ben Ross

Mother was Harriet (“Rit”) Green.

Born in eighteen twenty or twenty-five

Or somewhere in-between.


As a child she was often beaten

Married John Tubman in forty-four.

Changed her name to Harriet

Women’s suffrage she could not ignore.


Escaped to Philadelphia

In eighteen hundred and forty-nine.

Slowly returned to rescue

Her relatives’ one group at a time.


When the U.S. Civil War began

First a cook and then a nurse.

Later was an armed scout and spy

She proved to be quite diverse.


The first woman to lead and armed expedition

A raid on the Combahee River.

Where they liberated seven-hundred slaves

To freedom she did deliver.


Instrumental with the safe-houses

Known as the Underground Railroad.

Helped John Brown recruiting men

For Harpers Ferry a common mode.


Retired in her family home

Where she cared for her aging parents.

Stilled active in women’s suffrage

And fought for more improvements.


When illness overtook her

Up to her last day here on earth.

On March thirteenth, nineteen-thirteen.

To rest in peace with mirth.


Harriet Tubman born Araminta Ross

Was an African American

An Icon in American courage and freedom

An abolitionist and humanitarian.


AUTHOR NOTES: Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross to slave parents, Harriet (“Rit”) Green and Ben Ross, owned by Mary Brodess (and later her son Edward) and Anthony Thompson, who ran a plantation near the Blackwater River in Dorchester County, Maryland. As with many slaves in the United States, neither the exact year nor place of her birth was recorded, and historians differ as to the best estimate. Kate Larson records the year 1822, while Jean Humez says “the best current evidence suggests that Tubman was born in 1820, but it might have been a year or two later.” Catherine Clinton notes that Tubman herself reported the year of her birth as 1825, while her death certificate lists 1815 and her gravestone lists 1820. Born a slave in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. Early in her life she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate slave owner threw a heavy metal weight at her, intending to hit another slave. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia which occurred throughout her entire life. A devout Christian, she also experienced strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God. In 1849 Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives with her out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other slaves to freedom. Traveling by night and in extreme secrecy, Tubman (or “Moses”, as she was called) “never lost a passenger”. Her actions made slave owners anxious and angry, and they posted rewards for her capture. When a far-reaching Fugitive Slave Law was passed in 1850, she helped guide fugitives further north into Canada, and helped newly-freed slaves find work. When the US Civil War began, Tubman worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid on the Combahee River, which liberated more than seven hundred slaves. After the war, she retired to the family home in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. She was active in the women’s suffrage movement until illness overtook her and she had to be admitted to a home for elderly African-Americans she had helped open years earlier. After she died in 1913, she became an icon of American courage and freedom. Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. 1820 – 10 March 1913), was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the US Civil War. After escaping from captivity, she made thirteen missions to rescue some seventy slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women’s suffrage.

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