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What Was Harriet Tubman Greatest Achievement Essay

By Shaycee Renn

Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist. She was a free slave who strived for other slaves to also have freedom. She wanted to spread emancipation to every other slave in the U.S., and although she didn't free every slave, she spread emancipation to quite a few. It would have taken a lot of courage to do something that you could be killed for but, she did it. Tubman was an amazing woman who endured slavery at a young age, she granted manumission to hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad, and she conceived some clever ways to accomplish her mission.

According to Wikipedia Harriet's name at birth was Araminta Ross. She was one of the eleven children of Harriet and Benjamin Ross (Wikipedia). Her mom and dad were both slaves so she was born into slavery. Slavery is a horrible thing. Africans were brought to America on ships while they were stuffed in crates; it was like they were items. Slaves were treated like animals. One time one of Harriet's owners punished her by dropping a metal weight on her head which later caused her to be diagnosed with narcolepsy. Tubman became a free slave at the age of 24 (Wiki).

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved people in efforts to escape to free states or Canada. Harriet was one of the people who helped establish the Underground Railroad. Even though she was free she went back to go and free other slaves. She was known as “Moses.” Tubman was called this because she took slaves to the “promised land.” She was an abolitionist who was selfless in what she did because she risked being tortured and even killed to help other people.

What really helped Harriet accomplish the amazing act of freeing 300 slaves was Harriet's tactics. She came up with many clever ways to not be caught ever and to never lose a slave. A huge example of this is that she came up with coded songs to send messages to slaves. One song she said was “In Wade of the Water,” which told slaves to hide in the water. Another example of this is how when they arrived to a house they could stay at she would say “A Friend with Friends” so they would know it was her. Also because she was called “Moses” the slave owners thought that she was a man. This made them even more terrified of her even though she was a “her.” These are all genius ideas that contributed to her success in the Underground Railroad.

In the end after ten years, nineteen trips, Harriet managed to grant emancipation to over 300 slaves. This obviously took an abundant amount of courtesy, bravery, selflessness, and cleverness. She went through trying to give hope to slaves when she was unsure herself and all the while she had the serious disorder of narcolepsy. Harriet Tubman will forever be remembered in history for the great things she did. These things included being a slave who kept hope through it all, went back to save others, and came up with efficient ways to do it.

By Rowan Murdock

Did you know that Harriet Tubman freed around 300 to 400 slaves? Tubman also sang coded songs, was born into slavery and led slaves to freedom. Tubman was considered to be the “Moses” of her people. She was brave, courageous and determined. Tubman was a brave woman who saved many slaves' lives.

Harriet Tubman sang coded songs to let slaves know specific things about the next escape. She would sing to them while they were working or at night at their doorsteps. The song “Wade in the Water” was to let slaves know to travel in water to avoid being seen or tracked. The song “Steal Away” was a song to tell that a slave would soon be escaping. One last song is “Sweet Chariot,” which told slaves to get prepared to leave for the North because the Underground Railroad is coming.

Tubman was born into slavery in March 1822. When she was 13 years old, her master threw an iron weight at her head. That caused her to have narcolepsy. In 1849, she ran away. Her narcolepsy caused her to pass out and be tired during daytime, which was not good for when she was escaping and freeing slaves.

Harriet Tubman also freed around 400 slaves. She would sing the coded songs to tell about when and where to go. When the slaves would find her, she would lead them through water and swamps so the dogs could not smell them. They also went through water so the bounty hunters could not track them. Tubman kept a gun to threaten slaves who would want to go back. She would say, “Go on or die.” They would stop at safe houses, in which people would hide them and feed them. Once they got to the North though, they were still in constant fear of being caught because of the Fugitive Slave Law.

In conclusion, Harriet Tubman was a very brave woman who freed slaves and was even a spy for the Union in the Civil War. She saved over 300 slaves in 19 trips. She sang coded songs, was born into slavery and led slaves to freedom. Tubman made a huge impact on America. Do you think you could?

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Information and Articles About Harriet Tubman, a famous women In history

Harriet Tubman summary: Harriet Tubman is often called the Moses of her people for leading so many of them out of bondage to freedom. She was an abolitionist, an integral part of the Underground Railroad, a humanitarian, and a Union nurse and spy during the American Civil War.

Araminta Ross was born in the winter of 1819 or 1820 to Benjamin and Harriet (Greene) Ross, who were slaves on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Araminta or "Minty" was born into a large family of slaves with origins in Africa—her grandparents may have been from the Ashanti tribe in what is now Ghana. The exact date of her birth is unknown because she was a slave and owners did not often record their slave’s birthdates. Before she reached adulthood, Araminta changed her first name to Harriet, after her mother.

Although some of her siblings were illegally sold to out of state buyers, at five or six years old, Harriet was loaned out to another plantation, where she was put to work checking muskrat traps in rivers. She became too sick to work and was returned, malnourished and suffering from exposure to cold. After she recovered, she was lent out again to another plantation where she worked as a nursemaid to the planter’s child.

By her early teens, she was working as a field hand, plowing and hauling wood. During this time, she defended a fellow field hand who had tried to run away. Harriet came between the angry overseer and the field hand. The overseer threw a two-pound weight at the field hand, but it fell short and hit Harriet in the head—she had life-long headaches, seizures, and narcolepsey as a result.

Around 1844, Harriet asked for and received permission from her owners to marry and live with John Tubman, a freeman, and took his last name, but she was required to continue working for her owner. In 1849, Harriet and two of her brothers ran away after their master died, afraid that they would be sold. Her brothers had second thoughts, and the group returned. Not long after, Harriet left on her own, on foot in the middle of the night, using a part of the Underground Railroad that was already in place in eastern Maryland. She traveled only at night, using the North Star and instructions from helpers in the Underground Railroad to guide her about 90 miles to Pennsylvania.

She went to Philadelphia, worked odd jobs, and began to make plans for a return to Maryland to help her family—and eventually anyone who would take the risk of flight—to freedom. She became involved in abolitionist organizations, including the Underground Railroad, which provided safe havens and guidance for escaping slaves.

In 1850 she returned to Maryland and brought her niece’s family to freedom. In 1851, she returned for one of her brothers and two other men. During her third trip, she planned to convince her husband to come north, but discovered he had taken another wife, a freewoman. Instead, she found other slaves seeking freedom and guided them to freedom. Emboldened by each trip, which were all successful, Harriet continued her slave-freeing trips into Maryland. She became adept at avoiding capture and she carried a long rifle with her—both for protection and as a means of ensuring her escapees would not lose their nerve. She warned them that if they changed their mind and surrendered or returned to their owners, she would shoot them.

Following the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Harriet left Philadelphia and moved to St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, where she brought many of the slaves she freed. Throughout the 1850s, she made numerous trips back into Maryland to guide slaves to freedom, including three of her other brothers in 1853 and her parents in 1857. By the late 1850s, she was able to buy a small farm for her parents in Auburn, New York, from New York Senator William H. Seward, one of her advocates and supporters. The following year, she moved from St. Catharines to the house in Auburn as well, using it as her base when she wasn’t traveling or speaking.

In her 12 years of freedom before the American Civil War began, Harriet helped make the Underground Railroad one of the most important aspects of abolitionism and became one of the most active figures in the movement. John Brown, the militant abolitionist she sometimes worked with, called her General Tubman for her bravery. In 1858, she helped Brown raise funds for a raid on the United States Armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), after which he planned to arm the slaves of the town and instigate a rebellion, although she did not participate in the ill-fated 1859 raid.

During the Civil War, Harriet served with the Union Army, doing whatever she could to help with the war and to help the fugitive slaves that arrived at Union army camps, cooking meals and nursing soldiers and fugitives alike. In 1862 she went with a group of missionary teachers to Union-occupied Beaufort, South Carolina, to help a group of Sea Island slaves transition to freedom. She was also a scout and a spy behind Confederate lines. In 1863, she became the first woman in America to command an armed military raid. She led Colonel James Montgomery and his 2nd South Carolina regiment, composed of freed black men, up the Combahee River in South Carolina’s southern Low Country. They sought Confederate outposts and destroyed stockpiles of cotton, food, and weapons, and liberated over 700 slaves.

At the end of the war, Harriet returned to Auburn and continued to be a community activist and humanitarian, and an active member of the suffrage movement. She helped shelter the poor and the elderly on the farm in Auburn though she herself struggled financially.

In 1867, her estranged husband, John, was killed in Maryland by Robert Vincent, a white man with whom he had quarreled earlier that day. Two years later, she remarried, this time to Civil War veteran Nelson Davis, whom she had taken in at the end of the war. In 1874, they adopted a daughter, Gertie.

Beginning in the late 1860s, she sought compensation from the federal government for her work during the war. Her request was rejected although her petition was supported by many prominent people, including now-Secretary of State William H. Seward.

Her financial difficulties continued. Her friends and her allies from the abolitionist movement raised funds to help her. Local children’s author Sarah H. Bradford wrote an authorized biography called Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman, published in 1869, and gave the money from sales of the book to Harriet. The book remains a valuable source of information about Harriet’s life. Bradford wrote another book in 1886, Harriet, the Moses of her People, and there were other fundraisers through the years to help Harriet.

In 1895, Congress awarded her a pension of $8 monthly as the widow of a Union solider— Nelson had died in 1888—and a lump sum of $500 retroactive compensation for the five years in which her pension claim had been pending. In 1897, a bill was introduced to provide her with an additional $25 a month in recognition of her services as a Union army nurse. Nearly two years later Congress agreed upon a small, life-long pension of $12 a month for her services as a wartime nurse—the standard amount for such pensions—in addition to her widow’s pension, and President William McKinley signed the bill into law.

At the turn of the century, Harriet became involved with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Auburn. In 1903, she donated some of her land to the church on the condition that it be used for a home for the "aged and indigent colored people." The community in Auburn funded the construction of the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged, which opened in 1908. By 1911, frail and indigent herself, she was admitted to the home, where she died in 1913. She was buried at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn with military honors. She continues to be an enduring symbol of self-sacrifice, persistence, patriotism, and humanitarianism.


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