Black History Month Spotlight
Harriet Tubman is best known for her work as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. A slave while growing up, Harriet had been beaten and as a result suffered a serious head wound that brought on debilitating seizures, narcoleptic attacks, and headaches that plagued her throughout the remainder of her life.
In 1849 Harriet escaped captivity and made it to Philadelphia. Not long after reaching safety, Harriet returned to the south to help others – beginning with her family – escape the clutches of slavery. During her tenure as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, Harriet lead more than 300 slaves to freedom. In spite of the hardships and danger, Harriet never lost a “passenger” while leading escaped slaves north. Because of her work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet was given the name Moses.
"In April 1858 Harriet was introduced to John Brown, the radical Abolitionist." Brown believed in using violent means to bring slavery in the south to an end. Harriet held the same goal as Brown, to see slaves freed. Although she may not have agreed with Brown’s tactics to achieve his goals, she tolerated Brown’s actions – even helping him recruit “soldiers” for the raid on Harper’s Ferry.
During the American Civil War, Harriet served as an Army cook, nurse and spy, risking her life as she had done so many times before, this time to obtain valuable information for the Union Army. After the Civil War Harriet would became involved in the Women’s suffrage movement, working tirelessly to help women of all colors gain the right to vote.
Harriet died in 1913 and was buried with full military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, NY.
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