Wikipedia On Harriet Tubman


Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. March 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the struggle for women’s suffrage.

Born a slave in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate slave owner threw a heavy metal weight intending to hit another slave, but hitting her instead. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. After her injury, Tubman began experiencing strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God. These experiences, combined with her Methodist upbringing, led her to become devoutly religious.

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”. After the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed, she helped guide fugitives farther north into British North America, and helped newly freed slaves find work. Tubman met John Brown in 1858, and helped him plan and recruit supporters for his 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry.

When the 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 at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 slaves. After the war, she retired to the family home on property she had purchased in 1859 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 that she had helped to establish years earlier. After her death in 1913, she became an icon of courage and freedom.


Did Harriet Tubman Have A Near-Death Experience?

“As an adolescent, Tubman suffered a severe head injury when an overseer threw a two-pound metal weight at another slave who was attempting to flee. The weight struck Tubman instead, which she said ‘broke my skull.’ Bleeding and unconscious, she was returned to her owner’s house and laid on the seat of a loom, where she remained without medical care for two days. After this incident, Tubman frequently experienced extremely painful headaches. She also began having seizures and would seemingly fall unconscious, although she claimed to be aware of her surroundings while appearing to be asleep. This condition remained with her for the rest of her life; Larson suggests she may have suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy as a result of the injury.”



Harriet Tubman Quotes

“In my dreams and visions, I seemed to see a line, and on the other side of that line were green fields, and lovely flowers, and beautiful white ladies, who stretched out their arms to me over the line, but I couldn’t reach them no-how. I always fell before I got to the line.”Source

“I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, and I felt like I was in heaven.”Source

“It wasn’t me, it was the Lord! I always told Him, ‘I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me,’ and He always did.”Source

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”Source


Harriet Tubman’s Visions From God Play A Major Role In The New Biopic
By Lia Beck
October 23, 2019

Original Article

The Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet follows the iconic abolitionist’s life from the time right before she runs away to freedom up to the Civil War. And while audiences should be familiar with at least parts of her story that go beyond the content of their history textbooks, the film focuses on a particular element of Tubman’s life that may surprise some viewers. It’s been documented that Harriet Tubman had visions that she believed were god’s way of telling her about events before they happened.

In the film, Harriet (Cynthia Erivo) explains that the visions began after she got a head injury while trying to protect another slave from their owner. This is accurate. According to History, at age 12, Tubman saw an overseer about to throw a heavy weight at a fugitive slave and stepped in front of them, so that the weight hit her. After that, she began to go into sleep-like states during the day, and during these episodes and in her dreams at night, she felt god came to her to give her warnings, including ones about her family members being sold to other slave owners.

“[The visions are] very much a part of Harriet Tubman. She talked about it a lot,” Harriet director and co-writer Kasi Lemmons tells Bustle at the New York press junket for the film. Lemmons researched the visions in depth for her film and found numerous instances in which Tubman said she knew about things before they occurred. “She’d say, for instance, I saw a dark cloud hanging over my brothers and knew that they were about to be sold,” the filmmaker explains.

Lemmons notes two other instances of premonition that Tubman felt certain about. “She was friends with John Brown, and he really was desperate for her to join him at Harpers Ferry, and she had a vision that he was going to be cut down and she didn’t go,” the filmmaker says. After Brown led a violent anti-slavery 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry, he was hanged for treason.

Similarly, Tubman said she had a vision about the end of slavery in the U.S. a couple of years before the Emancipation Proclamation. “She woke up from the vision and said to her abolitionist friend, ‘My people are free!'” Lemmons explains. “And her friend said, ‘My dear, not in our lifetime.’ And Harriet said, ‘No, god just showed me. My people are free.’ To the point where, when the Emancipation Proclamation happened and people were celebrating, her friend said to her, ‘Why aren’t you celebrating?’ [Tubman] said, ‘I celebrated two years ago.'”

The same story is recounted in Harriet: The Moses of Her People, an 1886 biography by Sarah H. Bradford that features interviews with Tubman. According to the account in the book, Tubman said, “I had my jubilee three years ago. I rejoiced all I could den; I can’t rejoice no more.”

In her research, Lemmons says she found that there were other friends and acquaintances in Tubman’s life who doubted her ability to see the future. “‘Well, I don’t know if I believe everything, but I know she believes it,'” is how the filmmaker sums up the position of most people who knew Tubman. Lemmons also notes that Tubman supposedly knew other people who received visions, “who were like kindred spirits in that way.”

The visions weren’t the only powerful spiritual connection that Tubman believed she had with her god. As Lemmons notes, Tubman’s owner, Edward Brodess died a week after she “cursed him.” Another of Bradford’s biographies, Scenes From the Life of Harriet Tubman, explains that Tubman prayed that Brodess would change his mind about selling her away from the rest of her family, and eventually, she prayed that if his mind couldn’t be changed that he should die. This also plays out in the film.

So much is known about Tubman and about her visions thanks to writers and fellow abolitionists, who kept track of her history, but also thanks to Tubman herself. Lemmons explains that Tubman would hold events where she would tell her story to raise money for the cause. Thanks to these accounts, the filmmaker was able to refer to Tubman’s own words to cinematically represent the visions that assisted Tubman in freeing herself and so many others.




Harriet Tubman Facts


• Harriet Tubman’s actual birthday is unknown. It is believed that she was born between 1819 and 1823.

• Her birth name was Araminta Ross. She was nicknamed “Minty” by her mother.

• Tubman’s maternal grandmother, Modesty, arrived on a slave ship from Africa. There is no information about her other ancestors.

• Harriet had eight siblings: Linah (1808), Mariah Ritty (1811), Soph (1813), Robert (1816), Ben (1823), Rachel (1825), Henry (1830), and Моses (1832).

• When Harriet was a teenager she suffered a head injury when an overseer threw a heavy metal at a runaway slave and instead hit her in the head.

• As a result of the injury she suffered from sleeping spells, she would suddenly fall asleep and it was difficult to wake her up. It gave her visions and dreams that she considered signs from God. Religion faith was the reason she risked her life guiding slaves to freedom.

• By 1835, about 14 years before Harriet escaped, about half the African American population on the eastern shore of Maryland was free.

• In 1844 she married John Tubman, a free African American. After Harriet escaped, she came back for him but he had married another woman.

• Before escaping she changed her name from Araminta to Harriet, after her mother, and adopted her husband’s last name.

• In 1849, Harriet and her two brothers, Harry and Ben, successfully escaped. Her two brothers had second thoughts and returned to the plantation. Harriet decided to continue and successfully made it to Pennsylvania, a free state.

• Harriet used the Underground Railroad, a network used by fugitive slaves to escape to free territories. They were aided by abolitionists and free African Americans who guided them to secret routes and safe houses.

• Her first trip to bring a family to freedom was in 1850. She brought her niece Kessiah, her husband John Bowley and their two children.

• In ten years conducting the Underground Railroad she had made 19 trips and guided her parents, siblings, relatives and friends for a total of around 300 slaves. Some were guided by her and others followed her instructions.

• She usually worked during winter months to avoid being seen and on Saturday night because newspapers would publish runaway notices on Monday morning.

• Tubman was nicknamed “Moses” by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.

• Tubman carried a handgun for self protection and urge slaves not to give up.

• Tubman or the slaves she guided were never captured.

• Tubman helped recruit supporters for the John Brown Harper’s Ferry Raid.

• John Brown called her “General Tubman”.

• Tubman used disguises to avoid getting caught. She dressed as a man, old woman or middle class free African American.

• In her last trip she brought the Ennals family. They had an infant and had to be drugged with paregoric in order to keep quiet.

• During the Civil War she was paid $200 over a period of 3 years. She supported herself by selling pies.

• Tubman claimed that the government owed her $966 for her services as a scout from May 25 1862 to January 31, 1865. That is $30 a month for 32.5 months of service. However scouts and spies were paid $60 a month and army soldiers $15 month. It took her 34 years to get a veteran’s pension.

• During the Civil War she worked as a nurse and a cook. Her knowledge of local plants helped her cure soldiers with dysentery.

• Tubman was the first woman to lead an assault during the Civil War. She conducted the Combahee River Raid which set free 700 slaves.

• On March 1869 when Harriet was about 59 years old she married Nelson Davis who was 22 years younger. They spent the next 20 years together. Nelson suffered from Tuberculosis and could not work on a consistent basis.

• In 1874 they adopted a baby girl named Gertie.

• Tubman and Nelson had a garden in their backyard where they grew vegetables and raised pigs and chickens.

• Her first authorized biography, Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman, was published in 1869 by Sarah Hopkins Bradford. She received $1200 from its publication.

• After the Civil War she became involved in the cause for women’s suffrage. She gave speeches in Boston, New York and Washington.

• Unable to sleep, Tubman underwent brain surgery in Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital. She refused anesthesia, instead she insisted to chew a bullet just like soldiers did when they had their legs amputated.

• She donated her property to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Auburn to be converted into a home for the aged and indigent colored people.

• Harriet Tubman died of pneumonia on March 10, 1913. She was about 93 years old.

• She was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York.

• The US Maritime Commission named its first Liberty Ship after her.

• Harriet Tubman remained illiterate for her entire life.


Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom
By Catherine Clinton

Amazon Description:

Celebrated for her exploits as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman has entered history as one of nineteenth-century America’s most enduring and important figures. But just who was this remarkable woman? To John Brown, leader of the Harper’s Ferry slave uprising, she was General Tubman. For the many slaves she led north to freedom, she was Moses. To the slaveholders who sought her capture, she was a thief and a trickster. To abolitionists, she was a prophet.

Now, in a biography widely praised for its impeccable research and its compelling narrative, Harriet Tubman is revealed for the first time as a singular and complex character, a woman who defied simple categorization.


Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero
By Kate Clifford Larson

Amazon Description:

Harriet Tubman is one of the giants of American history — a fearless visionary who led scores of her fellow slaves to freedom and battled courageously behind enemy lines during the Civil War. Now, in this magnificent biography, historian Kate Clifford Larson gives us a powerful, intimate, meticulously detailed portrait of Tubman and her times. Drawing from a trove of new documents and sources as well as extensive genealogical data, Larson presents Harriet Tubman as a complete human being — brilliant, shrewd, deeply religious, and passionate in her pursuit of freedom. A true American hero, Tubman was also a woman who loved, suffered, and sacrificed.


Harriet, the Moses of Her People
By Sarah Hopkins Bradford

Amazon Description:

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Harriet Ross; 1820 – March 10, 1913) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made more than thirteen missions to rescue more than 70 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.


Scenes In The Life of Harriet Tubman
By Sarah H. Bradford

Amazon Description:

Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman is a biography of Harriet Tubman, written by Sarah Hopkins Bradford in 1869, four years after the end of the Civil War. The book describes life and adventures of Tubman, an escaped slave, who had helped many escaped slaves travel to the northern States and Canada before the Civil War, using the Underground Railroad. Bradford wrote this book, using extensive interviews with Tubman, to raise funds for Tubman’s support. Harriet Tubman, born Araminta Ross, (c. 1822 – 1913) was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved people, family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.

Sarah Hopkins Bradford (1818 – 1912) was an American writer and historian, best known today for her two pioneering biographical books on Harriet Tubman. Bradford was one of the first Caucasian writers to deal with African-American topics, and her work attracted worldwide fame, selling very well.


• Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman

• Some Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman

• Extracts From a Letter Written by Mr. Sanborn, Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of State Charities

• Statements Made by Martin I. Townsend, Esq., of Troy, Who Was Counsel for the Fugitive, Charles Nalle

• Essay on Woman-whipping

• Harriet, The Moses of Her People