By: Ashley Tillery
On April 20, 1853, African American Abolitionist and Activist Harriet Tubman started the famous Underground Railroad.
Born in Dorchester County, Maryland, in 1822, Tubman was born into slavery with her two siblings, Ben and Henry. Tubman had many occupational duties as a child, one being a nursemaid. As she grew older, her occupational roles increased. During the American Civil War, in 1861, Tubman aided soldiers by becoming a Civil War nurse.
Before her contributions to the Civil War, Tubman escaped from slavery. On September 17, 1849, Tubman and her two brothers escaped from slavery. Shortly after, due to second thoughts and regrets, Ben and Henry decided to return home and encouraged Harriet to do the same. Tubman tried to escape another time, but without her brothers.
She tried to send a message to her mother of her escape plans by singing, “I’ll meet you in the morning. I’m bound for the promised land.”
Tubman used a network of antislavery activists and safe houses, known as the Underground Railroad, to help lead slaves toward freedom. Tubman made 13 missions and rescued 70 families and friends from slavery.
Unfortunately in 1913, Tubman died of an pneumonia surrounded by family and close friends. She is buried with semi-military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York.
In honor of her admirable dedication to help end slavery, Tubman will replace former President Andrew Jackson, who was a former slave owner, on the United States Twenty dollar bill.
With Tubman’s unstoppable nature to help our African American ancestors to escape from slavery, we are stronger than ever today.