Harriet Tubman

African–American Abolitionist and Humanitarian

I would fight for my liberty
so long as my strength lasted,
and if the time came for me to go,
the Lord would let them take me.
  • Name Harriet Tubman
  • Birth March 1822
    Maryland, U.S.
  • Death: 10 March 1913
    Auburn, New York, U.S.

Life Sketch

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. March 1822 – March 10, 1913) actively participated in the freeing of slaves and in spying for the Union during the American Civil War. An African–American abolitionist and humanitarian, Tubman made thirteen missions to rescue more than 70 slaves using a network of safe houses created by antislavery activists that became known as the Underground Railroad. An escaped slave herself, Tubman returned to free her brothers and other family members and lead them to freedom. Tubman claimed she "never lost a passenger" while guiding escaped slaves through the Underground Railroad.

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A devout Christian, Tubman felt a divine responsibility to help others enjoy the same freedom she had first found in Philadelphia. During the American Civil War, Tubman worked as a nurse and cook in the Union Army. She then became an armed spy and was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war. The expedition ended in the Combahee River Raid, which freed more than 700 slaves in South Carolina.

Tubman continued to act as a humanitarian and activist after the war until her death in 1913.


Reward notice for the return of Harriet Tubman and her two brothers, 1849

1849 Reward Notice

1880 US Census

Affidavit of Harriet Tubman requesting compensation related to her claim for a pension, 1898

1898 Affidavit