Harriet Tubman was one of the primary names that was associated with the Underground Railroad. Her work was simple: to help people who were slaves find a way to escape to freedom. It’s been over 100 years since this brave woman passed away, but her name and work continues to live on today because of these fun facts about her.
1. Harriet Wasn’t Her Name
Tubman’s real name was actually Araminta Ross. She took the last name of her husband after getting married in 1844, but adopted the name Harriet because it was her mother’s name. Like many others of her race at the time in the United States, she was born a slave. Tubman lived in Maryland, however, so the views of slavery were very mixed. Her husband, in fact, was considered to be a free man.
2. She Was Moses To Her People
After fleeing to Pennsylvania in 1849 without her husband, Tubman made several return trips to Maryland over the next 10 years to help rescue family and friends. This work gave her the nickname of “Moses,” a Biblical reference, because she was leading her people to the “promised land.” In all of her efforts, she never lost a single person that she was trying to save.
3. Danger Was Her Middle Name
A year after Tubman fled to Pennsylvania, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed. It provided a number of severe punishments to anyone that would help to assist a slave who had escaped. There were several slave holders that placed a bounty on her head because of how many people she was helping to find freedom at any given time.
4. She Suffered Every Day
One day while working out in the fields, one of her fellow workers got into trouble with their owner. She stood up for her fellow worker and as a result, suffered a traumatic brain injury. The injury gave her headaches throughout the course of her life and she would often have seizures as well. At night, she’d have dreams and visions that were attributed to God. Tubman often said that she was guided by these visions by God so that she could guide her people toward freedom.
5. She Was a Spy
Tubman’s work with the Underground Railroad was extremely valuable during the years of the Civil War. She worked for the Union Army as a cook and a nurse, but also has a spy at times when it made sense. This complimented her work in women’s suffrage and her fight for equality. John Brown’s famous raid on Harper’s Ferry came about after consulting with the “general” that Tubman had become. When she passed away, she was buried with full military honors because of her work.
6. Tubman Got Married Again
Although Tubman married a second time to a man named Nelson Davis, she get the last name of her first husband. Eventually the couple adopted a daughter, named Gertie, after the Civil War had come to its conclusion. Her final words were that she was going to prepare a place for them and 100 years later, she’s probably still working to make sure everyone gets a fair opportunity to chase their own dreams in the next life.