The Life of Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman is a towering figure in American history — but you might not even know how much she truly accomplished.

The Life and Legacy of Harriet Tubman

She was born into slavery as Araminta “Minty” Ross. Like many slaves, the exact date of her birth is unknown. She grew up on a Maryland plantation with eight siblings. At 12, she was struck in the head by a lead weight thrown by an angry slave owner. For the rest of her life she felt the effects of brain damage.

Around 1844, she married John Tubman a free black man and changed her name to Harriet to honor her mother. In 1849, her owner died, and she decided to flee. She made it 90 miles north to Pennsylvania using the secret network known as The Underground Railroad. After her escape she formed her own Underground Railroad network and helped guide dozens more slaves to freedom. By 1860, she had made 19 trips back to slave country to rescue people.

During the U.S. Civil War, she worked with the Union Army as a scout, a nurse and even a spy. In one of her most significant accomplishments, Tubman helped lead the 1863 raid on Combahee River. In 1908, she helped open The Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged — a center to care for people with brain conditions.

She has a legacy not only in terms of freedom of inspired enslaved people, not only in terms of African descended communities in the United States, but for reform more generally, for women’s rights, and she stands as a symbol of liberty in so many ways, of democracy in so many ways in terms of really sort of taking it upon herself to affect change.

She died in 1913 and was buried in New York with military honors after a life of activisim, fighting for your rights, and changing the world for generations to come.


05/24/2019 9:22 PM


  • Delores H.
    02/01/2021 15:08

    Still making history. May soon be the Face on twenty dollar bill.

  • Claire D.
    01/26/2021 22:53

    I would attest that people cannot be property so your argument is void But also, she didn’t steal them. She assisted their escape - are you going to propose they stole themselves?

  • Laurel W.
    01/26/2021 16:56

    Such tragic lives!!! LAUREL Woodrow

  • Ernestine N.
    01/26/2021 14:50

    A true heroine in her own right for her incredibly difficult and daring deeds to aid her country and all humankind. She was definitely an outstanding African-American woman!

  • Sonja J.
    01/26/2021 07:09

    A very strong woman 💖

  • Don D.
    01/26/2021 05:39

  • Louis B.
    01/26/2021 04:10

    She was AMAZING! She kept going back risking her life for others! I’m sure Jesus was watching her and saying, “Finally someone is actually living out My Message!”

  • Marcy B.
    01/26/2021 02:56

    Just wow these people here are spewing hatred...yet thank you Brut for sharing her story! She’s a hero to many and will be forever remembered for her incredible contributions and her work!

  • Mark W.
    01/26/2021 02:41

    Wait a minute... isn’t this the same people that took Aunt Jemima off the syrup bottle ?????

  • Venkataraman S.
    01/26/2021 02:40

    Wow pathetic slaves brought from india china kenya to carribean and Mauritius by English France capitalist for sugarcane cotton tobacco mining timber against indigineous people

  • Richard M.
    01/26/2021 02:24

    So she was stealing people's property

  • Zimkile T.
    01/26/2021 02:19

    Joe biden wants to do something have that done

  • Ricky P.
    01/26/2021 02:19

    She truly was a brave woman kudos to her for her efforts and bravery but hit if she sees the inner cities people who color I'm sure should be ashamed to call them brothers

  • Jesse R.
    01/26/2021 02:11

    The first ever woman to be on a US currency note and the first African-American ever to be given that honor.