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Harriet Tubman And The Abolitionist Movement

3795 words - 15 pages

When we think of African American history we often forget about the people before the civil rights movement. The people who paved the way for future leaders. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, and Rosa parks are often who we think of. We forget about individuals that made a significant impact that led us to the present place we are today. Harriet Tubman's contribute to history was that she was the conductor of the Underground Railroad, which helped bring slaves to freedom. Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist and was part of the woman's suffrage move.
Harriet Tubman was born as Araminta Ross in 1820 or 1821, on a plantation in Dorchester County, Buckton, Maryland, and the slave of Anthony Thompson. She was one of eleven children to Harriet Ross and Benjamin Green. Her mother was the property of Mary Pattison Brodess, while her father Benjamin was owned by Anthony Thompson. Her father was a timber inspector, supervising the timber on Anthony Thompson’s plantation. Being the fifth child, she was given the nickname Minty. Like many families during this time, the family struggled to stay together. The Brodesses sold her sisters Linah, Mariah Ritty, and Soph away causing them to be separated from their family forever. They were often hired out to whites in the area so at many times Harriet Tubman experienced frequent separations. Her four younger siblings were often left in her care while her mother and older sisters worked on outside plantations.
At the age of 5, she started working full-time. Her master would hire them out to other families within the area. She cleaned white people's houses during the day and took care of their children at night. She had to stay up all night with the babies so that they wouldn’t wake up and disturb the parents while they slept. When she fell asleep she would get brutally whipped by her master. “I grew up," she said, "like a neglected weed—ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it . . . Every time I saw a White man I was afraid of being carried away. I had two sisters carried away in a chain gang—one of them left two children. We were always uneasy... I think slavery is the next thing to hell." (Lerone Bennett Jr. 2005). At some point in time Araminta Ross name was changed to the same name as her mother Harriet. She was sold to James Cook to weave. The weaving often made her cough and sneeze. She would get severe coughs and fevers. Like many slaves, Harriet was often whipped. One day she stole a lump of sugar from Miss Susan, in fear of getting whipped she ran away for four days. However, when she returned home she was whipped severely. She learned a great lesson from this experience; she should put on layers of clothes so it wouldn’t hurt as much when she was being whipped.
At the age of 13, Harriet became more rebellious; she disobeyed her masters as people watched. One day, another male slave was getting beat; the overseer wanted to punish him and he wanted Harriet to help but she refused to. Harriet was...

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