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The Legacy Of Harriet Tubman Essay

2210 words - 9 pages

Discrimination and slavery filled our nation in the mid 19th century. African Americans were discriminated and seen as “property,” not human beings. Having been born as a slave, Harriet Tubman was no stranger to the harsh reality of slavery. Tubman’s childhood included working as a house servant and later in the cotton fields. With the fear of being sold, Tubman decided to escape for a better life. Harriet Tubman spent her life trying to save others from slavery, becoming one of the most famous women of her time who was able to influence the abolition of slavery, and effect the lives of many African Americans.
Harriet Tubman was born in 1820 as Aranminta Ross in Dorchester County, Maryland. She later changed her name to Harriet after her mother, and when she married a free black man named John Tubman in 1844, she took his last name. As a child since she was born into slavery, she had jobs such as working as a house servant and later on she worked in the cotton fields. “Physical violence was a part of daily life for Tubman and her family. The violence she suffered early in life caused permanent physical injuries” (Harriet Tubman Biography). At the age of twelve, Tubman has an incident that effected her severely. She had narcolepsy, also known as sleeping spells, which would make her be able to fall asleep at any time or place, that was caused by a severe hit to the head by a two pound iron weight that was thrown at another slave. The weight hit Tubman in the head though, disabling her. “The line between freedom and slavery was hazy for Tubman and her family. Harriet Tubman’s father, Ben, was freed from slavery at the age of 45, as stipulated in the will of a previous owner. By the time Harriet reached adulthood, around half of the African-American people on the eastern shore of Maryland were free. It was not unusual for a family to include both free and enslaved people, as did Tubman’s immediate family” (Harriet Tubman Biography). In 1849, Tubman feared that she, along with other slaves, would be sold, so she decided she was going to run away. At first she left with her two brothers, Ben and Henry, on September 17th, but after a notice was published offering three-hundred dollars for the return of Tubman, and her brothers, her brothers started having second thoughts about escaping, so they returned to the plantation. Tubman didn’t want to stay and have to live life as a slave, so one night she set out on foot alone. By following the North star at night, she as able to make her way to Pennsylvania. She then went to Philadelphia where she started to work and save her money. A year after, she went back to Maryland to bring her sister and her sister’s two children to freedom. She then went back two other times to rescue the rest of her family and her husband, but he had already been with his new wife. Tubman made the dangerous trip from Maryland to the North many times. She put her life on the line to save many other slaves who wanted to escape to...

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