March 10, 2021, marked the 108th
anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s
passing. Tubman, born Aramita Ross, was born into slavery in Dorchester County Maryland, and later became one of the most famous conductors of the Underground Railroad, after escaping to freedom in 1849. Tubman was never caught and never lost a passenger. During her time as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, she successfully completed 13 missions and brought as many as 70 people to freedom, many of whom were family and friends.
Tubman is also considered
the very first African American woman to have served in the United States Military due to her work with the Union Army during the Civil War
. She wore many hats, serving as a scout, spy, guerrilla soldier and nurse during this time. Tubman was the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the war, guiding the raid at Combahee Ferry which ended up liberating over 700 enslaved people. Despite her heroics and service, Tubman never received a regular salary and was denied compensation for many years.
In her later years, Harriet moved to Auburn, New York and settled with family and friends on land she owned in that area. She married Nelson Davis in 1869, a former enslaved man and Civil War Veteran. Tubman had an open-door policy for anyone in need and supported her philanthropy efforts by selling her home-grown produce, raising pigs and accepting donations from friends. She also engaged heavily with the Women’s Suffrage Movement
and worked with Susan B. Anthony. A white woman once asked Tubman if she believed women had the right to vote, to which Tubman answered, “I’ve suffered enough to believe it.”
Tubman inspired generations of African Americans struggling for civil rights and equality. She is one of the most influential and famous civilians in history. On the anniversary of her passing, we honor her heroics and her powerful legacy.
“I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say — I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” ---Harriet Tubman at a suffrage convention, NY, 1896.