Harriet Tubman was an escaped slave who became a leading abolitionist. She led hundreds of slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.
Notes to Women salute this brave woman who suffered hardship and physical violence. When she crossed into the free state of Pennsylvania, she was overwhelmed with relief and awe. Of this experience, she said, “When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven.”
This taste of freedom was something that she wanted others to experience. So, instead of staying there in the North where it was safe, she made it her mission to rescue her family and others who were still living in slavery. She earned the nickname “Moses” for leading others to freedom.
Harriet made history as the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, guiding the Combahee River Raid which liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina. She was named one of the most famous civilians in American History before the Civil War, third only to Betsy Ross and Paul Revere. Today, she continues to be an inspiration to generations of Americans who are still struggling for civil rights.
I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.
I would fight for my liberty so long as my strength lasted, and if the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.
I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.
I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.
I grew up like a neglected weed – ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.
I said to de Lord, ‘I’m goin’ to hold steady on to you, an’ I know you’ll see me through.’
Twasn’t me, ’twas the Lord! I always told Him, ‘I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me,’ an’ He always did.