Even before Harriet Tubman was born she had a powerful enemy. Her enemy wasn’t a person or even a country; it was the system known as slavery. It is known that at least two grandparents were captured by slave traders and brought to North America from the Slave Coast of Africa during the 18th century. Because slaves were not allowed to read and write, Tubman grew up illiterate. She left no letters or diaries that would later allow historians to piece together all the parts of her life story. But we do know that she was one of history’s great heroines. With courage and determination, she escaped from slavery herself and then led more than 300 slaves to safety and freedom. When the Civil War began, she tirelessly scouted for the Union army and continued to free her people. Many of these newly freed slaves became new recruits for the Union army. Tubman rose from slavery to become one of the most remarkable stories in the history of the United States of America.
About 40 years before the Civil War began, a slave child, Araminta. Like others born into slavery, Araminta, who later become known as Harriet Ross Tubman, was never to know her birth date. Her parents, Harriet Greene and Benjamin Ross, couldn’t read or write. They didn’t even know the months of the year. They simply kept track by the seasons: summer, winter, harvest time, and planting time. They had no family records beyond their own memories to document the births of their 11 children.
The most important fact about Harriet Tubman’s birth was not the date or the place, or even who her parents were. It was that she was, from the day she was born the property of Edward Brodas, who owned her parents. A child was a slave if either her mother or father was a slave.
Araminta’s master, Edward Brodas, wasn’t an evil man. He went to church, where he was taught that slavery was a natural part of life and that God had made white people better than black people. He was taught that because he was born with the privilege of being white and wealthy, it was his responsibility to provide those entrusted to his care. He didn’t feel sorry for his slaves as they worked all day in the hot sun, because he honestly believed that the Africans were better suited to such labor than he was. He believed that they had been created for just such hard, backbreaking work. When he heard his slaves singing as they w...
... middle of paper ...
.... So she did the work she could, she was as strong as a man was. She could lift heavy loads and work long hours at any job she was given.
In 1849, Harriet Tubaman made plans to escape. Unlike Frederick Douglass, she knew nothing about geography. In fact, she knew the names of only two northern states, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She could not have read a map if she had been given one. Her only compass was the North Star. Harriet’s first plan for escape included three of her brothers. Since her master’s death, rumors had been circulating that she and her brothers would be sold to the next slave trader and taken to the south. At first her brothers were interested in her plan, but they grew more and more nervous as the time to escape approached. Too many things could go wrong, they thought. It would take only one person to betray them. They would be lucky to get out of the county. As soon as some one discovered that they were missing, the whole county would find out. The brothers didn’t think they had a chance, but Tubman thought being taken south would make an escape even harder. They would have father to travel.
But she successfully escaped and help many other slaves escape also.
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