Harriet Tubman

This statue shows Harriet Tubman, who is shown in the photo, helping enslaved people escape to freedom.

Harriet Tubman was born in 1822. People are celebrating the bicentennial of her birth this year, or 200 years since her birth. What do you know about Harriet Tubman?

Harriet Tubman grew up enslaved in Maryland. When she was very young, an angry slave owner threw a heavy weight at another enslaved person. It hit Harriet instead. It caused headaches and other problems her entire life. But it did not stop her from wanting to be free and to help others.

In 1849, she escaped to Philadelphia. The city did not allow residents to enslave others. She returned to Maryland and rescued her family. Tubman then risked her life to bring dozens more enslaved people to freedom.

When the Civil War began, Tubman worked as a cook and a nurse for the Union Army. Later, she became a scout and a spy. She guided an armed raid in South Carolina. It freed more than 700 enslaved people. Later in her life, she worked to get women the right to vote.

There are two national parks dedicated to Harriet Tubman in New York and one in Maryland. At these sites and many museums, people can learn more about Harriet Tubman and her bravery.

What Do You Think? Harriet Tubman risked her life to help other people. Why do you think she did that?

Photo Credit: Library of Congress and the National Museum of African American History & Culture [LC-DIG-ppmsca-54230]