Biography

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  Harriet Tubman(born Araminta "Minty" Ross) was born in 1820 or 1822(specific date is unknown due to the lack of records kept for slaves) in Dorchester County, Maryland. She was born a slave.    
    At the age of 4 or 5 she babysat her brothers while her mother was at work, until she turned 5 or 6 and was considered old enough to work for her new master, James Cook, to learn the trade of weaving. She quickly learned Cook and his wife were cruel. Minty was often beaten and treated like a piece of property rather than a human being. Only when Minty was really ill was she sent back to her mother's master, Elizabeth Brodess. She was next sold to a Miss Susan as a nursemaid and house servant. Miss Susan regularly beat her too. It was as a child that Minty first dreamed of being free. It was also as a child that Minty was first separated from her father.    
    One day, Miss Susan and her husband were fighting, and there were bowls with lumps of sugar in them. Minty had never tasted sugar, so she quickly ate a lump. Miss Susan saw her and took out her whip.  Minty ran out before she could take her first lash. Minty kept running until she reached a pig pen. Minty stayed in the pig pen for days. She finally left of hunger, for the pigs fought her for the food. When she got back to her master's home, Miss Susan didn't beat her, her husband did. 
    When Minty was teenager, she was the slave of the worst man in the neighborhood. One day, her master sent her and the cook to the local store. While there, she witnessed another slave owner try and tie down his runaway slave. Minty refused. The slave let lose and ran off due to Minty not helping. Minty blocked the door only to be on the floor bleeding from the head. The owner had thrown a weight intended for his slave, but had hit Minty. Minty was sent back to work bleeding and all. She did survive and healed, but she suffered a life long injury called narcolepsy (a chronic sleeping disorder). She may have gotten hurt in her teenage years but she was later reunited with her father.
    When Minty reached her adulthood, she met a free man named John Tubman. The two fell in love and married. Minty took his last name and changed her name to Harriet. She wanted to be free with her husband, so she made a plan for her brothers, her husband, and herself to runaway, but surprisingly, John refused. Harriet still ran away with her brothers, but halfway there, her brothers got tired and dragged Harriet back home, for she wanted to proceed. 
    Harriet decided to run a way again, but this time, solo. She left at night and followed the North Star and moss. Her father had taught her as a child that moss only grows on the north side of a tree trunk. She made it to Pennsylvania and was happy that she was finally a free woman. Little did she know, her journeys weren't over yet.
    As Harriet walked the streets of free Pennsylvania, she ran into her brother in law. He asked her to go back and get his wife (her sister) and their children. Harriet thought about it and went back to get them. On her way back, her trip was much easier than her first. She had the help of other free slaves and Quakers. The provided her, her sister, and her nieces and nephews food, shelter, and hiding spots. Harriet finally got them to Pennsylvania and reunited them with there husband/father.
    People had heard about Harriet’s good deed and asked her to go get others. Harriet would go back and forth bringing families back, and she proceeded for years. She was never caught.
    Now, as you know, getting back and forth with a gigantic bounty on your head isn't easy. She dealt with her narcolepsy and trying to stay away slave patrols (paddy rollers) and slave catchers. Another big problem in her life was her husband. While on a mission, Harriet stopped by to see him. She wore her best clothing and braided her hair. When she got there and the door was opened, she saw why he hadn't contacted her. He had remarried. She was heartbroken, but that incident didn't make her weak. It made her stronger. 
    On another mission, Harriet had to go through town to get food. She carried chicken to keep her hidden. While she was walking, she spotted her former master walking right towards her. She quickly dropped her chicken and ran to catch them so her old owner wouldn't recognize her. Harriet surely took a lot of risks, but she succeeded and was never caught. But one mission almost got her caught, and jailed for good.
    Harriet helped eight slaves from Dorchester County plan an escape. Her father sheltered the runaways in his home. Harriet had told them to contact a Thomas Otwell, a free black man and an Underground Railroad conductor, in Dover, Delaware. Unfortunately, Otwell betrayed the group for a $3,000 reward to catch them. Instead of guiding them to the north, he guided them to jail. Luckily the group escaped.
    An investigation took place to capture the group. They had many suspects and one was Ben Ross. They rightly suspected that Ben Ross's house had been used as a hideout for the group, now called the Dover Eight. Before they could arrest them, a Anthony C. Thompson warned Ben and told him he needed to leave. Harriet went back to Maryland to get her mother and father. Because they were older, Harriet had to buy a horse and make a carriage for them to ride in.
    Her bravery earned her the name "The Moses of Her People." Moses led his people out of slavery as Harriet had.
After the Emancipation Proclamation, Harriet went on to help others with battles. She became a nurse, scout, and spy for the Union Army in the Civil War. She continued to help slaves escape during the war. When the South gave up, she raised money for African-American schools and moved back to Auburn.
    Harriet Tubman died on March 10, 1913.
Harriet helped many people and was very religious. She believed God gave her messages to go on her journeys. She is an American hero.