On this day: in history (1894), Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist and social activist born into slavery escaped to Philadelphia. She subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.
During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the movement for women’s suffrage until illness overtook her, and she had to be admitted to a home for elderly African Americans that she had helped to establish years earlier. Tubman worked for the Union Army during the Civil War, and was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 enslaved people.
Before Tubman’s escape in 1849, she became ill again, which diminished her value in the eyes of the slave traders. Edward Brodess tried to sell her, but could not find a buyer. Angry at him for trying to sell her and for continuing to enslave her relatives, Tubman began to pray for her owner, asking God to make him change his ways. She said later: “I prayed all night long for my master till the first of March; and all the time he was bringing people to look at me, and trying to sell me.” When it appeared as though a sale was being concluded, “I changed my prayer”, she said. “First of March I began to pray, ‘Oh Lord, if you ain’t never going to change that man’s heart, kill him, Lord, and take him out of the way.'” A week later, Brodess died, and Tubman expressed regret for her earlier sentiments.
Tubman died at 91 and became an American icon a years after she died. A survey at the end of the 20th century named her as one of the most famous civilians in American history before the Civil War. She inspired generations of African Americans struggling for equality and civil rights.
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Created by Okey Obiabunmo