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Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross) was an African-American humanitarian who is remembered for her abolitionist efforts during the America Civil War. Tubman was born into slavery to Harriet Green and Ben Ross, who had a total of nine children including Harriet. Her father was owned by Anthony Thompson and her mother by his wife Mary Brodess. The exact year of her birth is unknown but it is speculated to be between 1820 and 1825. She suffered many hardships during her life. She had to care for her two younger siblings while still a child herself. At the age of five, she was hired out as a nursemaid where she had to watch the baby while it slept. If the baby awoke and started crying, Harriet was often whipped. Some of the beatings were so harsh that she had scars on her body for the rest of her life. Three of Harriet’s sisters were sold and never seen by the family again. One trader approached Mary Brodess about buying Harriet’s youngest brother but her mother was so violently opposed to the idea that the sale was not made.

Her mother’s behavior set an example for Harriet, and she proved to be brave and resilient in the face of misfortune. She would wear layers of clothing to protect herself from beatings, resisted bodily assaults and once ran away for 5 days before she was found. The most severe injury she received was at a dry goods shop where she was shopping for supplies for her mistress and met a slave who was trying to run away. When his master asked Harriet to help secure him, she refused and the man threw a heavy metal weight at her which hit her in the head. The injury was so severe that Harriet blacked out. However, she did not receive any medical attention, and when she recovered she was sent back to work. The head injury caused her to have epileptic seizures and blackouts for the rest of her life. She sometimes had vivid dreams and visions, and being a devout Christian, she ascribed these as signs from God.

In 1844, Harriet married a free black man named John Tubman, but very little is known about the

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