Biography of Harriet Tubman

  • Birth of Baby Harriet Tubman

    Birth of Baby Harriet Tubman
    Harriet Tubman’s birth is currently anonymous. Some say she was born on January 29, 1820 although it remains uncertain. Baby Harriet was born into slavery, daughter of enslaved parents Harriet Green and Ben Ross. Baby Harriet was born in Dorchester County, Maryland, and originally named Araminta Harriet Ross. Harriet was one of nine children which, were all born in between the years 1808 and 1820. Harriet Tubman and her family faced violence as a daily part of their lives.
  • Harriet Tubman gets Injured

    Harriet Tubman gets Injured
    When Harriet was about 12 years old, she was ordered to help tie up a captured slave. Realizing the escapee was about to be whipped, she refused to secure him for the awaiting punishment. The slave master angrily responded by flinging a two-pound weight at Harriet, hitting her in the head. The injury resulted in a lifetime of throbbing headaches and unexpected episodes of narcolepsy, which caused her to fall into a deep sleep with little warning.
  • Marriage of John and Harriet Tubman

    Marriage of John and Harriet Tubman
    At the age of 25, Harriet married John Tubman. Since John was a free African American and Harriet was a slave, Harriet knew their marriage would be spilt apart or she would be sold. John Tubman did not believe in Harriet’s dream to travel north. He believed there was no reason to move and if she had ever run away, he would tell her master. She knew John would tell him but, she thought reaching freedom was too big to give up. In 1849 she left her husband and escaped to Philadelphia.
  • Harriet Tubman Successfully Escapes from Slavery

    Harriet Tubman Successfully Escapes from Slavery
    Harriet Tubman and her brothers escaped from slavery. Harriet was given a piece of paper from her neighbor with two names and she told her how to find the first house to freedom. At the first house she was put into a wagon, covered with a sack, and driven to her next destination where the safe names of people would help her cross the Mason-Dixon Line. Then, she took a ride with a couple passing by to Philadelphia. There, Harriet got a job where she saved her pay to help slaves.
  • Harriet Saves her Family from Slavery

    Harriet Saves her Family from Slavery
    In December 1850, Tubman received a warning that her niece Kessiah and her two children were going to be sold. Harriet went to Baltimore, where her brother-in-law Tom Tubman hid her until the time of the sale. Then, while he pretended to make arrangements to pay, Kessiah and her children escaped to a nearby safe house. As night rolled in, Bowley shipped Harriet’s family on a log 60 miles away to Baltimore where Harriet would meet them and bring them to Philadelphia.
  • Harriet Tubman Guides Eleven Fugitive Slaves to Canada

    Harriet Tubman Guides Eleven Fugitive Slaves to Canada
    In December 1851, Tubman guided a group of eleven fugitives the Bowley family, and several others she had helped rescue further north because the Fugitive Slave Law had made the northern United States more dangerous for escaped slaves. Many began travelling further to Canada. There is evidence to suggest that Tubman and her group stopped at the home of abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass.
  • The Underground Railroad

    The Underground Railroad
    Harriet Tubman served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad from 1850-1860. After Tubman escaped from slavery, she returned many other times to help other slaves escape safely. Harriet made eleven trips from Maryland to Canada from 1852-1857. It was illegal for any citizen to assist an escaped slave and demanded that if an escaped slave was sighted, he or she should be apprehended and turned in to the authorities for banishment back to the owner.
  • Harriet Tubman buys a House

    Harriet Tubman buys a House
    US Senator William Seward sells Harriet Tubman a house in Auburn, New York for $1,200.00. Harriet moved nher parents to the home St. Catherine’s. This house was on a road between Syracuse and Rochester, where a number of Quakers and other abolitionists settled. This home became her base of operations when she was not on the road aiding fugitives from slavery or speaking in support of the cause.
  • Harriet Tubman Marries Nelson Davis

    Harriet Tubman Marries Nelson Davis
    Harriet Tubman worked various jobs to support her elderly parents, and took in boarders to help pay the bills. One of the people Tubman took in was a Civil War veteran named Nelson Davis. He began working in Auburn as a bricklayer, and they soon fell in love. He was twenty-two years younger than Harriet was, they got married at the Central Presbyterian Church. They spent the next twenty years together. In 1874, they adopted a baby girl named Gertie.
  • Harriet Tubmans Death

    Harriet Tubmans Death
    Harriet Tubman died on March 10, 1913. She was buried in Fort Hill Cemetery, a short drive from her house. As Tubman aged, the sleeping invocations and suffering from her childhood head trauma continued to infect her. In the late 1890s, she experienced brain surgery at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital. She had received no anesthesia for the procedure which opened up her skull, and raised it up, so it would feel more comfortable. Harriet Tubman became weak and died of pneumonia at age 93.