Harriet Tubman And The Underground Railroad

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Before Harriet Tubman became a vocal point in the Underground Railroad she grew up a slave. Harriet Tubman was born in Dorchester County, Maryland in 1820. Tubman’s original name was really Araminta Ross and was usually called by her nickname “Minty”. Tubman would experience the life of slavery very quickly as she was hired to take care of an infant. She was far too young to handle the duties of housework and would be abused multiple times. Her first real incident happened when the child she was looking after was crying and was heard from one of the mistresses and was whipped around her neck. She would go on in her childhood doing more house jobs and eventually collected furs from traps.

At the age of 12 Harriet would face her biggest challenge of her life. While attempting to protect a fugitive slave she would be struck by a piece of metal that would break her skull. Harriet Tubman would reflect on this incident saying, “The weight broke my skull and cut a piece of that shawl clean off and drove it into my head. They carried me to the house all bleeding and fainting. I had no bed, no place to lie down on at all, and they laid me on the seat of the loom, and I stayed there all day and the next” (Harriet Tubman Historical Society, "Early Life"). It would take many months for Harriet to recover and would have seizures for the rest of her life. Even after recovering she needed a strong support system behind her to be able to become the person before the injury.


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