Honoring Harriet Tubman: 10 Things To Know



March 10th is Harriet Tubman Day. Here are some fast facts about this amazing African-American woman who helped hundreds of slaves to freedom: 

1. Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross around 1820 near Bucktown, Maryland. Her exact date and place of birth is unknown because she was a slave and owners did not record slaves' birthdates.

2. She changed her name to Harriet to honor her mother, and when she married John Tubman her last name changed also. 

3. When Harriet was twelve years old, she stood up for another slave and an old overseer threw an iron weight at her for being defiant. It struck her in the head and for the rest of her life she suffered from blackouts and headaches. 

4. In 1849, at the age of 30, Harriet ran away to the North. She soon learned about a movement to abolish slavery and a group of people who were dedicated to helping slaves escape to the North. These people created the Underground Railroad. 

5. The Underground Railroad wasn’t an actual railroad at all. It was a path that slaves traveled at night with the help of conductors, or people who guided them from safehouse to safehouse until they had reached the North. The station masters also lived at the safehouse and their houses were identified by the candles or lanterns that sat in the window. 

6. Harriet made about 19 trips to the South and helped over 300 slaves to freedom. 

7. When the Civil War broke out, Harriet Tubman worked as a cook, nurse, and spy for the Union Army. 

8. Harriet Tubman's nickname was "Moses" after the Biblical Moses. Just as he led his people out of Egypt, Harriet led her people out of the South and out of slavery. 

9. Until she died of pneumonia on March 10, 1913, at the age of 93, Harriet continued to work for the rights of African-Americans. 

10. Harriet Tubman has been honored many times since her death for her bravery and humanitarian efforts. Learn more about African culture and traditions here.