"I had reasoned dis out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty, or death; if I could not have one, I would have de oder; for no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when de time came for me to go, de Lord would let dem take me."
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in the 1820s. As a young adult in her twenties, Tubman escaped slavery and soon became a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. For 10 years, Tubman guided more than 300 slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad, earning her the nickname “Moses” among her friends. She worked hard to earn more money to continue freeing slaves. Time after time, Tubman risked her life to fight against slavery until it was made illegal in America.
Additionally, Tubman is considered the first African American woman to serve in the military. During the Civil War, she was a nurse, cook, and Union spy and scout. Through the Underground Railroad, she had learned about towns and transportation routes, and she shared this valuable information with Union troop commanders.
After the war when slavery was outlawed, she joined leading women activists in championing for women’s rights. She also raised funds to help former slaves who had been freed and built a home for the elderly on land near her own home.
CENTERED ON CHRIST
Tubman was a devout Christian. She said that her passionate faith in God gave her courage to continue rescuing slaves. She believed that God gave her revelations and visions that guided her work. Her faith was so strong that she often asked God out loud for directions about which way to run when she and the people she rescued were being pursued. When slaves crossed the border to freedom, she would call out, “Glory to God in the highest. One more soul is safe!” Tubman remained a devoted follower of the teachings of Jesus for her entire life, deeply believing Him to be the real God, the Savior of the world, and the path to genuine freedom in this life and in eternity.
Tubman’s friend wrote this about Tubman’s faith in a memoir about her: “Brought up by parents possessed of strong faith in God, she [Harriet] had never known the time, I imagine, when she did not trust Him, and cling to Him, with an all-abiding confidence. She seemed ever to feel the Divine Presence near, and she talked with God "as a man talketh with his friend." Hers was not the religion of a morning and evening prayer at stated times, but when she felt a need, she simply told God of it, and trusted Him to set the matter right.”
Portrait of Harriet Tubman in 1880
Harriet Tubman with Family
Harriet Tubman with her family and other rescued slaves
Notice of Reward
Notice of reward for the return and capture of Harriet Tubman and her brothers
Harriet Tubman Woodcut
Woodcut of Tubman in Civil War clothing