Muse: Harriet Tubman

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Harriet Tubman is so much more than our history textbooks made her out to be. The leader of the Underground Railroad was born into slavery during the mid 1820s. Tubman’s, who’s birth name was Araminta Ross, childhood was filled with physical and mental abuse. Just like many other slaves, her and her family were constantly scrutinized and mistreated by their Maryland owners. In fact, one of the many traumatic head injuries Harriet received as a child was responsible for the vivid revelations that inspired her.

 

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After the death of her owner, Harriet Tubman fled to Philadelphia and escaped from slavery in 1849. Though she was afraid for the safety of her family, Tubman knew she had a greater task ahead of her. Using the Underground Railroad to travel 90 miles to Philadelphia, she decided to make it her mission to help other slaves achieve their freedom.

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In 1850, the government changed the dynamics of the Fugitive Slave Law. According to the law, slaves , who had fled to the North, could be captured  and returned to their owner. Learning of this law, Harriet Tubman took it upon herself to re-route the Underground Railroad to Canada. Tubman’s courageous actions not only changed history ,but they influenced women to take on leadership roles and stand for what is right.

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