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Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad

November 18, 2019

Harriet Tubman National Historical Park

Harriet Tubman National Historical Park

Talk about staying cool under pressure! Harriet Tubman "never ran my train off the track" while helping slaves escape to freedom via the famous Underground Railroad.

Tubman courageously escaped from slavery herself in 1849, then risked everything to lead hundreds of other slaves to freedom.

She led 19 trips back to southern states to help slaves escape to the free northern states. As an expert navigator, Ms. Tubman headed north by following the North Star and noting the moss that grows on the north side of tree trunks. By the time the Civil War broke out in 1861, Ms. Tubman was the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad, a secret network of people who organized routes and hiding places for escaped slaves.

During the Civil War, Ms. Tubman led a daring raid along the Combahee River in South Carolina, freeing 700 slaves. After the war ended in 1865, Ms. Tubman spent the next five decades helping impoverished former slaves and pushing for women’s right to vote.

When she died on March 10, 1913 at the very nursing home she founded for aging African-Americans, Harriet Tubman was proud of how she mustered her courage, intelligence, and, later, her fame to make the world a better place for millions of her contemporaries and future generations. Reflecting on her work as the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad, Ms. Tubman proudly reported to a suffrage convention in 1896: “I never ran my train off the track.”

Our Harriet Tubman Hero Quote T-Shirt celebrates Ms. Tubman’s remarkable courage, leadership, and empathy. The design includes the North Star, tracks representing the underground railroad, and Ms. Tubman’s famous quote: “I never ran my train off the track.”

Harriet Tubman Image: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

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