Celebrating Women – Harriet Tubman, an icon of abolition

Lissette Agosto, Senior Editor

Women’s History Month is a time to commemorate all of the women who have done something beneficial to America; one woman so very deserving is the one and only Harriet Tubman.

This powerful American abolitionist and political activist was born into slavery, then later escaped and became one of the best conductors of the Underground Railroad.

The Underground Railroad was a system of reformers who fought for women’s rights; they had secret routes and safe houses to help African Americans escape slavery by leading them to free states. 

Though she was free, she still remained alone because all of her family members and friends were still enslaved, so you can imagine what her next course of action would be. 

That’s right! Tubman went back and successfully made 19 trips freeing 300 hundred slaves,  over the course of ten years, including her family and friends. 

There was also a reward for the capture of Tubman, but never once did she get caught or lose anyone. 

“I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say – I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger,” claimed Tubman.

On June 2, 1863 Tubman became the first woman to guide a military operation, In addition to being a nurse, cook and spy for the Union army during the Civil War; she helped them create a plan that saved more than 700 American enslaved people. 

“She was fearless and she was courageous, She had a sensibility. She could get black people to trust her and the Union officers knew that they were not trusted by the local people,” claimed Kate Clifford Larson, historian and author of “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, portrait of an American Hero.”

Unfortunately, as Tubman got older the head injuries she experienced from a young age started to worsen.  She received a hit to the head from an overseer because she refused to restrain an enslaved person.

This caused her to die from pneumonia on March 10, 1913 at the age of 93 surrounded by many of her family members and friends. 

Her last words, “I go to prepare a place for you” demonstrate her strength and dedication.

She continues to inspire others everyday because of the many risks she took for enslaved people to live better lives.

Though she is not with us she will always be remembered as a hero because of her determination, leadership and bravery.