The "Moses" of Her People
Enslaved African American Harriet Tubman began her life as a domestic servant at the age of 5. By her early teens, being thought unfit for indoor work, she began working as a field hand. At the age of 15 she suffered a serious head injury. Later after marrying a free black man, Harriet was still considered a slave. Her decision to run away to freedom would change not only her life, but also change the lives of hundreds of enslaved African Americans that she would assist on the "Underground Railroad."
The Underground Railroad was a loose network of people willing to hide runaway slaves in their homes and conduct them to the next safe house. Harriet led over 300 slaves on 19 excursions on the Underground Railroad. She became so well known for her efforts to free the slaves that posters announced a reword worth $12,000 for any person who delivered her to the authorities.
After leaving Philadelphia because it was no longer a safe place for Harriet, she fled to Canada, then later settled in Auburn, New York. During the Civil War, Union officers used Tubman to lead spy missions because of her geographical knowledge. During this time she lead a force of 150 black soldiers to free 800 slaves. After the war she became involved in aiding other African Americans and set up a home of the aged in her own home. On March 10, 1913, Harriet Tubman died of pneumonia at the age of 93.