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Harriet Tubman

Antislavery Activist

Born: c. 1820
Died: March 1913
Birthplace: Dorchester County, Maryland
Best known as: The most famous conductor on the 'Underground Railroad'

Name at birth: Araminta Ross

Harriet Tubman helped hundreds of American slaves escape along the secret route to freedom known as the Underground Railroad. Born a slave herself, she fled from Maryland to freedom in Philadelphia in 1849. For the next 10 years she made repeated secret trips back to Maryland, leading over 300 escaped slaves north to freedom in Canada. During the Civil War she also served the Union as a scout, spy and nurse. Her success at shepherding others to safety earned her the nickname "the Moses of her People" and made her a lasting symbol of the American anti-slavery movement.

Extra credit: Though her birth name was Araminta, Tubman later took the first name of her mother, Harriet Ross... She married John Tubman, a freed slave, in 1844, but remained a slave herself until her escape in 1849.

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