I’m honoring this great soul on my Blog this morning. I look forward to meeting her “Over There” someday. Here is a sincere SHOUT-OUT to HARRIET TUBMAN!
She will soon become the first African-American to appear on U.S. currency (what took so long??).
What a wonderful thing! This will help all of us to be reminded of what an incredibly bright, courageous, GOOD woman she was (and still is!). As someone said, her image now will be passed through our hands again, not as a “slave commodity,” but rather as validated currency.
Many will wonder: “Who is she? What do I know about her? Why is she being honored in this way?”
Well… Harriet Tubman is “right on the money,” you might say. She lived an AMAZING life!! She was born Araminta Ross in Maryland around 1820-22. When she married, she changed her first name to Harriet, her Mother’s first name. She died of pneumonia on 10 March, 1913.
She was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. Early in her life she suffered a traumatic head would when an irate slave owner threw a heavy metal weight intending to hit another slave and hit her instead. The injury caused dizziness and pain and trouble sleeping throughout the rest of her life (and is visible in the few pictures of her).
She was a devout Christian and experienced strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God. (While I lived in Nigeria, I found the Africans to be very visionary, very spiritual).
In 1849, she escaped to Philadelphia, but then returned immediately to Maryland and made 13 MISSIONS to rescue approximately 70 enslaved family and friends. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives with her out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other slaves to freedom. She used the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. Traveling by night and in extreme secrecy, Tubman (or “Moses,” as she was called) “never lost a passenger”.
She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry. She was an active participant in the struggle for women’s suffrage (and met Susan B. Anthony in this effort). Her actions made slave owners anxious and angry, and they posted rewards for her capture.
But she kept going, and she helped many newly freed slaves find work. When the Civil War began, she worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy! She led an armed expedition in the war which liberated more than 700 slaves!!
After the war, she retired to the family home on property she had purchased in 1859 in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. Eventually illness overtook her and she had to be placed in a home for elderly Afriican-Americans that she had helped to establish years earlier.
On 20 April of this year (2016), the U.S. Treasury Department announced the plan for her to replace Andrew Jackson as the portrait on the $20 bill! I read much, MUCH more about her (and you can do that if you have time and interest), but for now I’ll just give a MUCH-DESERVED SHOUT-OUT to this great, good soul!!