Former slave who helped lead the underground railroad
Harriet Tubman, the former slave who helped lead the underground railroad
For her freedom was like heaven
Harriet Tubman, born a slave on a plantation in Dorchester County, was 29 years old when she seized the opportunity to escape to freedom in the north. The year was 1849 and as she stood on a hill in Pennsylvania, a free woman for the first time in her life, her thoughts raced. "I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person," recalled the woman who came to be called the "Moses" of her people. "There was such a glory over everything. The sun came through the trees, and I felt like I was in heaven."
But Harriet Tubman had made the journey to heaven by way of hell. Hired out as a slave at the age of 6, she suffered throughout her life from seizures resulting from a near fatal encounter with an angry overseer who struck the 15-year-old accidentally as she stood protecting another slave. After gaining her freedom, she became a leading conductor of the "underground railroad," guiding some 300 slaves to freedom either in the Northern states or Canada. During the Civil War, she acted as a Union spy for the U.S. Army Intelligence Department, relaying important information on Confederacy strategy. On her 80th birthday, the Army Department awarded her a pension of $20 a month which she used to found a home for the aged and destitute.
The Tubman tour
For more information about Harriet Tubman or to schedule a guided tour, contact:
The Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center, 424 Race St,. Cambridge, MD 21613, Phone: 410-228-0401
For a brochure of the self-guided tour, contact:
Dorchester County Department of Tourism, 2 Rose Hill Place, Cambridge, MD, 21613, 1-800-522-TOUR, tourdorchester.org