Harriet Tubman was born in Maryland with the name Araminta Ross. Tubman was the daughter of two slaves named Harriet Green and Ben Ross. She was also a slave herself and because of this she never knew her date of birth, although she did know they year she was born in, 1820. At the age of five Harriet was put in charge of raising a baby. Every night she had to stay up and make sure the baby did not cry. If the child did cry Tubman would be whipped on the neck. This left permanent scars. After becoming too weak to work, she was sent back. When she got back to her home, her mother nursed her back to health and she started to work again. In fact,she was hired at many different houses.
When Tubman turned eleven years old she started wearing a bandana to symbolise that she was no longer a child. This was also around the time she was no longer called Araminta and was now referred to as Harriet, after her mother.
At one point in time, when Harriet was trying to help an escaping slave, she was accidentally hit in the head with a weight. This broke her skull and took months to heal. The injury also caused her fall asleep at any time and place, even now she is not fully recovered.
When Tubman was twenty-five years old, she married a free African-American man named John Tubman. When they where first married, Harriet feared that she would be sold away and they would be split apart. She decided to ask John if they could go North together so she could be free, but he did not agree with this. He told her that he liked the South and did not want him or her to leave. John told Harriet that if she escaped he would tell her master and have her brought back. Harriet became afraid but decided that she wanted to be free.
In 1849, Harriet Tubman escaped slavery and went to Philadelphia. To do this she got names of people who would be willing to help her from an abolitionist neighbor. When she got to the house of the first name she was put into a wagon and hidden and then driven to the next house. After skipping from house to house she found another abolitionist family who was willing to take her all the way to Philadelphia.
In 1850, she became part of the Underground Railroad. The UGRR ended up making her a “conductor”. A “conductor” was a person who knew how to get to free territory easily. She made many trips to the South and back. One to free her brother, James, and some friends, another to get her husband, John. When she got there, she learned that he had remarried, so she went back to the North. When Harriet had returned she learned that there was more slaves than previously thought needed to be rescued. She went back and rescued more slaves. They then went to Frederick Douglas’s safe house. They hid there until Douglas had enough money to send them all to Canada. When she got to Canada, she made St. Catherine her base of operations for the UGRR.