Author Catherine Clinton has an astounding way of giving a brief history of Harriet Tubman, the woman we call Moses in her book called The Road To Freedom. In reviewing the two book reviews written by History Professors John W. Quist and Oscar Cole-Arnal, I will be discussing the similarities about their views regarding this particular book and how she made an impact during the Civil War and the Underground Railroad.
Better known as Araminta Ross, which is her slave name, was born into bondage in Maryland. (Clinton, p. 4) She eventually changes her name to Harriet Tubman when she marries John Tubman who was a free slave. She adopted the name Harriet from her mother.
In 1849, Harriet decided that she would escape slavery by traveling north to accept a new life of freedom. For over a decade, it is estimated that Harriet Tubman has assisted over 300 slaves obtain their freedom, many of which included family members. She saved her money by doing seasonal jobs to help fund her trips. During the Civil War, Harriet also became a nurse to aid wounded soldiers and refuges from slavery.
As I continued to read the book reviews by these two professors, they both agreed that even though Harriet Tubman was illiterate, she knew how to communicate well with the slaves by singing melodies and words which involved secret codes that only the slaves would understand, (Quist, 2005 and Cole-Arnal, 2004) for which I found to be astonishing.
Even though she depicted herself as an old woman, Harriet was actually in her 20s when she first started her expedition to help free slaves. The author sets the tone that gives us just enough historical information about Harriet Tubman’s private life as a unique and inspirational figure who fought for the rights of free slavery through her trials and tribulations as she faced being once a slave herself. It is also well documented that she had never lost a slave during her travels through the Underground Railroad to freedom.
Clinton’s interpretation on slavery in her book recognizes the rise of the civil rights movement for both African-American men and women. Harriet Tubman played a vital role for feminism, as well as racism. Both authors mainly emphasized on the positive and negatives of slavery of this courageous and mythological figure in history. We have come to know that Harriet Tubman’s life was a struggle for cultural and political awareness of the mistreatment of slaves. Her book made it very easy to read and understand how much she was a phenomenal woman with great bravery and power to overcome these obstacles both mentally and spiritually.