Harriet Tubman’s Educational Legacy

As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, we thought it would be fitting to take a closer look at one of the most influential African Americans in history – Harriet Tubman. While she is best known for her role in the Underground Railroad, Tubman’s educational legacy is often overlooked.

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Early Life

Harriet Tubman was born around 1820 on a plantaion in Dorchester County, Maryland. Her parents, Benjamin and Harriet Ross, were both slaves. As a young girl, Harriet was frequently beaten by her overseer. Harriet’s mother, who was also a slave, told her that they could be free if they escaped to the North.

Born into slavery

Born around 1820, Harriet Tubman was raised as a slave in Dorchester County, Maryland. While her parents were relatively more lenient with the young girl, Tubman faced regular physical abuse from her slave masters. At the age of five or six, she was hit in the head by a two-pound weight thrown by an overseer; the impact caused severe headaches and narcolepsy for the rest of her life. As a result of the attack, Tubman began having prophetic dreams and visions, which she interpreted as messages from God.

In 1849, Tubman decided to escape from slavery after learning that her master was planning to sell her. She embarked on a ninety-mile journey to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she found work and started helping other slaves escape via the Underground Railroad—a system of safehouses and hidden routes used by escaped slaves. Over the next decade, Tubman made nineteen trips back to Maryland to free approximately seventy slaves, including members of her own family.

Escaped to freedom

In 1849, Harriet Tubman escaped to freedom. For the next eleven years, she made nineteen trips back into slave territory, helping over three hundred slaves escape to the North. Her work was so effective that slave owners began to call her “Moses.”

Civil War

Harriet Tubman’s educational legacy began during the Civil War. When Tubman was just a young girl, she was working in the fields with her family. One day, she was hit in the head with a heavy object and suffered a serious injury. After she recovered, Tubman realized that she could no longer work in the fields and decided to go to school.

Joined the Union army

In 1862, Tubman joined the Union army as a cook and a nurse. Soon after, she began leading missions to rescue slaves in South Carolina, working alongside Colonel James Montgomery. On one such mission, she helped more than 750 slaves escape to freedom.

Helped free slaves

Harriet Tubman is best known for her work as an abolitionist, helping to free slaves in the American South. But Tubman’s legacy also includes her dedication to education.

After the Civil War ended, Tubman helped to establish schools for formerly enslaved people in South Carolina. These schools were designed to help people who were illiterate learn to read and write. Tubman also worked as a teacher at one of these schools.

In addition to her work as an educator, Tubman was also active in the women’s suffrage movement. She helped organize meetings and gave speeches advocating for women’s right to vote.

Tubman’s dedication to education and equality continues to inspire people today. Her example reminds us that it is possible to make a difference in the world, no matter where we come from or what challenges we face.

Later Years

After the Civil War, Tubman stayed in Auburn, New York, where she helped care for her parents and other family members. In 1867, she married Nelson Davis, a Civil War veteran. Tubman became involved in the women’s suffrage movement in the late 1860s.

Opened a home for the elderly

Harriet Tubman is most well-known for her work as an abolitionist, but later in her life she also opened a home for the elderly. The Home for Aged and Indigent Colored People was founded in 1896 in Auburn, New York, and Tubman served as its first superintendent. The home provided food and shelter for African Americans who were unable to care for themselves, and Tubman worked tirelessly to raise money for its operation. She even sold her own possessions to keep the home afloat. The Home for Aged and Indigent Colored People is still in operation today, and it continues to provide a safe haven for the elderly.

Advocated for women’s rights

Harriet Tubman’s work was not limited to the Underground Railroad; she also advocated for women’s rights. In a speech given in 1868, Tubman said:

“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more, if only they knew they were slaves.”

Tubman understood that the fight for freedom was not just physical, but also mental. She believed that education was key to freeing people from the mental slavery that allowed them to be content with living in conditions of physical slavery. In order to further this goal, Tubman helped to establish the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Auburn, New York, and she also opened a home for aged and disabled African Americans. This home, which was known as the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged, provided medical care and education for its residents.

Educational Legacy

Harriet Tubman is an African American who was born into slavery in 1820. Despite the challenges she faced, she became one of the most important figures in American history. In addition to her work as an abolitionist, Tubman is also known for her work as an educator. After the Civil War, Tubman founded a school for African American children in Auburn, New York. This school was the first of its kind in the area and Tubman’s educational legacy continues to this day.

Founded schools for black children

Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist, human rights activist, and one of the most famous “conductors” of the Underground Railroad. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and made 13 missions to rescue around 70 enslaved family and friends, using the network of safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.

Tubman was also a fervent advocate for education. She founded schools for black children in Auburn, New York, where she lived with her family after the Civil War. In these schools, she emphasized both academics and Christian values.

Taught literacy to adults

Harriet Tubman’s ability to read and write was unusual for a woman of her time and class. In addition to teaching herself, she also taught literacy to other adults. Although there is no direct evidence that Tubman taught literacy to slaves, it is possible that she did so informally. In any case, her commitment to education continued throughout her life. In 1892, she helped to establish the John Brown Home for Old Age and Infirm Negroes in Auburn, New York. The Home included a school for its residents, and Tubman served as its superintendent.

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