Tubman (born Araminta Ross) was an African-American abolitionist and humanitarian
best known for helping to free hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad
-- a network of anti-slavery safe houses from the South to North. Born into slavery
in Maryland, and suffering violent beatings from a number of slave owners, Harriet
Tubman escaped in 1849 and fled to Philadelphia. She returned to Maryland, again
and again, each time helping first family and then other slaves to escape. Affectionately
called "Moses" by the slaves she helped to free, Harriet Tubman risked
her life numerous times to help others to freedom. After the Civil War and slavery
was abolished, Harriet Tubman continued working for a better life for freed Blacks.
She advocated for the care of orphaned and invalid Blacks and for the creation
of schools for newly freed Blacks in the South. She was also actively involved
in the women's suffrage movement, fighting for women's rights and women's right
to vote. Harriet Tubman's courage and dedication to a more just and equitable
world continue to be a source of inspiration for generation after generation.
Over the years many tributes have been paid, including Eleanor Roosevelt's christening
of the Liberty Ship Harriet Tubman in 1944, and the issuing of a commemorative
stamp in Harriet Tubman's honor by the United States Postal Service in 1995.