Harriet Tubman, a former slave, and abolitionist, was born in 1820. Her birth name was Araminta “Minty” Ross, but she changed it to Harriet. Her mother, Harriet “Rit” Green, was a slave who had 13 children, and her father, Ben Ross, was a free man of color. Harriet’s mother owned Harriet and her siblings. They lived in the household of their mother’s owner. When she was a child, her owner began to abuse her, and as a result, she suffered from severe headaches. Her owner also began to attempt to sell her, which caused her to run away.
In 1849, Harriet escaped from slavery by fleeing to Pennsylvania with the help of the Underground Railroad—a network of abolitionists dedicated to helping slaves escape from their owners. In 1850 and 1851, she helped her family and a friend escape from slavery.
In 1860, Tubman helped more than 300 slaves travel north using the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. She worked for the Union Army as a cook, nurse, and spy during the war.
Harriet died in 1913 at the age of 93 and has become one of the most well-known abolitionists.