Harriet Tubman c.â€‰1885
Dorchester County, Maryland, United States
|Died||March 10, 1913 (aged 90â€“91)
Auburn, New York, United States
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
|Resting place||Fort Hill Cemetery, Auburn, New York, United States|
|Residence||Auburn, New York, United States|
|Other names||Minty, Moses|
|Occupation||Civil War Nurse, Suffragist, Civil Rights activist|
John Tubman (m. 1844â€“51)
Harriet Greene Ross
I grew up like a neglected weed – ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.
I would fight for my liberty so long as my strength lasted, and if the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.
'Pears like my heart go flutter, flutter, and then they may say, 'Peace, Peace,' as much as they likes – I know it's goin' to be war!
I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.
'Pears like I prayed all the time, 'bout my work, everywhere, I prayed an' groaned to the Lord.
I've heard 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' read, and I tell you Mrs. Stowe's pen hasn't begun to paint what slavery is as I have seen it at the far South. I've seen de real thing, and I don't want to see it on no stage or in no theater.
Why, der language down dar in de far South is jus' as different from ours in Maryland, as you can think. Dey laughed when dey heard me talk, an' I could not understand 'dem, no how.
Twasn't me, 'twas the Lord! I always told Him, 'I trust to you. I don't know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me,' an' He always did.
Now I've been free, I know what a dreadful condition slavery is. I have seen hundreds of escaped slaves, but I never saw one who was willing to go back and be a slave.
I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Quakers almost as good as colored. They call themselves friends and you can trust them every time.
Read my letter to the old folks, and give my love to them, and tell my brothers to be always watching unto prayer, and when the good old ship of Zion comes along, to be ready to step aboard.
I think there's many a slaveholder'll get to Heaven. They don't know better. They acts up to the light they have.
I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can't say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.
As I lay so sick on my bed, from Christmas till March, I was always praying for poor ole master. 'Pears like I didn't do nothing but pray for ole master. 'Oh, Lord, convert ole master;' 'Oh, dear Lord, change dat man's heart, and make him a Christian.'
I think slavery is the next thing to hell. If a person would send another into bondage, he would, it appears to me, be bad enough to send him into hell if he could.
Lord, I'm going to hold steady on to You and You've got to see me through.
Most of those coming from the mainland are very destitute, almost naked. I am trying to find places for those able to work, and provide for them as best I can, so as to lighten the burden on the Government as much as possible, while at the same time they learn to respect themselves by earning their own living.
In my dreams and visions, I seemed to see a line, and on the other side of that line were green fields, and lovely flowers, and beautiful white ladies, who stretched out their arms to me over the line, but I couldn't reach them no-how. I always fell before I got to the line.
I said to de Lord, 'I'm goin' to hold steady on to you, an' I know you'll see me through.'
I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, and I felt like I was in heaven.