Born into slavery in 1822, Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist, humanitarian, and spy for the Union Army during the American Civil War.
Tubman escaped to freedom in the North in 1849, subsequently becoming a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved people to escape into free states and Canada. Tubman made several missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using her knowledge of the southern landscape and its waterways to guide them to freedom.
After the Civil War, Tubman dedicated her life to helping Black communities and the elderly. She was a staunch advocate for women’s suffrage and spoke at the National Association of Colored Women’s first meeting in 1896. She died in Auburn, New York, on March 10, 1913.