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Today in history: December 6, 1849 one of the most renowned African American slaves, Harriet Tubman, escaped and headed north

Born a slave on Maryland’s eastern shore, she endured the harsh existence of a field hand, including brutal beatings. In 1849 she fled slavery, leaving her husband and family behind.

Tubman using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses, known as the Underground Railroad, returned to the South at least 19 times to lead her family and hundreds of other slaves to freedom. Later she helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harper’s Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women’s suffrage.


Harriet Tubman changed American history as a pioneer activist. In Sarah Hopkins Bradford’s book Harriet Tubman: The Moses of Her People , originally published in 1869, Tubman’s famous quote states:

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.

-Infinite Wiz (@infinitewiz)