Harriet Ross Tubman was born a slave on the Brodas Plantation in Dorchester County, Maryland. At the age of thirteen, while assisting a run-a-way slave from being captured, she was struck in the head with an iron weight. From that day on, she experienced occasional sleeping spells. Shortly before her escape, she said to herself, "For 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."
With the North Star as her compass, Harriet set forth towards the Mason Dixon line where on the other side she found freedom. She returned nineteen times into slavery to rescue over 300 slaves. Courageously moving from station to station along the Underground Railroad, enduring long periods of hardship and facing any danger for the sake of her fellow man, this great humanitarian never lost a passenger. During one rescue mission, she had bought some chickens in Bucktown. When she saw her former master walking towards her, she let the chickens go and chased after them before he could recognize her. In 1857, Harriet led her parents to Auburn, New York where they spent their remaining years in freedom. She rescued all of her family members with the exception of one sister who died shortly before she returned to lead her north.
During the Civil War, Harriet served as scout and nurse for the Union Army. She helped free more than 750 slaves during one mission. After the war, she returned to Auburn, New York where she established The Harriet Tubman Home for the Elderly and Indigent Negroes.
Known as the "Moses" of her people, Harriet Ross Tubman, an African American woman of great moral courage, has nobly earned her place among the great historic heroes of American heritage.