Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero

Kate Clifford Larson is an author of three historical biographies. These biographies are: Rosemary, The Hidden Kennedy Daughter (2015); Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero (2003); and The Assassinr’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln (2008). She has a doctorate in History at the University of New Hampshire and has graduated from Simmons College. She had been a consultant at many museums that relate to the history of Harriet Tubman and The Underground Railroad. Larson has also received many awards, one being the Wilbur H. Siebert Award for her excellent research done on Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero is the biography of Harriet Tubman which is told through Kate Clifford Larson. Throughout this biography, the life of Harriet Tubman is revealed. This story covers her life in slavery, all the way to her few last breaths and how her actions affected lives today.

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Araminta Minty Ross (Harriet Tubman) was born sometime in the early year of 1822 because like most slaves, she did not know her birth date. She was born on the Anthony Thompsonr’s plantation. Six years later she is sold to Brodess and after a few more years, she is hired out to others who were also abusive and cruel. Between 1834 and 1836, Araminta had suffered from an almost deadly accident. She was struck over the head with an iron weigh when an owner was trying to hit a runaway slave, but hit her instead. She suffered from this accident the rest of her life. By 1844 she had married a man by the name of John Tubman. In these years she had taken on the name Harriet in honor of her mother, Mariah Ritty. After being sold again, she fears this to be a repeating pattern, so she ran away in 1849. Soon, she will become one of the most famous conductors of the underground railroad.

She had met many people that have helped her achieve her heroic doings. Most of these people were freed blacks and quakers who were willing to help, and an occasional white who felt sympathetic. These people helped her hide and had hidden other slaves; they provided materials to help them move along. Tubman was a very intelligent and a resourceful person. These traits allowed her to make her thirteen trips back to retrieve her family members and others. She preferred traveling in the winter because there was more time to travel during the darkened hours of night. She would dress in middle-class styled clothes and sometimes even dressed as a male figure, so no one knew who she was.

Strategically, she would plan to leave on Saturdays because the newspaper would not print on Sundays and runaway slaves couldnt be publicized until Mondayr’s paper. Therefore, Harriet Tubman was wise with choosing the people she decided to get involved with. The people that she decided to associate with helped her save approximately seventy to around eighty slaves and possibly more. People believe there was an additional fifty or sixty of whom she gave detail about saving. This also was a successful plan because of her street smart actions.

After many years of Tubmanr’s countless trips back and forth between the Northern states/Canada and to Maryland, she had brought many slaves to freedom through The Underground Railroad. She proceeded to live in Ontario, Canada. Here, she meets John Brown, who got her involved in being more publicly active. She was part of the rescue of fugitive slaves, which was known as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Soon the Civil War started; Tubman had worked as a nurse, cook, spy, teacher, and a laundress for the Union force. Under the command of Colonel James Montgomery, she was the first woman to lead an armed raid. During this they freed around 700 slaves, defeat their enemies and proceed to burn their food, buildings and other essentials that they needed. After the Civil War ends in 1865, Tubman moves back home to Auburn. She is hired out as a nurse. She still encountered inequalities from people. One incident being she was when she was heading home she was thrown of a passenger train because of the racist conductor. In the 1880s she was still living on her 70 acre of land and farming it.

In this time, she opens a business of making bricks with Nelson Davis, who was her second husband. Sadly, he died of tuberculosis in 1888. Tubman became even more involved in conventions and attended the suffrage movement of both whites and blacks in the 1890s. During this time she had bought out land and turned it into a home and a hospital for sickened and aged African Americans. In 1913, Harriet Tubman took her last final breaths and is buried next to her brother at the Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York.

Harriet Tubman had affected many lives. After several long years she had saved countless people through slavery, the Civil War and the acts she had gotten involved in. She is the definition of an American hero through many peoples eyes. Harriet Tubman had put herself at risk a numerous amount of times to save others. Through heartache, abusive and other unacceptable behavior, she still had the heart and motivation to help others before herself.

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Harriet Tubman: Portrait Of An American Hero. (2019, May 31). Retrieved February 1, 2023 , from

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