A Long Journey Fighting Slavery A strong and powerful lady said these wise words: “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; for no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me”. The brave women who said these words were Harriet Tubman and she was one of the leaders of the Underground Railroad that helped slaves reach freedom. “Although not an actual railroad of steel rails, locomotives and steam engines, the Underground Railroad was real nevertheless” (encyclopedia The Civil War and African Americans 329) The term “Underground Railroad” referred to the
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She was very anxious to become involved. Her first trip to rescue slaves was a trip to bring her sister and family to freedom. Harriet was an excellent planner and thought out every detail. She arranged for her brother-in-law to pose as an agent for a master and pretend that his master wanted to see the slaves before purchasing. The plan worked and Harriett’s sister, husband and family were able to calmly walk away without anyone suspecting that they were going to escape. Harriet had many helpers or “agents” helping her. She used signals to let others know when it was safe to go from one place to another. Harriet’s sister and her family were able to crawl on a wagon that was carrying vegetables and make it all the way to Baltimore. Harriet met them in Baltimore and got them safely to Philadelphia by planning the entire route and hiring the necessary transportation and agents to help.
Harriett Tubman was herself a fugitive and could have been caught anytime but she was brave and believed that she “heard the voice of god” and that He was telling her what to do to help the slaves escape. On another of her trips south to help free slaves, she sent a message to her husband asking him to join her in the North but she found out that he had married someone else. This made Harriett even more determined.
She returned to the South nineteen times. The slaves would know who she was