Harriet Tubman: An American Hero
What do an asteroid, a section of a highway, a college dormitory, many schools, museums and a World War II Liberty Ship have in common? How about statues in Boston, Massachusetts, Ypsilanti, Michigan, and New York City, or National Historical Parks in New York and in Maryland? If you guess that they all have something to do with Harriet Tubman, you are correct! They are all named in honor of her.
One day while working in the field, she saw another slave slip away. The overseer chased him, corned him in a store, and ordered Minty to tie him up for a whipping. She refused. The slave escaped. The enraged overseer picked up a heavy iron weight, and threw it, hitting Minty in the head. Blood gushed out of the terrible wound. For the rest of her life she suffered from severe headaches and seizures that caused her to suddenly go to sleep. Then, just as abruptly, she would wake up and go on as if nothing had happened.
In the mid-1840s, she changed her name to Harriet Tubman. In 1849 she escaped from slavery. Safely arriving in Pennsylvania, a free state, she declared: “I felt like I was in Heaven.” Despite the dangers, Harriet Tubman returned many times to Maryland and led many slaves to freedom. During the Civil War, she served as a nurse, a scout, and a spy. there is a chapter about her in my book Spies! Women in the Civil War.