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Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman
H. Seymour Squyer, 1848 - 18 Dec 1905
Harriet Arminta Tubman, 1820 - 10 Mar 1913
c. 1885
Printing-out paper print
Image/Sheet: 14 × 9.9cm (5 1/2 × 3 7/8")
Mount: 16.5 x 10.8cm (6 1/2 x 4 1/4")
Mat: 45.7 x 35.6cm (18 x 14")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Dorchester County, Maryland
Born into slavery as Araminta Ross, Harriet Tubman rebelled against servitude from her earliest years, running away as early as age seven. At fifteen, she defied an overseer and was nearly killed when he gave her a "stunning blow to the head." Although the effects of the blow stayed with her throughout her life, Tubman marshaled her resolve and nurtured her anger. In 1844 she married a freedman, John Tubman, and in 1849 she escaped to Philadelphia, discarding her slave name for her mother’s name, Harriet. Tubman became an active "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, guiding escaping slaves to freedom. She made nineteen recorded trips out of the South and was reputed never to have lost a soul. Tubman was active throughout the abolitionist movement and conspired with John Brown about raiding the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, although she did not participate.
Nacida en Dorchester County, Maryland
Harriet Tubman nació esclava, con el nombre de Araminta Ross, pero desde temprano se rebeló contra la servidumbre, intentando huir desde los siete años. A los quince desafió a un capataz y casi muere cuando este le propinó "un tremendo golpe en la cabeza". Aunque los efectos del incidente la acompañaron el resto de su vida, Tubman encauzó su determinación y alimentó su rabia. En 1844 se casó con un liberto, John Tubman, y en 1849 escapó a Philadelphia, cambiando su nombre de esclava por el de su madre, Harriet. Tubman se convirtió en una efectiva "conductora" del llamado "Ferrocarril Subterráneo", una red clandestina que ayudaba a los esclavos a escapar hacia la libertad. Realizó diecinueve viajes (de los que se tenga conocimiento) para sacar esclavos del sur del país, y se decía que nunca perdió a ninguno. Tubman estuvo muy activa en el movimiento abolicionista y conspiró junto a John Brown para asaltar el arsenal federal de Harpers Ferry, aunque no participó.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection