I was born into slavery in 1819 or 1820, in Dorchester County,
Maryland. Given the names of my two parents, both held in slavery, I was
of purely African ancestry. I was whipped even as a small child and
received a serious headwound when I refused to help tie up a run-a-way
slave. At the age of 25, I married John Tubman, a free African American.
Five years later, fearing I would be sold, I made my escape. I was given a
piece of paper by a white neighbor with two names, and told how to find
the first house on my path to freedom. At the first house I was put into a
wagon, covered with a sack, and driven to my next destination. Following
the route to Pennsylvania, I initially settled in Philadelphia, where I met
William Still, the Philadelphia Stationmaster on the Underground Railroad.
With the assistance of Still, and other members of the Philadelphia Anti-
Slavery Society, I learned about the workings of the UGRR. My success
was wonderful. Time and again I made successful visits to Maryland on
the Underground Rail Road, and would be absent for weeks at a time,
running daily risks while making preparations for myself and my
passengers. Great fears were entertained for my safety, but I seemed
wholly devoid of personal fear. The idea of being captured by slave-
hunters or slave-holders, seemed never to enter my mind. I was
apparently proof against all adversaries. While I maintained utter
personal indifference, I was much more watchful with regard to those I
was piloting. Half of my time, I had the appearance of one asleep, and
would actually sit down by the road-side and go fast asleep* when on her
errands of mercy through the South, yet, I would...