Harriet Tubman Even before Harriet Tubman was born she had a powerful enemy. Her enemy wasn't a person or even a country; it was the system known as slavery. It is known that at least two grandparents were captured by slave traders and brought to North America from the Slave Coast of Africa during the 18th century. Because slaves were not allowed to read and write, Tubman grew up illiterate. She left no letters or diaries that would later allow historians to piece together all the parts of her life story. But we do know that she was one of history's great heroines. With courage and determination, she escaped from slavery herself and then led more than 300 slaves to safety and freedom. When the Civil War began, she tirelessly scouted for the Union army and continued to free her people. Many of these newly freed slaves became new recruits for the Union army.
Tubman rose from slavery to become one of the most remarkable stories in the history of the United States of America.
About 40 years before the Civil War began, a slave child, Araminta. Like others born into slavery, Araminta, who later become known as Harriet Ross Tubman, was never to know her birth date. Her parents, Harriet Greene and Benjamin Ross, couldn't read or write. They didn't even know the months of the year. They simply kept track by the seasons: summer, winter, harvest time, and planting time. They had no family records beyond their own memories to document the births of their 11 children.
The most important fact about Harriet Tubman's birth was not the date or the place, or even who her parents were. It was that she was, from the day she was born the property of Edward Brodas, who owned...