The Path To Freedom

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade April 2001

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It was a cold and blustery Saturday night. In the woods there is an elderly Negro woman with five of us blacks with her. The woman is Harriet Tubman and we are slaves that she is trying to free from slavery. The worn path that Harriet is traveling on is called the Underground Railroad.

Harriet decided to travel on Saturday nights for two reasons. First, many masters did not make us work on Sundays and thus might not miss us until Monday, when we would have already traveled a full day and a half. Second, newspapers advertising the escape would not be published until the beginning of the week, so by the time copies reached readers, We were likely to be close to our destination in the North.

Harriet faced great danger guiding slaves to freedom, as Southerners offered large rewards for her capture. Tubman brilliantly used disguises""sometimes posing as a crazy old man and, at other times, as an old woman""to avoid suspicion when traveling in slave states.

She carried a sleeping powder to stop babies from crying and always had a pistol to prevent her charges from backing out once the journey to freedom had begun.

Many people helped Harriet during her journey to freedom in many ways. First, we went up to a beautiful, newly built brick house. An old heavyset white lady opened the door. Harriet told her, "We's come to see friends". The lady let us in and fed us and gave us a warm place to sleep during the day, since we traveled at night.

After Harriet helped my family and myself to be free, I often heard stories from others saying that even though you could always tell that Harriet was afraid and never knew if she would ever be caught. She...