Here is a brief insight, detailing the life of Araminta Harriet Ross, who later changed her name to Harriet around the time of her marriage. She was an American abolitionist and political activist, also known as the ‘Moses of her people.’
- Born into slavery in the 1820’s in Maryland.
- She escaped to freedom in 1849.
- Tubman stole into the woods and, with the help of some members of the Underground Railroad, walked the 90 miles to Philadelphia where slavery was illegal, to freedom.
- Tubman devoted her life to racial equality and fought for women’s rights.
- Became a famous conductor of the Underground Railroad.
- Tubman was the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the Civil War.
- She guided the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more than 700 slave in South Carolina. Dorchester County, Maryland Auburn, New York.
- In 1844, Harriet married a free Black man named John Tubman – after separation, In 1869, Tubman married a Civil War veteran named Nelson Davis.
- In 1874 Davis and Tubman adopted a baby girl named Gertie.
- Tubman quickly became an armed scout and spy for the Union Army.
- Tubman died of pneumonia on March 10, 1913, surrounded by friends and family, at around the age of 93.
- She was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn.
- The Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn and the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cambridge serve as monuments to her life.
- A 1978 movie, A Woman Called Moses, commemorated her life and career, and the 2019 film Harriet chronicled Tubman’s service as a conductor for the Underground Railroad.
Tubman and Faith
I always tole God, I’m gwine [going] to hole stiddy on you ‘an You’ve got to see me throughHarriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman not only was a woman of faith but a woman of absolute confidence in the voice of God. Abolitionist Thomas Garrett said of her, “I never met any person of any colour who had more confidence in the voice of God.” She was an honourable woman, who refused to go anywhere without first hearing the voice of God. Actively, she showed the fruits of being a follower of Christ, acting selflessly to rescue her fellow people from captivity, notorious for not losing a single person. Regardless of obstacles, she held on to her faith which helped her to become the fearless and brave woman she is known to be.
Tubman grew up during the second Great Awakening, a period of revival in the Christian Church in the United States, where membership flourished. In addition, what solidified her faith was when she came upon a horrific accident that led her to suffer from temporal lobe epilepsy. Upon this accident, she believed that her trances and visions were direct revelations from God and evidence of His involvement in her life. This tragic accident turned out for good as it led to the solidification of her worldview in Christ.
Humility is not antonymous with bravery
Harriet was a perfect display of both humility and bravery. She was humble enough to be selfless, to not neglect her people after she escaped, but to risk her life every single time to save over 700 slaves in North Carolina. Additionally, she was humble enough to not trust alone in her power, but the power of the Almighty and the voice of the Lord. With trusting came a lack of fear and a surplus in bravery.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.2 Timothy 1:7
There are many things we can learn from Harriet, ranging from not allowing societies standards to diminish or make you shy away from your purpose, or not allowing others to shy you away from the voice of the Lord. But the takeaway I want us to ponder on is trusting in the Lord. When we trust in the Lord, we are empowered. Fear is stripped away because we know that the Author and Founder of the universe is right behind us. Not just for our selfish needs, but for His need, for His glory, to help and save others who are in need of it. Harriet’s work may not have only have saved others physically but spiritually, as her fruits may have acted as evangelism to others. The amalgamation of her spiritual life and her physical work was what resulted in the nickname, ‘Moses of her people.’