Bookmark and Share  Print 

Tuesday May 3, 2016

posted by Thomas A. Ebendorf
Tags: In the news 

Recently, it was announced that Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson as the face on the $20.00 bill. President Jackson, a slaveholder and the man principally responsible for removing thousands of Native Americans from the east and southeast and marching them on the “Trail of Tears” to Oklahoma, is being replaced by former slave, Harriet Tubman. Ms. Tubman was born in 1820 in Maryland and died in 1913 in New York. She began life as a slave in Maryland and successfully escaped slavery in 1849. Following her escape, she became involved in the efforts to assist slaves in escaping to freedom in the north. She is generally regarded as the most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. This railroad covered a number of states and included stops in Louisville and across the river in Southern Indiana.

She was part of the organized resistance against the Fugitive Slave Act. This act, passed in 1850, permitted the pursuit and capture of slaves from freed states. This federal law created difficulty for the Underground Railroad as it required free states to cooperate with the recovery and return of escaped slaves. In response, Tubman and others rerouted the Underground Railroad to Canada.

Harriet Tubman remained active in the Civil War, working for the Union Army as a cook and a nurse and an armed scout and spy. She was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, and she guided the Combahee River Raid which liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina. Speaking of her experience with the transportation of slaves from the slave states to the free states, Tubman said, “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”