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UK Disability History Month

Harriet Tubman

Harriett Tubman portrait“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world”

Harriet Tubman was an American Abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when hit on the head by an overseer. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of narcolepsy and for the rest of her life she had symptoms of brain injury.

Tubman escaped and made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, using the network of anti-slavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. 

During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 slaves. After abolition, she went on to fight for women’s suffrage and human rights. After her death in 1913, she became an icon of courage and freedom. A survey at the end of the 20th century named her as one of the most famous civilians in American history before the Civil War.

Taken from UKDHM poster: