Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Read of the Week – Harriet Tubman

April 22, 2020 @ 7:00 am - 11:40 pm

I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.
– Harriet Tubman



After the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman Led a Brazen Civil War Raid

Tubman applied intelligence she learned as an Underground Railroad conductor to lead the Combahee Ferry Raid that freed more than 700 from slavery.

They called her “Moses” for leading enslaved people in the South to freedom up North. But Harriet Tubman fought the institution of slavery well beyond her role as a conductor for the Underground Railroad. As a soldier and spy for the Union Army during the Civil War, Tubman became the first woman to lead an armed military operation in the United States in what is known as the Combahee Ferry Raid.

By January 1, 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, Tubman had been in South Carolina as a volunteer for the Union Army. With her family behind in Auburn, New York, and having established herself as a prominent abolitionist in Boston circles, Tubman, at the request of Massachusetts Governor John Andrew, had gone to Hilton Head, South Carolina, which had fallen to the Union Army early in the war.

Harriet Tubman

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Tubman Becomes Military Leader

For months, Tubman worked as a laundress, opening a wash house, and serving as a nurse, until she was given orders to form a spy ring. Tubman had proven herself invaluable at gathering clandestine information, forming allies and avoiding capture, as she led the Underground Railroad. In her new role, Tubman assumed leadership of a secret military mission in South Carolina’s low country.

“First and foremost, her priorities would be to defeat and destroy the system of slavery and in doing so, to definitely defeat the Confederacy,” said Brandi Brimmer, a history professor at Spelman College and slavery historian.


April 22, 2020
7:00 am - 11:40 pm
Event Categories: