and the underground railroad
Harriet Tubman was a slave that escaped to the North. She went back to the south and guided many more slaves to freedom. The underground railroad was not underground or a railroad. It was a system to help slaves escape to the north and eventually Canada. There were a series of codes that were constantly changing that slaves would use to communicate. Some southerners that were against slavery would let slaves hide in their homes.
Harriet Tubman escaped her slavery in 1849. She escaped to the North and was now free, but instead of just staying there she went back to the South and brought other slaves to freedom in the North. She did this with the help of the underground railroad.
The slaves and people that helped with the underground railroad used a series of code words so that they wouldn't be caught. They also used songs to communicate secretly. The button will take you to a sight with some of the meanings of the codes
In 1850 the Fugitive Slave Law passed. That law said that if a slave escaped to the north they were to be returned to the south. This changed everything because the slaves were no longer always safe in the north. Harriet Tubman rerouted the underground railroad to Canada because Canada didn't allow slavery at all.
After the war started Harriet Tubman kept working to help slaves and other people. She worked as a spy, scout, and nurse. She wanted to do everything she could to help slaves become free.
Harriet Tubman was born a slave, and when she was only 12 years old her owner told her to tie up another slave that had just been returned after an escape attempt. Harriet refused to tie up the other slave and when she refused her owner threw a 2 pound weight at her head. This caused to have horrible head aches and narcolepsy for the rest of her life.
One time Harriet Tubman was helping a group of male slaves escaping from a plantation. They needed a disguise to travel on a train. So she disguised them as girls. The button above will take you to a site with more on that story and more on Harriet Tubman in general.