Harriet Tubman Book Summary By Catherine Clinton

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Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom is an incredible book about the life of one of America's most renowned and respected heroines.

It tells the story of Harriet Tubman, a woman who overcame slavery and helped free hundreds more.

The book also provides a fascinating account of her place in the Civil War and her tireless fight for equal rights.

The entire book is written as an authoritative history, but it's also full of personal anecdotes and details that bring to life her amazing accomplishments.

Harriet Tubman truly was an inspirational leader, and this book does a great job of highlighting both her heroism and humanity.

If you're looking for an informative yet compelling read on this remarkable woman, look no further than Harvey Tubman: The Road to Freedom!

Harriet Tubman Book

Book Name: Harriet Tubman (The Road to Freedom)

Author(s): Catherine Clinton

Rating: 4.6/5

Reading Time: 18 Minutes

Categories: Book Summaries

Author Bio

Catherine Clinton is definitely a woman of many talents.

Not only is she an incredible teacher and historian, but she has authored more than 15 books about Afro-American studies.

This includes volumes such as Civil War Stories, Half Sisters of History and I, Too, Sing America.

Her educational background is just as impressive; Mrs.

Clinton earned her Ph.D from Princeton University and studied Afro-American Studies at Harvard University.

All this goes to show what an authority on the subject she is!

No wonder her Harriet Tubman book has been so successful - it's clear that Catherine Clinton possesses extensive knowledge on the subject which allows readers to really see into the life of this inspirational woman.

The Untold Story Of Harriet Tubman: Discover The Remarkable Life Of A Legendary American Hero

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman is an inspiring figure in history.

The bravery and beliefs she held led her to stand up for what she believed in, fight for her freedom, and work toward the betterment of humanity.

Her story isn’t one of a footnote in history or forgotten in mythology, but that of an incredibly brave woman.

Born Araminta Ross, she eventually began going by Harriet Tubman when confronting the terrible treatment at the hands of her masters.

Harriet was not afraid to use whatever means necessary to make sure a fugitive slave escaped oppression, even if it meant pointing a gun at his head.

Harriet’s legacy lives on today – as evidence with her inclusion on US $20 bill – proving that we can all be inspired by this strong example of resilience, courage and perseverance!

The Risk Of Family Separation Loomed Large Over Harriet Tubman’S Life As A Slave

Harriet Tubman’s life may be shrouded in mystery, but there are certain facts that we can feel certain about.

For starters, we know that Harriet Tubman, or Araminta Ross as she was born, was a black slave born near Bucktown in Maryland.

Though her exact birth date is contested today, it’s believed that she was either born in 1825 or between 1820 and 1822.

We also know of her parents – Harriet Green and Benjamin Ross – and believe that Tubman had at least ten siblings.

Living as slaves also came with its own set of risks for forming families.

Slave owners knew they needed women like Harriet Green to have more children to make up for the end of the international slave trade in 1808 while also having to worry about pregnant women being a liability who couldn’t perform many physical tasks who often got sold off before giving birth.

This risk of being torn apart from families was real since slave owners would sometimes sell children to Georgia traders who were looking for more slaves that could work plantations in their home states.

Harriet Tubman’s Strength Through Hardship: How Years Of Abuse Led To A Near-Death Experience And Broader Resilience

Harriet Tubman faced deplorable conditions and traumatic experiences from an early age.

This started when, at the tender age of five, her master began sending her to nearby families to do domestic work in awful conditions.

One of these places was ‘Miss Susan’s’ home – if the baby cried, Tubman suffered the whip and would bear its scars for the rest of her life.

When she was returned to her family, malnourished and fragile, this cycle would return again and again.

At twelve years old Harriet shifted from domestic work to labouring in the fields which, although exhausting, she preferred over the bidding of a cruel master like Miss Susan.

Her strength increased with each passing day until one fateful incident nearly ended her life when a supervisor threw a lead weight as an escaping slave and hit Tubman instead, cracking her skull; she only survived after days in between consciousness.

Thanks to Harriet’s will power and strength though she recovered eventually – ready for whatever else lay ahead in front of her throughout her life’s journey.

Harriet Tubman’s Near-Death Experience Fueled Her Quest For Freedom

Near-Death Experience

Harriet Tubman found faith and strength in her religion, along with the support of her husband John who she married in 1844.

When a document containing a broken agreement between Tubman’s mother and her former slave master revealed that Harriet should have been born free, Tubman realized she needed to take action before the death of her current slave master opened up new potentially dangerous developments.

Having found strength in both her faith and marriage, Harriet decided to flee from slavery during the fall of 1849, journeying for three weeks whilst under the cover of night until she reached Philadelphia, some 80 miles north.

She believed this was God’s will and made sure to stay strong through it all.

Harriet Tubman Risked Everything To Help Others Escape Slavery

When Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery, she faced many new opportunities and dangers.

Immediately after leaving Maryland, Tubman changed her name to detach herself from her old life, but that was only the first step in a much longer journey.

Upon reaching Philadelphia, Tubman saw firsthand how free African-Americans lived; suddenly she saw barbers, vendors, and seamstresses living successful lives on their own terms—a stark contrast from the oppression she had fled in Maryland.

Though Pennsylvania was a refuge of sorts, there were still dangers which threatened freedom seekers.

Kidnapping was potentially deadly and even those who escaped the hands of criminals could end up in danger due to the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.

Now slave holders and local authorities had more power than ever to return escapees back into bondage.

Despite these new threats, Tubman did not allow fear to stop her mission – when she heard about her niece’s potential sale back into slavery, she knew it was time for her to take action once again and help other slaves break free.

Harriet Tubman: A Determined Hero Of The Underground Railroad

Harriet Tubman experienced an incredibly difficult moment during one of her missions: she had come home hoping to be reunited with her husband, only to discover that he had moved on and married someone else.

The news was heartbreaking and it caused her to doubt herself.

In order to keep going, Tubman turned to faith; she prayed for guidance and believed that God spoke to her.

He reminded her that she needed to carry on, so she did.

From then on, Tubman embarked on even more daring missions – often during winter when the darkness of night provided even more safety – bringing as many as 30 slaves back with her each time.

For this incredible effort in rescuing others, Tubman earned the nickname of “Moses” – a name that still stands in homage today.

Harriett Tubman: How She Used Fearlessness And A Gun To Lead Her People To Freedom


In the 1850s, Harriet Tubman was becoming an abolitionist icon.

As her reputation grew, she visited Boston to share her stories of rescuing fugitive slaves.

These tales stunned audienece with stories of Tubman leading 25 people through dangerous swampland.

The journey become grueling and one man even wanted to turn back.

But Tubman had other plans and pulled out a pistol and threatened to shoot him if he insisted on going back, which motivated the whole group to continue forward.

Stories like this were all in service of one goal for Tubman: bringing freedom and safety to those who were enslaved.

That usually meant escaping from Maryland and heading up north to Canada, where some small towns like St.

Catherine’s became harbors of refuge for Tubman, as well as her siblings, niece and parents when they eventually left in 1857.

Eager to bring her elderly parents there safely, she rigged a wagon big enough for them to hide in during their journey, enduring several nights on the road until they reached 80 miles outside of Maryland before boarding a train up north and finding security at last in Canada

Harriet Tubman’s Encounter With John Brown Shows How Determination Can Ignite Change

Harriet Tubman found a kindred spirit in the abolitionist, John Brown.

His unwavering dedication to fight against slavery and promote freedom of African-Americans inspired Tubman and brought new life to her cause.

Brown was so taken with Tubman that he even nicknamed her “General Tubman”.

Although their relationship was cut short by his untimely death, Brown left an indelible impression on Harriet Tubman and lit a fire within her.

After his death, she vowed to honor him by carrying on his mission and continue fighting for African-American freedom.

Tubman’s actions soon spoke louder than words when she physically wrenched Charles Nalle free from two guards and fled the courthouse with him.

Her bold move sparked protests from supporters outside the courthouse, allowing them to get Nalle away to safety on a wagon.

This was just one example of how John Brown’s determination to fight slavery had reignited Harriet Tubman’s own will to battle for freedom.

Harriet Tubman: A Spy And Matron Who Liberated Slaves During The Civil War

During the American Civil War, Harriet Tubman played several key roles in helping the Union succeed.

She began by aiding fugitive slaves at Fort Monroe in Maryland, making sure they had access to food and rations.

When a young slave girl arrived at the camp, Tubman even personally protected her from mistreatment until she was able to travel north safely.

But as the conflict grew, Tubman’s skills were needed elsewhere.

She was eventually called upon by the Union’s Department of the South to establish a spy network and share valuable information with them.

This information proved invaluable in helping them avoid mines while traveling down the Combahee River to liberate 750 slaves and destroy plantations.

It also assisted greatly during less successful battles like Fort Wagner, where many wounded black soldiers were in need of medical assistance.

For her efforts here, US Surgeon General Joseph Barnes appointed Tubman as an official Matron, a title no other African-American woman had held before.

Harriet Tubman’s Unending Efforts To Secure Rights And Freedoms For African-Americans Despite Financial Hardships

Financial Hardships

Harriet Tubman was a woman who never stopped fighting for the rights and freedoms of African-Americans.

She devoted her life to charity work, even when it stretched beyond her financial means.

Tubman offered her services as a volunteer in the Underground Railroad and Union Army, receiving no financial compensation for 15 years before she was even officially recognized by the government.

Not only that, but she also helped build freedmen’s schools, collected donations for the Salvation Army, and advocated for women’s rights.

Even when she married her husband Nelson Charles Davis in 1869 she still found herself struggling financially and had to resort to selling baked goods in her spare time.

After Davis passed away in 1888, Tubman received a widow’s pension of only $8 per month – a meager sum that didn’t do much to help improve her situation.

Luckily Tubman had friends who supported her financially whenever she needed it.

Thanks to their efforts of petitioning the government on Tubman’s behalf in 1899, Tubman finally began receiving a $20 monthly pension.

This extra income allowed Harriet Tubman to start her own charitable organization, The Harriet Tubman Home, where people could find refuge from oppressive circumstances or just find someone willing to lend an ear.

Wrap Up

Harriet Tubman’s story is one of determination and bravery.

In a time when discriminatory social structures were alive and well, she refused to be silenced, fought for her beliefs, and succeeded in aiding her fellow African-Americans in their struggle for freedom.

Through her incredible courage, she managed to carve out a place for herself as a hero who transcends the boundaries of time.

This book serves as an excellent reminder that, even when faced with adversity, brave individuals can rise up and create lasting change – just as Harriet Tubman did generations ago.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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