Harriet Tubman Book Summary By Catherine Clinton

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Harriet Tubman

Book Name: Harriet Tubman (The Road to Freedom)

Author(s): Catherine Clinton

Rating: 4.6/5

Reading Time: 34 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.

Dive Into The Story Of Harriet Tubman: The Biography Of A Brave And Fearless Woman

Harriet Tubman

When you hear the name Harriet Tubman, what comes to mind? A brave warrior who fought for freedom in nineteenth-century America? Or a slave girl named Araminta Ross born into a life of servitude and hardship?

These two identities belong to the same remarkable woman – one that is remembered to this day.

This Biography tells her story and provides an introduction of just how she went from being a young girl born into slavery, to becoming Harriet Tubman – one of the most courageous figures of the 19th century.

So if you would like an introduction to one of America’s most heroic women, in all her bravery and fearlessness, take a few moments and get comfortable as you imagine time travelling back through almost two centuries to 1825.

Harriet Tubman’S Near-Fatal Injury Refused To Stop Her Pursuit Of Freedom

In Chapter 1 of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, we learn about Harriet Tubman’s rough beginnings.

She was born Araminta Ross in 1825 near the town of Bucktown in Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

This region offered staggering natural beauty, but Araminta and her family were enslaved by white owners and faced constant risks of being torn apart.

At just five years old, Araminta was sent off to care for an infant son from a local household which often mistreated her and she longed for home.

By 12 she was able to work in the fields where her physical strength increased until one day she nearly lost her life when blocking an overseer’s path as he chased an escaping slave.

Her skull was healed but this resulted in lifelong intermittent blackouts and other disabling symptoms and she had to continue working in the fields regardless of how hard it may be for her due to her neurological disorder similar to narcolepsy.

Harriet Tubman Escaped Slavery Through Faith, Love, And Bravery

In Chapter 2 of the Harriet Tubman book summary, we learn about Araminta’s personal life and her drive to seek freedom from slavery.

At 19 years old, Araminta married John Tubman – a free black man whose love was a factor that played an important role in her pursuit of freedom.

At this time, it was impossible for Araminta to give birth to a child who did not inherit the chains of slavery – however this motivating factor was augmented by Araimnta’s own religious faith, which provided her the strength and will power to follow through with her treacherous mission.

Shortly after her marriage, Araimnta found a document stipulating that at the age of 45,her mother Rit and all offspring would be granted freedom which indicated that she should have already been free according to its terms.

As a result of this new understanding and added factors such as her husband’s love and support plus her dream visions that were experienced prior to 1849- Araminta looked within herself trusting God for guidance and courage as she decided to take flight while awake- escaping slavery under absolute darkness for 80 miles .

In due course , upon arriving at Philadelphia ,Araminta gained a new found sense of security in its environment where black people worked independently with respect- something she had never seen before.

Although danger still remained in the form of illegal slave traders and laws like the Fugitive Slave Law (1850)- Araminta feared no more feeling courageous enough even under disguise -to go about using the name ‘Harriet Tubman’ for the rest of life .

Harriet Tubman: The Remarkable Real-Life Story Of A Slave Who Became A Prophet For Freedom


In the third chapter of the Harriet Tubman book, Tubman makes her first major foray into helping others achieve their own freedom.

After hearing news that her beloved niece Keziah was about to be sold away, along with her two children, Harriet had to devise a plan for rescuing them.

She reached out to her connections within the Underground Railroad and enlisted help from Keziah’s husband John Bowley.

Using their combined knowledge and experience they were able to quietly move Kizzy and her family onto a boat that crossed Chesapeake Bay to Bodkin’s Point near Baltimore – a staggering 37 miles away!

There, Harriet was waiting to guide them the rest of the way.

Having successfully freed Kizzy and her family, Harriet began gravitating towards more complex missions intended at freeing larger groups of enslaved people.

During the first half of 1850 she made two trips each year where she’d bring back dozens and dozens of slaves in tow with her.

People started calling her ‘Moses’, in reference to the prophet who brought emancipation to Israelites long ago.

Harriet Tubman: The Iconic Abolitionist Who Led Her People To Freedom

In Chapter 4 of the Harriet Tubman book, we learn more about her reputation as a Moses figure, leading her people to freedom.

As news spread of her success in rescuing slaves and transporting them to safety, abolitionists and antislavery advocates began singing praises of this mysterious “Moses” who was breaking the shackles of her people with regularity.

Tubman’s stories became well known among people like William Henry Seward and John Brown, both important figures in American history.

Her most harrowing story was likely when she guided 25 slaves through dangerous swampland for more than a day – some of whom wanted to turn back due to exhaustion and fear.

In order to restore morale and keep them on track for freedom, Tubman pulled out her pistol and threatened to shoot those who wanted to go back.

Miraculously, everyone made it across safely.

Once they arrived, Tubman kept moving northward from Maryland into Canada with even more fugitives in tow.

She managed to settle them all in St Catharines while sowing the seeds of a new life free from bondage.

This resonated deeply with John Brown who had become drawn towards Tubman’s spirit so much that he called her “General Tubman.” He invited Tubman’s family – now including elderly parents – into his ambitious plans in 1858 but unfortunately failed during his attempted insurrection at Harper’s Ferry later that year after not receiving enough support from enslaved populations.

Harriet Tubman’S Pioneering Work Gave African Americans Freedom, Rights, And Dignity

Americans Freedom

In Chapter 5 of her book, Harriet Tubman builds on the momentum started in the previous chapters.

Inspired by John Brown’s attack on Harper’s Ferry and her own rescue of Charles Nalle from a Virginia courthouse, Tubman takes more bold steps towards promoting freedom for African-Americans.

As tensions build between the Confederate South and Union North with the start of the Civil War, Tubman begins to devote her time and resources to helping thousands of African-American escapees find sanctuary at Fort Monroe is Delaware.

When asked, she then turns her attention to military tactics, working closely with the Union during battles like Fort Wagner and developing a spy network among local southern slaves.

Tubman’s ventures become increasingly daring as wanted posters go up offering exorbitant bounties for her capture; however, Tubman continues down a dangerous path in order to prove that African-Americans deserved freedom.

Despite receiving no financial compensation whatsoever in all that time, soon after she establishes her own charitable organization with a widow’s pension of $20 per month provided by the US Government.

Finally in 1908 Tubman opens The Harriet Tubman Home which provides accommodation for many people in need who found solace there after their journey of escaping enslavement or searching for refuge.

If you’re heading off to bed, I wish for your restful sleep and sweet dreams!

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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