Harriet Tubman

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Patricia Enright Gray

"Iím Harriet Tubman, Iíve helped a many a slave escape from slavery.  I preferred to start the journey on Saturday night, so that I could be well on my way before the owners had an opportunity the following Monday to advertise the escape of their slaves.  I donít  tolerate no cowardice soldiers in my army.  Iíll kill any slave who wished to turn back.  I conducted some three hundred slaves to Freedom on the Underground Railroad."

 

  Harriet Tubman was the first woman to lead a Federal army into battle in the history of the United States.

 "Col. Montgomery and his gallant band of 300 black soldiers, under the guidance of a black woman, dashed into the enemy's country, struck a bold and effective blow, destroying millions of dollars worth of commissary stores, cotton and lordly dwellings, and striking terror into the: heart of rebellion, brought off near 800 slaves and thousands of dollars worth of property, without losing a man or receiving a scratch. It' was a glorious consummation."

Boston Commonwealth, July 10, 1863
      Before the Mayflower, p207

For more information on Harriet Tubman, go to: http://www.nyhistory.com/harriettubman/life.htm

 

 

Harriet Tubman is well known for leading slaves to freedom however, less known is Arnold Gragson who also helped slaves obtain freedom. Mr. Tabb of Mason County Kentucky (near Cincinnati Ohio) was a liberal slave-master that went as far as arguing against slavery. He gave his slaves a lot of freedom to come and go as well as teaching them to read and do math. Arnold Gragson used is freedom to help hundreds of people escape across the Ohio River, and did not escape himself until his operation was revealed.

ďMost of the slaves didn't know when they was born, but I did. You see, I was born on a Christmas mornin'-it was in I840. I was a full-grown man when I finally got my freedom. Before I got it, though, I helped a lot of others get theirs--Lawd only knows how many; might have been as much as two, three hundred. It was way more than a hundred, I know.ď

ď It took me a long time to get over my scared feelin', but I finally did, and I soon found myself goin' back across the river with two or three people, and sometimes a whole boatload. I got so I used to make three and four trips a month.  What did my passengers look like? I can't tell you any more about it than you can, and you wasn't there. After that first girl--I never did see her again -I never saw my passengers. It would have to be the "black nights" of the moon when I would carry them, and I would meet them out in the open or in a house without a single light. The only way I knew who they were was to ask them, "What you say?" And they would answer, "Menare." I don't know what that word meant--it came from the Bible. I only know that that was the password I used, and all of them that I took over told it to me before I took them.Ē

  Arnold Gragson, Bullwhip Days, The Slaves Remember, J. Mellon, page 263

 

The Gospel Army Black History Group, contact: thegospelarmy@yahoo.com
Copyright © 2006 The Gospel Army Black History Group. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10/30/08.