Harriet Tubman was born as a slave and worked as a forced laborer. She is one of those famous mothers who worked for the freedom of a large number of slaves. Harriet Tubman is called "Moses of her people".

Harriet Tubman

Popularly identified as humanitarian, African-American abolitionist and Union spy during the American Civil War, Harriet Tubman is a great woman with motherly qualities. Born into slavery, she went through most difficult times and once got out of the ill-fated span of life, she made thirteen rescue operations and saved about 70 slaves. Though suffered from a deep head injury that made her life miserable with disabling seizures, narcoleptic attacks, headaches, she never stepped back from her mission and strongly proceeded through the difficult path, depending solely on her strong will that lightened her path. She was extremely tortured with her deteriorating health but, it could never take her over as a limiting factor instead, it worked as a fuel for her to confront, fight and win over all difficult situations she faced in the journey of life. She proved that it is better to fight and challenge your ill fate rather than considering yourself as a helpless life, submitting yourself to fate.

Because of the black-period that traded humans and treated them worse than animals, there are no dependable documentation on the birth and other vital statistics of Harriet Tubman. Different documents show different birth dates that differs from 1820-1825. Tubman's family history takes us to her grandmother Modesty, who, originally belonged to Africa but was taken to America as a slave. According to Tubman, she belonged to Ashanti lineage, which originated in Ghana. However, there is no proof to support or deny this information. Her mother Rit, who is believed to have a 'white' father, worked as a cook for Brodess family. Ben, her father, was a skilled woodsman who earned living from Thompson's plantation. Tubman's parents got married in 1808 and Tubman, originally named as Araminta, was born as fifth of their nine children. The family was bonded with love that struggled to stay together being threatened to be torn apart with the cruel hands of slavery. Mary Pattison Brodess, who owned Rit, sold three of her daughters, splitting the family forever. Though Brodess wanted to sell off Rits son as well, she resisted and said that she will split the head of whoever dared to step into her house.

One day, during her visit to a dry-goods shop, she happened to meet a slave who escaped from the fields. His angry overseer asked Tubman to restrain the young man, which she didn't lend ear to, which led to the most unfortunate thing in her life - she was hit with metal on head that never healed and chased her with immense pain and other problems throughout life. Known as Araminta till then, she changed her name to Tubman after marrying a free man, John Tubman. Also, she adopted her mother's name as her first name possibly because of some religious conversion or to respect other relations. Thus marriages, where slave people marry enslaved people were not uncommon but, children from these marriages were ill-destined to become slaves.

Tubman's health started to deteriorate and became worse by 1849 and she was no longer considered as a 'good slave'. Though her boss Edward Brodess tried to sell her, it didn't happen. Later, Tubman escaped from her boss and thus re-wrote her fate, which always banded her with slavery, with a brighter, mightier and noble aim - abolition of slavery. Tubman reached Philadelphia, but had to return to her land of enslavement with a secret mission of freeing her niece from being sold. Tubman, with her risky and bold efforts, brought her family and brothers to Philadelphia. This was just the beginning; she then made thirteen more expedition and saved about seventy slaves. Harriet was a shrewd planner and always chose a different route and disguise to avoid being caught. Awards totaling $40,000 were offered for her arrest, but she was never caught.

During the Civil War, Harriet worked as a nurse and scout for the North. She was honored for her work, more than once, by the Union Army. Ultimately, she led about 300 people to freedom in Canada and became famous as the "Moses of Her People". She continued to serve others by establishing a home for the elderly in upstate New York, and died, in poverty, in 1913. The Harriet Tubman Home for Aged and Indigent Colored People in Auburn is now a museum. Harriet Tubman was undoubtedly an extraordinary woman who, in spite of physical handicap and lack of education, dedicated her life to save the lives of others. She is indeed a hero to those she rescued and helped and to those millions who never met her but admire her even to this day.

It is worth remembering this courageous woman, who protected a group of unfortunate people with a loving heart and cared for them just like a mother care for her children, on this very special day.