Araminta “Minty” Ross is now perhaps the most famous individual hero of the Underground Railroad. She was toughened by slavery from an early age, suffering from a blow to her head by a slave master which caused her to suffer from seizures the rest of her life. Tubman had escaped to Pennsylvania in 1849, but she returned in 1850 to help some of her relatives who were up for auction. Harriet also returned to Maryland in 1851 to bring her husband, John Tubman, to Pennsylvania only to find he had taken another wife and did not to wish to return with her. This incident perhaps toughened Tubman as nothing else; she did not grieve the loss, she dedicated herself to helping others escape. She never remarried. John Brown referred to her as General Tubman. She also worked closely with figures such as Thomas Garrett of Delaware and William Still of Philadelphia.
Frederick Douglass was an abolitionist. He narrated the story of his life as a
slave in Maryland and his escape to freedom. He started a newspaper called the “North Star” which was a mouthpiece for the antislavery movement. During the U.S. Civil War he used his unique viewpoint to encourage President Lincoln to allow African-Americans to engage in the fight. After the Civil War he continued to fight diligently for equal rights for African-Americans, and women. His Washington, D.C. home is still standing and it continues to remind us of his struggle against injustice (1818-1895).
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