Tag Archives: Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman — March 10

Harriet Tubman

Bible connection

Read Exodus 3:11-20

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

All about Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913)

Harriet Tubman, a.k.a. “Moses,” escaped enslavement in Maryland and went to Philadelphia when she was 29 years old. She is justifiably famous for helping others escape and for undermining slavery.

  • She helped her dear friend, John Brown, plan the infamous raid on Harper’s Ferry.
  • She helped plan the Union’s Combahee River raid in 1863, during which 750 slaves escaped.
  • Her 20+ personal expeditions back down south freed at least 70 people, and she never lost a single “passenger” on what became known as the Underground Railroad.

Harriet remained a devout Christian throughout her life. She accomplished much despite never learning to read or write effectively. (She may have had a learning disability stemming from a serious head injury at the hand of her overseer). Her reputation sparked hope among the enslaved peoples of North America and perhaps equal anger among the slaveowners.

She was as irritating to the slaveowners as Moses was to Pharoah. Harriet used “Go Down, Moses” to let slaves know she was there to pick them up. As is true of many of the Negro Spirituals, “Go Down, Moses” had multiple levels of meaning. It was about the liberation story from Exodus; it was about hope for liberation, but it was also about the possibility of Tubman herself coming to liberate, and depending on which verses one sang, it contained advice for escape tactics.

After the end of the Civil War Tubman settled in Washington, D.C. and participated in the emerging national women’s suffrage movement. In 1911, two years before she died, she attended a meeting of the suffrage club in Geneva, New York, where a white woman asked her: “Do you really believe that women should vote?” Tubman reportedly replied, “I suffered enough to believe it.”

Harriet Tubman quotes:

  • Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
  • I think there’s many a slaveholder’ll get to Heaven. They don’t know better. They acts up to the light they have.
  • As I lay so sick on my bed, from Christmas till March, I was always praying for poor ole master. ‘Pears like I didn’t do nothing but pray for ole master. ‘Oh, Lord, convert ole master;’ ‘Oh, dear Lord, change dat man’s heart, and make him a Christian.’
  • Twasn’t me, ’twas the Lord! I always told Him, ‘I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me,’ an’ He always did.

Did you see the movie that came out in 2019?: Harriet.

A short piece from the Smithsonian Channel:

What do we do with this?

Moses was not sure he had the strength to free the people of Israel who had been enslaved in Egypt. Like him, Harriet Tubman relied on the strength of God to accomplish her daring work. Large or small, what are you moved to do that requires God with you to accomplish?

There is a movement to replace Andrew Jackson (slave owner and Native American relocater) with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. Joe Biden spoke in favor of this, but he apparently thinks he would cause an anti-woke firestorm he does not need if he makes it happen. It is likely Tubman might get a kick out of being on a $20 bill; but it is more likely she had deeper resources to draw on for her affirmation. How are you doing with the ongoing issues race causes in the U.S.?