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Harriet Tubman Biography

Life After the War

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When the Civil War first broke out, Harriet Tubman predicted that the war would finally bring an end to slavery in the United States. Harriet did everything she could during the war to see that the Union was victorious and her prophesy came true. Prior to the war, Harriet's identity was somewhat secret. Few knew the real identity of the "Moses" who rescued so many of the enslaved via the Underground Railroad. However, Harriet's exploits as a spy leader and her role in the Combahee River Raid had made her somewhat famous. Military leaders and politicians alike were aware of this remarkable woman and her contribution to the war effort.

Picture of Harriet with rescued slaves
Harriet Tubman (far left), with rescued enslaved people
Author: William H. Cheney

The Civil War Ends

The Civil War ended in the spring of 1865. By the end of the year, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, abolishing slavery in the United States. Harriet was no doubt excited and relieved that slavery had finally come to an end. She would no longer have to make daring raids into the South to help free her family and friends.

After the war, Harriet continued to serve as a nurse for the Union, helping wounded soldiers recover and the formerly enslaved acclimate to their new life. When supplies became scarce in the post-war camps, Harriet traveled to Washington D.C. to explain the situation and request help for the veterans. Although she received all sorts of promises from politicians, the supplies and aide never arrived. Frustrated with government bureaucracy, Harriet decided to return home to Auburn, NY to take care of her aging parents.


When Harriet hopped on the train home to Auburn, NY, she did so as a free woman. She didn't have to disguise herself or sneak through the woods at night, she could ride the train like everyone else...or could she? While passing through New Jersey, the train conductor determined that Harriet's military papers were forged (they weren't) and told her she must move to another car. She refused. Several men then drug her from the car and threw her into the baggage area, breaking her arm. Harriet may have been free, she may have helped to win the war, but she still couldn't ride the train like a white person.

Auburn, New York

Once back in New York, Harriet turned her attention to the poor and hungry who lived in her city and the surrounding areas. She took what funds she had and used them to help the crippled, blind, and homeless. She even used her home as a place for the poor to stay. Harriet spent much of the rest of her life championing the causes of the poor and needy.

Women's Suffrage

As a strong woman who played a major role in the Civil War, Harriet was often called upon to speak at women's rights meetings. She worked alongside women such as Susan B. Anthony at suffrage conventions and was known as a powerful speaker. Harriet fought not only for equal rights for African Americans, but also for women. She felt strongly that women of all races should have the right to vote.

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Harriet Tubman Biography Contents
  1. Overview and Interesting Facts
  2. Born into Slavery
  3. Early Life as a Slave
  4. Wounded!
  5. Dreaming About Freedom
  6. The Escape!
  7. The Underground Railroad
  8. Freedom and the First Rescue
  9. The Conductor
  10. The Legend Grows
  11. Harper's Ferry and the Civil War Begins
  12. Life as a Spy
  13. Life After the War
  14. Later Life and Death
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More Civil Rights Heroes:

Susan B. Anthony
Cesar Chavez
Frederick Douglass
Mohandas Gandhi
Helen Keller
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nelson Mandela
Thurgood Marshall
Rosa Parks
Jackie Robinson
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Mother Teresa
Sojourner Truth
Harriet Tubman
Booker T. Washington
Ida B. Wells
More women leaders:

Abigail Adams
Susan B. Anthony
Clara Barton
Hillary Clinton
Marie Curie
Amelia Earhart
Anne Frank
Helen Keller
Joan of Arc
Rosa Parks
Princess Diana
Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Victoria
Sally Ride
Eleanor Roosevelt
Sonia Sotomayor
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Mother Teresa
Margaret Thatcher
Harriet Tubman
Oprah Winfrey
Malala Yousafzai

Works Cited

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