Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)
By Genstacia Bull
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Hariett Tubman was born Araminta Ross in Dorchester County, Maryland, she was the fifth of 11 children, five boys and six girls, of Ben and Harriet Greene Ross. She was also called “Minty” In her early teens she took on her mother’s name. Harriet ‘Moses’ Tubman an illiterate slave went through a harrowing childhood as she was born into slavery. Her purpose was born out of her pain. At age 12 she was seriously injured by a blow to a head, the blow was meant to hit the slave that was escaping and it hit Tubman who refused to block the way of the escaping slave boy. Harriet never fully recovered from the injury and suffered from narcolepsy.
The average person will crawl up and die of self-pity or shrivel up with bitterness not Tubman. Harriet Tubman learnt that her slave master wife was going to sell some of the slaves into the Deep South to clear of her late husband’s debt. She was proactive about her fate and decided to leave behind her free husband that was not willing to follow. Even her brothers who started out the journey with her decided to turn back but this did not deter Tubman. She went on alone. One of her most memorable quotes was “I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.”
After freeing herself from slavery, Harriet Tubman returned to Maryland to rescue other members of her family. She was not content to just enjoy her freedom, she returned to Maryland to help members of her family and many others up to 300 people escape. The journeys were highly dangerous. At one time she even overheard two men reading out her $40000 reward warrant, she grabbed a book and feigned that she was reading. She was confident that God would help her.
This woman was really tough; she carried a gun, which she used to threaten escapees that were having second thoughts. She would say, “ You’ll be free or die” After the outbreak of civil war she served as a soldier, spy and nurse. After the civil war she married Nelson Davis ten years her junior and got a house in Auburn New York. Her house was open to those in need, orphans, the aged, the sick and disabled.
This story helps people remember the evils of the past and not to repeat it. It impacted me because Harriet went though many adversities in life through no fault of her own, yet she decided to look beyond herself and help others. She could have yielded to the circumstances, but she chose to fight for her personal freedom not even allowing her illness to stop her. She did not stop there she risked her life time and time again to help others. She instilled courage into the faint hearted even if she had to use threats! It took a lot of character and courage to go through such adversity. We can learn from Harriet Tubman that sometimes you cannot choose what happens to you but you can definitely choose how you respond to it.
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