The Most Famous Conductor on the Underground Railroad (1820-1913) The dynamics of escaping slavery changed in 1850, with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law. This law stated that escaped slaves could be captured in the North and returned to slavery, leading to the abduction of former slaves and free blacks living in Free States. Law enforcement officials in the North were compelled to aid in the capture of slaves, regardless of their personal principals.

In response to the law, Tubman re-routed the Underground Railway to Canada, which prohibited slavery categorically. In December, 1851, Tubman guided a group of 11 fugitives northward. There is evidence to suggest that the party stopped at the home of abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass.

In April 1858, Tubman was introduced to the abolitionist John Brown, who advocated the use of violence to disrupt and destroy the institution of slavery. Tubman shared Brown’s goals and at least tolerated his methods. Tubman claimed to have had a prophetic vision of Brown before they met.

When Brown began recruiting supporters for an attack on slave holders at Harper’s Ferry, he turned to “General Tubman” for help. After Brown’s subsequent execution. Tubman praised him as a martyr.

Tubman remained active during the Civil War. Working for the Union Army as a cook and nurse, Tubman quickly became an armed scout and spy. THE FIRST WOMAN TO LEAD ARMED EXPEDITION INTO WAR, she guided the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more that 700 slaves in South Carolina. ( NOTE: there will be a part four. stay tuned to Harriet Tubman, warrior woman.


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