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Tubman used to boast that she never lost a single passenger. Being a conductor meant walking through slavery territory, where she could be snatched by armed slave hunters, meaning Tubman voluntarily risked her life each time.

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It only became more dangerous with the Fugitive Slave Act, which meant escaped slaves could be captured in the North and returned to their owners. As this led to a rise in black people, slave and free, being abducted, even the free states increasingly became an unsafe final destination for the Underground Railroad.

Tubman, therefore, had to find routes to British-owned Canada.

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Yet her fortitude and belief that God watched over her never wavered. Time and time again, the uneducated, illiterate Tubman proved her ingenuity to keep slaves in her care safe and fed on the long journey. While on route, Tubman carried a pistol, both for defence and to keep the slaves going. There is a popular story about the Underground Railroad stating that songs had secret messages in the lyrics, which helped slaves find their way to freedom or act as a warning.

Tubman would later change the tempo to alter the meaning of the message. There are historians, however, who question the idea that songs contained codes, saying that there is no clear evidence from the time and that the story originates not in the 19th century, but the 20th. A similar theory, which claims that quilts were made with certain patterns to represent hidden instructions, has also been questioned. They offered hope where there seemed to be none and a sense of community when everyone sang together.

After Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation — laying the foundations for the abolition of slavery — Tubman led a band of scouts into Confederate territory, utilising the skills she had mastered as a conductor. The information that she gathered allowed Colonel James Montgomery to attack enemy positions with devastating effect, and saw her become the first woman to lead an armed assault.

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  • More than slaves were freed. Journalist Sophie Beal explores…. In April , the first shots of the American Civil War were fired. By this time, Tubman had many abolitionist admirers and Massachusetts governor John Andrew sponsored her to travel to Port Royal, South Carolina, which had recently been taken from the Confederates. On the outbreak of war, she initially attached herself as a volunteer to Union troops encamped near Fort Munroe, Virginia. Harriet worked wherever she was needed: nursing those with disease, which was rife in the hot climate; organising the distribution of charitable aid to the thousands of ex-slaves behind union lines and supervising the building of a laundry house where she trained women to earn money washing clothes.

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    Tubman held a unique position of trust with former slaves and Union leadership, and was eventually able to help one General Hunter, who commanded troops in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina the military Department of the South , to recruit the first black regiments. Hunter gave Tubman authority to line up scouts who could infiltrate and map out the interior. The information she gathered from these spies was passed on to General Rufus Saxton, who used it to capture Jacksonville, Florida, in March This convinced Union leadership of the benefit of guerrilla operations and led to the famed Combahee River Raid, where Tubman was scout and adviser to Colonel Montgomery, commander of the second South Carolina volunteers, one of the new black infantry regiments.

    On 1 June , as midnight approached, she led three steamers carrying black soldiers slowly up the Combahee River.

    Tubman guided them around rebel underwater mines to designated spots along the shore. Soldiers then ran onto the plantations to rout out any Confederate gunmen and alert the slaves. When the whistles blew, the slaves rushed towards the tugboats sent to meet them.

    Once everyone was on board, the steamers made their way back up the river, carrying the newly-liberated slaves to Port Royal.

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    Following the Combahee River Raid, critics could no longer argue that African-Americans were unfit to fight. This well-organised raid had dealt a deep blow to the Confederates, utilising the very people they wanted to keep suppressed and enslaved. But what did Tubman receive for three years of loyal service? Such little pay that she had to support herself by selling homemade pies, ginger bread and root beer, and no compensation at all for three decades. Still a popular symbol of the anti-slavery movement, she was the subject of two biographies published in and , with all of the proceeds going to help pay her bills.

    Regardless of money troubles, Tubman continued to fight for others for the rest of her life. Her Auburn home became a haven for orphans, the elderly and freed slaves looking for help, which is how she met her second husband, a Civil War veteran named Nelson Davis. Back in her conductor days, she had gone back to rescue John Tubman, but he had re-married.

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    Together, Tubman and Davis adopted a baby girl, Gertie. On 10 March , she died of pneumonia, surrounded by family and friends. A woman who became an American icon by hiding in shadows. A woman who escaped the hell of being a slave and set about helping others to do the same. You, on the other hand, have labored in a private way.


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    Jane has gone into the manor to pay her family's debt in a strange job position she knows very little about. The governor, a bachelor, intends to make her his slave for the rest of her stay there - but before they get started, Jane needs to have an inspection done to her. Warning: This sexy story contains humiliation, exposure and a violent oral sex scene. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , 9 pages. Published November 13th first published July 8th More Details Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

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