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Biography of Care Experienced People

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Scenes From the Life of Harriet Tubman

Sarah Hopkins Bradford


In 1869, four years after the end of the Civil War, Sarah Hopkins Bradford wrote her first of two groundbreaking books, Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman. Tubman escaped slavery and then returned to help many others escape as well; travelling to the northern United States and Canada before the Civil War, using the Underground Railroad. Bradford wrote the book, using extensive interviews with Tubman, to raise funds for Tubman's support. The two became friends. It was the first Tubman biography of any depth. Bradford was one of the first Caucasian writers to deal with African-American topics, and her work attracted worldwide fame, selling very well. In 1886, she followed up with Harriet Tubman, Moses of Her People, again to assist in supporting Tubman.

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. March 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the movement for women's suffrage. Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate overseer threw a heavy metal weight intending to hit another enslaved person, but hit her instead. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. After her injury, Tubman began experiencing strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God. These experiences, combined with her Methodist upbringing, led her to become devoutly religious.

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