Quiz by: schiftyjr
Hello and welcome back to A Kid Explains History. My name is Mr. Q. Today we're going to talk
about one of the greatest women in American History. Harriet Tubman. She helped slaves escape on a thing called the Underground Railroad. You know what I though the first time I heard about the Underground Railroad? I thought it looked like this.
After some research, I found out that the "underground" part actually means secret.
And the "railroad" part means the path you took to get to States that didn't have slavery.
Calling it an Underground Railroad was useful though, 'cos people could use the name to
create a top secret code. For instance, the ex-slaves who guided people called themselves
Just like with a train. They called the slaves they were helping "passengers". Hiding places
were called "stations", which were located in barns, caves and even under church floors.
Brave "station masters" hid people in their own homes.
It was agains the law to help people escape from slavery, so everyone involved had to
be great at keeping secrets. Like, I'm not kidding, great!
Station masters were made up of a lot of different kinds of people. From free African Americans
to white people who didn't like slavery. They were all called Abolitionists. Which comes
from the word "abolish". Which means to do away with something.
I abolish Creepers!
That didn't work.
There are lots of words like that you have to find the meaning to to understand history,
but once you do, it's way more fun.
While people were trying to get rid of these horrible slave laws, people like Harriet Tubman
had to take matters into their own hands. She was born a slave and she became one of
the most famous conductors of the Underground Railroad.
Now, the thing that made Harriet Tubman great is that instead of just thinking about herself,
she went back again and again to help other slaves. And got really good at not getting caught.
She knew that slave didn't have to work on Sundays, so she left with her "passengers"
on Saturday night. That way, the overseers didn't notice they were gone until Monday.
She started leading them to Canada so they wouldn't have to worry about the Fugitive
Slave Act, Which made people in Northern States turn escaped slaves in, or risk being in trouble
with the police themselves!
That's just unfair.
Slave owners were really, really angry at Harriet and put a bounty on her head. Sometimes
people she was helping escape would have second thoughts. But Harriet knew if they
were allowed to go back, They would be forced to tell their masters which way she was going.
And then everyone would get caught! So when someone said they wanted to, Harriet would point
her gun at them and say, "You go on or you die."
This was no time for messing about.
By 1860, the Civil War broke out and Harriet Tubman found other ways to help. She acted
as a spy for the North and also worked as a nurse. Back then, women weren't allowed
to be in the army. But she did it anyway, acting as a guide for troops at the Combahee
River Raid, where they burned plantations and freed over seven hundred slaves.
Harriet Tubman lived into her nineties. In the end, she was giving speeches with women
like Susan B. Anthony, helping to get women the right to vote. She never stopped trying
to make the world a better place.
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And also I've got something exciting to tell you. We have a new website! You can see it
See you next time. Bye!
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