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Influential African-American Women

Harriett Tubman

Harriett Tubman was born Araminta Ross, a slave in Dorchester County, Maryland. At the age of 25, her masters allowed her to marry freeman John Tubman, under the condition that she would continue to work for them. John Tubman did not support Harriet’s wishes to be free, claiming that if she tried to run he would turn her in.

Harriet eventually escaped, following the north star to Pennsylvania. She vowed to help her family and friends reach the North as well, and began working as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Tubman made the trip back to the south more than 19 times, rescuing dozens of slaves, including her 70-year-old parents. (AP Photo/Library of Congress)

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