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Harriet Tubman Bio

Feb 21, 2012

February is Black History Month, a great time to learn about pivotal people in the history of African Americans, like Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist, humanitarian and heroine who helped free African American slaves with the use of the Underground Railroad. Find out more about Harriet Tubman in her Kidzworld Bio.

Araminta from Maryland

Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross, (or “Minty”), the daughter of slaves who worked in two different plantations in Maryland. Historians believe she was born in 1822, but the exact year of her birth is uncertain since people then didn’t keep records the way we do now. At this time African Americans were not recognized in America as people with equal rights. They weren’t allowed access to education and information or allowed to make decisions about how or where they worked. They were bought and sold or inherited as slaves, but in the years that followed many people would start to realize and argue this was a gross injustice and was inhumane.

Minty had three sisters and one brother, and her mother Harriet struggled to keep her family together in the face of slavery. The plantation owner she worked for sold three of her daughters, but she hid her son before he could sell him as well. It was this kind of courage that inspired Minty later in life to fight against slavery. Minty had a difficult childhood, starting work at just six years old as a nanny for a small baby. Her “master” hired her out to different places working on different farms where she was treated badly, whipped and forced to work even when sick, and as a little girl she was terribly homesick working on other plantations. Due to a life-altering injury to the head caused by refusing to help a plantation owner chase down a slave (she was hit in the head with a heavy object), she was considered not worthy of buying even when her master tried to sell her.

Love And Escape

Many African Americans were freed in the following years, including Minty’s father who had earned his freedom.  In fact many African Americans had a mix of free and enslaved members in the same family. Slave owners could stipulate in their wills to set their slaves free, or slaves could earn their freedom. Minty met a free man, John Tubman, and married him and changed her name to Harriet, and around the same time became deeply religious.

Due to being ill Harriet’s master could not sell her, and after he died his widow would have broken up her whole family by selling them. Harriet’s husband tried to dissuade her, but she and two of her brothers decided to escape and did successfully, but her brothers had a change of heart and forced her to return with them. Undaunted she escaped again: "There was one of two things I had a right to," said Harriet "liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other."

The Underground Railroad

Harriet escaped using a well-hidden network of safe houses and secret routes that only abolitionists (people who wanted to get rid of slavery) and freed African Americans knew about. At this time the Northern states had become free and the antislavery movement was increasing. In the years after she escaped Harriet returned to Maryland to help smuggle out as many as 70 people. At first she came back just for her nieces and grandnieces, but as an escaped slave she had to be hidden by people she trusted so she could guide others out and often had close calls with former owners. She used any disguise available to elude capture and help other slaves at great risk to her own safety.  Even if you made it to Northern States an owner could still come after you and reclaim you, so many used the passages to go all the way to Canada. She often took people in the dead of winter and underwent at least 13 different expeditions.

Harriet became politically active and when The Civil War broke out in 1861, she knew that a victory for the Union could mean the end of slavery. She worked as a source of information for the abolitionists showing the weak points of plantations. Harriet was the first woman to lead an armed assault during the war so she could help free and rescue slaves in the plantations near the Combahee River.

Have Your Say

Are you celebrating Black History Month? What do you think of Harriet Tubman? Let us how in the comments section below!

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I didn't think your opening statement would be 300 cubits long. 
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Unrung posted in Debating:
In this debate, AlphaT and myself will be discussing the story of Noah’s flood. I contend that there is sufficient geological and historical evidence that supports the historicity of a global flood, and will be defending this position. As a heads up, this will be long. I’d like to open with a brief summary of story of the flood, for those who are unfamiliar with it. Recorded in the book of Genesis, the story begins by describing the state of humanity. According to the author, mankind had become so corrupt, [6:5] that God was grieved in His heart. [6:6] Because of the wickedness of man, God chose to ‘purge’ the earth through a worldwide flood, and start anew. He chose Noah, who we are told found favor in His eyes, [6:8] to build an ark with the aid of his sons; on which, God would preserve two of every living creature, as well as Noah and his immediate family. [6:13-14] Assuming such a catastrophic event actually took place, there should be evidence outside of the account found in Genesis to affirm that it did. The first piece of evidence I will be presenting, is the plethora of similar flood accounts that are found in different cultures throughout the world, which have been recorded entirely independent of the account as given by Moses. The argument is simple: if the flood really happened, and all the nations of people are descendants of Noah, then it’s plausible that as the people spread out, they carried with them a remembrance of the flood. Fine details may be lost as the story becomes distorted with time, but the overall message should remain similar to the original. And this is what we find. In a study conducted by Dr. John Morris, over 200 different accounts of the flood from different people groups were examined. The similarities found between these stories were incredible. [1]  Is there a favored family? 88% [2]  Were they forewarned? 66% [3]  Is flood due to wickedness of man? 66% [4]  Is catastrophe only a flood? 95% [5]  Was flood global? 95% [6]  Is survival due to a boat? 70% [7]  Were animals also saved? 67% [8]  Did animals play any part? 73% [9]  Did survivors land on a mountain? 57% [10] Was the geography local? 82% [11]  Were birds sent out? 35% [12]  Was the rainbow mentioned? 7% [13]  Did survivors offer a sacrifice? 13% [14]  Were specifically eight persons saved? 9% Putting the similarities all back together, the story would read something like this: Once there was a worldwide flood, sent by God to judge the wickedness of man. But there was one righteous family which was forewarned of the coming flood. They built a boat on which they survived the flood along with the animals. As the flood ended, their boat landed on a high mountain from which they descended and repopulated the whole earth. If the flood never happened, it’s a very odd coincidence that people groups from all around the world should have some legend of such a flood. My friend will have to provide a decent alternative explanation to account for this, if he doesn’t believe it’s a result of Noah’s descendants passing down the story of the flood. Next we’re going to examine the geological evidence for the flood. We’re going to start by looking at Mount St. Helens, a volcano in Washington State. On May 18, 1980, the volcano erupted, causing massive changes in the surrounding terrain. What’s significant about this is that, “the events associated with the volcano’s explosion [were] accomplished in seconds, hours, or just a few days, and this is geologic work that normally would be interpreted as having taken hundreds or even millions of years,” quoting Dr. Ken Ham. Of note is a canyon that was formed due to the eruption, dubbed the “Little Grand Canyon.” This is vitally important to understand, as it disproves the notion that such geological formations require hundreds, thousands, or millions of years to form. Such dates of millions of years have been assigned to rock layers in the Grand Canyon, by means of radiometric dating. (Lest I diverge from the topic of Noah’s flood, I’ll keep this short.) These dating methods have been proven to be flawed. Rock which was formed in 1986 from a lava dome at Mount St. Helens volcano was dated by the potassium argon method as 0.35 +/- 0.05 million years old. As we know, however, this is impossible, as the rock was formed in 1986. So either the rock traveled through time, or the dating method is inaccurate. This is one of numerous examples I can provide that points out the flaw in measuring radioactive decay in rocks. The point I’ve made on radiometric dating ties into the next piece of evidence we’re going to look at, which is the fossil record. I’d like to point your attention to a mountain in the Alps, called the Matterhorn. Dr. John Morris has this to say: “Sedimentary rocks near a mountain’s summit are supposed to be the youngest (i.e., they contain fossils thought to be more recently evolved) and should overlie lower strata that should be older, all things being equal. Yet on the Matterhorn, the reverse is true. Rocks dated as Cenozoic (containing fossils thought to be some 40 million years old) underlie rocks dated as Mesozoic (thought to be 200 million years old) according to evolutionary uniformitarianism. If they really were deposited on the mountain in that order, then the whole system is wrong—it’s literally flipped on its head. Creationists of the day insisted that the great Flood was not constrained to deposit things in an evolutionary order, and the observed order was only due to the dynamics of Flood waves.” This is a tremendous piece of evidence, for multiple reasons. Number one, it furthers the point I’ve made that rocks cannot be radiometrically dated with any accuracy. Second, it deals a large blow to the evolutionist, because the appearance of complex life forms in the fossil record here is completely out of line with the supposed history of evolution. For this reason, I contend that the fossil layers were not deposited over millions of years, as Mount Matterhorn testifies against such a notion. Rather, I would suggest to you, that the evidence we see here points to a catastrophic event, such as a flood of massive proportions. And this is just one of many examples of geological evidence that supports a global flood. I’ll go over a few more. We find fossils of sea creatures in rock layers that cover all the continents. For example, most of the rock layers in the walls of Grand Canyon (more than a mile above sea level) contain marine fossils. Fossilized shellfish are even found in the Himalayas. I would contend that this is due to ocean waters having flooded over the continents. We find rock layers that can be traced all the way across continents—even between continents—and physical features in those strata indicate they were deposited rapidly. For example, the Tapeats Sandstone and Redwall Limestone of Grand Canyon can be traced across the entire United States, up into Canada, and even across the Atlantic Ocean to England. The chalk beds of England (the white cliffs of Dover) can be traced across Europe into the Middle East and are also found in the Midwest of the United States and in Western Australia. 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