Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman Quotes

  • ''I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can't say—I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.''
    Harriet Tubman (1821-1913), African American slave, liberator of slaves, and spy. As quoted in Divided Houses, ch. 7, by Lyde Cullen Sizer (1992). Of her experience as slave-liberator via the secret network of way-stations known metaphorically as the Underground Railroad. Following her own escape from her Maryland slavemaster, Tubman returned to the South nineteen times to usher other slaves out of bondage; she freed 300-400 people.
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  • ''Dead niggers tell no tales; you go on or die!''
    Harriet Tubman (c. 1820-1913), African American escaped slave and abolitionist. As quoted in Harriet, the Moses of Her People, by Sarah Bradford (1869). Bradford was the friend and first biographer of the great abolitionist and ex-slave who, after escaping to freedom, returned nineteen times to the South and ushered more than 300 other runaway slaves, including her parents and brothers, to freedom in the North. While carrying out these extremely dangerous missions, Tubman carried a revolver. Should one of her charges tire and refuse to go on, she would point it at the runaway's head and say this, knowing that to leave anyone behind would jeopardize her rescue program and could cost many lives.

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