Harriet Tubman is best known as one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad. Her successful, secret journeys into Maryland during the 1850s to rescue enslaved women, men, and children earning her the biblical name "Moses," immortalizing her in the minds of Americans and people around the world for well over one hundred and fifty years. Born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Tubman gained international acclaim during her lifetime as an Underground Railroad operator, abolitionist, Civil War spy and nurse, suffragist, and humanitarian. After escaping from enslavement in 1849, and driven by her love of family, freedom, community, and faith, Tubman dedicated herself to fighting for liberty and equality for the remainder of her long life, securing her place among the nation's most famous historical figures.
Drawing from a trove of new primary documents and untapped sources as well extensive genealogical research, Kate Clifford Larson reveals Tubman as a complex woman— brilliant, shrewd, deeply religious, and passionate in her pursuit of freedom. The descendant of the vibrant, matrilineal Asanti people of the West African Gold Coast, Tubman was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland but refused to spend her life in bondage. While still a young woman she embarked on a perilous journey of self-liberation—and then, having won her own freedom, she returned again and again to liberate much beloved family and friends, tapping into the Underground Railroad.
Yet despite her success, her celebrity, her close ties with Northern politicians and abolitionists, Tubman suffered crushing physical pain and emotional setbacks. Stripping away myths and misconceptions, Bound For the Promised Land presents stunning new details about Tubman’s accomplishments, personal life, and influence, including her relationship with Frederick Douglass, her involvement with John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, and revelations about a young woman who may have been Tubman’s daughter. Here too are Tubman’s twilight years after the war, when she worked for Civil Rights and women’s suffrage, in spite of racist politicians and suffragists who marginalized her contributions.
Her humanitarian work triumphed with the opening of the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged, located on land abutting her own property in Auburn, which she successfully purchased by mortgage and then transferred to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1903. Active in the suffrage movement since 1860, Tubman continued to appear at local and national suffrage conventions until the early 1900s. She died at the age of ninety in Auburn, New York.