9 Things You Should Know About Harriet Tubman

Joe Carter | April 21, 2016

On Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that Harriet Tubman would be replacing President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. Here are nine things you should know about the legendary civil rights leader.

1. Harriet Tubman didn’t become “Harriet Tubman” until her mid-20s. She was originally born a slave named Araminta Ross on a plantation in Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The surname Tubman comes from her first husband, John Tubman, a free black man, and after marrying, she adopted the name “Harriet” after her mother: Harriet Ross.

2. A few years after she married, Tubman and two of her brothers initially escaped from slavery. However, when her brothers returned (one of them had recently become a father) she returned with them to the plantation. She would later escape again with the help of the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by abolitionists. Tubman later recalled how she felt upon arriving a free woman in Pennsylvania:

When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I…

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