Baylor College Medical School

History On Slavery 1850s-What would you think of what Harriet Tubman's words if you were from the North?

Harriet Tubaman was born a slave around 1815. She escaped bondage in 1849, but returned to the South at least 19 times to help others escape slavery. Tubman's statement on slavery appeared in an 1856 abolitionist text. Abolitionists published accounts by or about escaped slaves in an attempt to generate political support for the abolition of slavery.

I grew up like a neglected weed---ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it. Then I was not happy or contented: every time I saw a white man I was afraid of being carried away. I had two sisters carried away in a chain-gang,-one of them left two children. We were always uneasy. Now I've been free, I know what a dreadful condition slavery is. I have seen hundreds of escaped slaves, but I never saw one who was willing to go back and he a slave. I have no opportunity to see my friends in my native land. We would rather stay in our native land, if we could be as free there as we are here. I think slavery is the next thing to hell. If a person would send another into bondage, he would,it appears to me, be bad enough to send him into hell, if he could.

1. What would you think of what Harriet Tubman's words if you were from the North?

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Hey Greta! While every Northerner was not against slavery or ignorant of what was happening in the South, many would take pity on her or at least comment on how morally backwards the South was.