An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Tubman, Harriet Ross

(c. 1821-Mar. 10, 1913). Abolitionist. She was born a slave in Dorcester County, Maryland. She was first named Araminta, but later changed her name to Harriet. Tubman was a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. In 1849 she escaped from slavery and was a fugitive slave. Tubman became one of the leaders in the work of the Underground Railroad. She was given the name “Moses.” John Brown, the abolitionist who seized the U.S. arsenal at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, called her “General Tubman.” She helped more than 300 slaves to freedom as a major “conductor” of the Underground Railroad. When the Civil War broke out, she attached herself to the Union Army and worked as a cook, laundress, and nurse. Tubman also worked as a spy within the Confederate lines. After the war she lived in Auburn, New York, where she housed children and poor older people. Her story is told in Harriet the Moses of Her People (1886). The Harriet Tubman Home for indigent aged African Americans existed for a number of years after her death. Tubman died in Auburn, New York. She is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on July 20. See Bloomer, Amelia Jenks; see Stanton, Elizabeth Cady; see Truth, Sojourner.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.