Title Image - Quotes by Author Harriet Tubman

19 Quotes by Harriet Tubman on Slavery and Liberty

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Harriet Tubman. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. March 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the movement for women's suffrage.

Born enslaved in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate overseer threw a heavy metal weight intending to hit another enslaved person, but hit her instead. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. After her injury, Tubman began experiencing strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God. These experiences, combined with her Methodist upbringing, led her to become devoutly religious.

In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, only to return to Maryland to rescue her family soon after. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives with her out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other enslaved people to freedom. Traveling by night and in extreme secrecy, Tubman (or "Moses", as she was called) "never lost a passenger". After the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed, she helped guide fugitives farther north into British North America (Canada), and helped newly freed enslaved people find work. Tubman met John Brown in 1858, and helped him plan and recruit supporters for his 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry.

When the Civil War began, Tubman worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 enslaved people. After the war, she retired to the family home on property she had purchased in 1859 in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. She was active in the women's suffrage movement until illness overtook her, and she had to be admitted to a home for elderly African Americans that she had helped to establish years earlier. After her death in 1913, she became an icon of courage and freedom.

Quote: Twant me, 'twas the Lord. I always told him, 'I trust to you. I don't know where to go or what to do, but I expect you to lead me,' and He always did. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

Twant me, 'twas the Lord. I always told him, 'I trust to you. I don't know where to go or what to do, but I expect you to lead me,' and He always did.


Quote: There was one of two things I had a right to: liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would take the other, for no man should take me alive. I should fight for liberty as long as my strength lasted. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

There was one of two things I had a right to: liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would take the other, for no man should take me alive. I should fight for liberty as long as my strength lasted.


Quote: I was the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

I was the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad.


Quote: I would have been able to free a thousand more slaves if I could only have convinced them that they were slaves. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

I would have been able to free a thousand more slaves if I could only have convinced them that they were slaves.


Quote: I grew up like a neglected weed -- ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

I grew up like a neglected weed -- ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.


Quote: I am at peace with God and all mankind. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

I am at peace with God and all mankind.


Quote: The Lord who told me to take care of my people meant me to do it just as long as I live, and so I did what he told me. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

The Lord who told me to take care of my people meant me to do it just as long as I live, and so I did what he told me.


Quote: I freed thousands of slaves, and could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

I freed thousands of slaves, and could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.


Quote: Why, der language down dar in de far South is jus' as different from ours in Maryland, as you can think. Dey laughed when dey heard me talk, an' I could not understand 'dem, no how. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

Why, der language down dar in de far South is jus' as different from ours in Maryland, as you can think. Dey laughed when dey heard me talk, an' I could not understand 'dem, no how.


Quote: Slavery is the next thing to hell. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

Slavery is the next thing to hell.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

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.


Quote: I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger.


Quote: I had two sisters carried away in a chain-gang -- one of them left two children. We were always uneasy. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

I had two sisters carried away in a chain-gang -- one of them left two children. We were always uneasy.




Quote: As I lay so sick on my bed, from Christmas till March, I was always praying for poor ole master. 'Pears like I didn't do nothing but pray for ole master. 'Oh, Lord, convert ole master;' 'Oh, dear Lord, change dat man's heart, and make him a Christian.' by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

As I lay so sick on my bed, from Christmas till March, I was always praying for poor ole master. 'Pears like I didn't do nothing but pray for ole master. 'Oh, Lord, convert ole master;' 'Oh, dear Lord, change dat man's heart, and make him a Christian.'


Quote: I think there's many a slaveholder'll get to Heaven. They don't know better. They acts up to the light they have. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

I think there's many a slaveholder'll get to Heaven. They don't know better. They acts up to the light they have.


Quote: I said to de Lord, 'I'm goin' to hold steady on to you, an' I know you'll see me through.' by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

I said to de Lord, 'I'm goin' to hold steady on to you, an' I know you'll see me through.'


Quote: Never wound a snake; kill it. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

Never wound a snake; kill it.


Quote: I've heard 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' read, and I tell you Mrs. Stowe's pen hasn't begun to paint what slavery is as I have seen it at the far South. I've seen de real thing, and I don't want to see it on no stage or in no theater. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

I've heard 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' read, and I tell you Mrs. Stowe's pen hasn't begun to paint what slavery is as I have seen it at the far South. I've seen de real thing, and I don't want to see it on no stage or in no theater.


Quote: I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other. by author Harriet Tubman overlaid on photo of photo of author Harriet Tubman with quote

I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.


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