Harriet Tubman’s Greatest Achievement: a Beacon of Hope and Liberation in America’s Darkest Hour

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Updated: Sep 18, 2023
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Harriet Tubman, born into slavery in Maryland around 1820, emerged as one of America’s bravest abolitionists. Risking her life and liberty, she helped escape and later guided over 300 enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad. In a time of despair, she served as a lighthouse of hope. She became an enduring emblem of fortitude and liberation because of her commitment to the abolitionist cause and her courage. Her legacy continues to motivate future generations to fight for justice and equality.

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Early Life

Born around 1820 in Maryland, Harriet Tubman, named Araminta Ross, endured the harsh reality of life as an enslaved child. Born to enslaved parents, Harriet’s early experiences formed her resilient character. Forced to labor in fields and homes, she faced physical abuse that left her with lifelong scars, most notably an injury from a heavy metal weight thrown by an overseer, which caused her to suffer from seizures and visions throughout her life. These visions, which she believed were divine premonitions, profoundly influenced her faith and determination. As she grew, whispers of freedom and tales of a secret network aiding escapees, the Underground Railroad, fueled her desire for liberation. By her late 20s, driven by a yearning for freedom and self-determination, Harriet boldly decided to flee from the chains of slavery. Her early experiences, which were difficult but also characterised by resiliency and a strong spiritual connection, paved the way for her later accomplishments as an advocate for freedom and a conductor of the Underground Railroad.

The Underground Railroad

Contrary to its name, the Underground Railroad wasn’t a real train. A secret network of safe houses and brave people helped enslaved people escape to freedom in the 19th century. With the help of “conductors” like Harriet Tubman, slaves would move from one hiding place to another. They often traveled at night, using stars and coded songs as guides. The North Star became a symbol of hope for many escapees. The use of the word “railroad” resulted from the participants’ use of railway terminology. “Stations” were safe houses, and “conductors” were guides. Despite its risks, such a hidden system was a beacon of hope for many enslaved people, helping thousands reach safety.

The Great Achievement

Harriet Tubman’s most significant accomplishment was her role in the Underground Railroad. It was no small feat. She wasn’t just a passenger and a conductor; she actively cared for and guided other escaped enslaved people. Her bravery and determination shone brightly.

In the 1850s, escaping slavery was incredibly dangerous. The Fugitive Slave Act made it even riskier. This law dictated that enslaved people could be caught in the North and sent back to the South with force and violence. Harriet didn’t flinch to such a threat and made 19 trips to the South. She freed over 300 enslaved people. She used disguises, traveled at night, and relied on trusted allies. Every trip was a risk for her life. But she believed in freedom. She often said she never lost a “passenger”. It was a testament to her skills and determination.

One might ask, “Why go back? Why risk it all?” For Harriet, it was simple. She was once enslaved. She was aware of the suffering, the fear, and the desire for freedom. She experienced a strong sense of responsibility after becoming independent. She wanted others to feel the freedom she had found.

But her achievements didn’t stop there. During the Civil War, Harriet took on roles that were unusual for women at the time. She was a nurse. She was a cook. Most impressively, she was a scout and a spy. Her knowledge of secret routes made her valuable to the Union Army. In one mission, the Combahee River Raid, she helped free over 700 enslaved people. This was another remarkable achievement.

Later in life, she advocated for women’s right to vote. She also started a home for elderly African Americans. These actions added to her legacy.

Looking at Harriet’s life, it’s clear her most significant achievement was her unyielding will to fight for freedom. She believed in a simple truth: Every person deserved to be free. Her actions, her risks, and her successes echoed this belief loudly. Today, her legacy stands strong. She remains an enduring symbol of courage, hope, and determination.


Beyond the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman achieved much. During the Civil War, she served in the Union Army. She was a nurse, a cook, and a spy. Her bravery led her to lead a raid. Together, the platoon freed over 700 enslaved people in one mission. But her fight didn’t stop there. After the war, she championed women’s right to vote. She stood beside famous suffragists, pushing for change.

Tubman’s later years saw more good deeds. She opened a home for elderly African Americans. It provided care and comfort for those in need. This home was a testament to her lasting respect for others.

Today, her legacy remains strong. She’s on the $20 bill, symbolizing her value to America. Schools, museums, and movies tell her story. They highlight her fight for justice, freedom, and equality. Harriet Tubman’s life serves as a beacon. It shows the power of one person to create lasting change. Her name stands for bravery, hope, and resilience.


Harriet Tubman’s life story inspires me to this day. She was born into slavery and helped hundreds more. She changed countless lives through the Underground Railroad, war efforts, and activism. Her bravery and dedication shone in the face of immense risks. Today, Harriet represents the fight for justice, freedom, and the belief that one person can make a difference. Her deeds remind us of what we know is right and worth fighting for.

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Harriet Tubman’s Greatest Achievement: A Beacon of Hope and Liberation in America's Darkest Hour. (2023, Sep 18). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/harriet-tubmans-greatest-achievement-a-beacon-of-hope-and-liberation-in-americas-darkest-hour/