Harriet Tubman National Historic Person (c.1822-1913)

Harriet Tubman was designated a national historic person in 2005.

Historical importance: Courageously led many refugees from American enslavement to safety; became the public face of the Underground Railroad in British North America.


A group of people trying to move down a path
Harriet Tubman's Underground RailroadFootnote 1
© Paul Collins, collinsart.org


Commemorative plaque: 92 Geneva Street, St. Catharines, OntarioFootnote 2

Harriet Tubman (c. 1822–1913)

Born on a Maryland plantation, Harriet Tubman escaped slavery to become one of the great heroes of the 19th century. The most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, she courageously led many of the people she rescued from American slavery on dangerous, clandestine journeys to safety and freedom in Canada. Tubman helped these Black refugees settle after their arrival and played an active role in the fight to end slavery. She became the public face of the Underground Railroad in British North America, attracting attention and funding to the abolition movement.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
English plaque inscription


Old sepia image of a woman sitting
Portrait of Harriet Tubman, c. 1867-1870 (click to see the full photograph)
© Library of Congress
Illustration of Harriet Tubman
Artistic representation of Harriet TubmanFootnote 3
© Wang Qijun, 2003


The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

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