Harriet Tubman National Historic Person (1822-1913)

Harriet Tubman was designated a national historic person in August 2005.

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

Commemorative plaque: 92 Geneva Street, St. Catharines, Ontario

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.

Portrait of Harriet Tubman, c. 1867-1870
© Library of Congress
Artistic rendition of Harriet Tubman
Material from The Kids Book of Black Canadian History written by Rosemary Sadlier and illustrated by Wang Qijun is used by permission of Kids Can Press Ltd., Toronto. Illustrations © 2003 Wang Qijun

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