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(1820?–1913). A runaway slave herself, Harriet Tubman helped so many enslaved African Americans escape to freedom that she became known as the “Moses of her people.” During the American Civil War she served the Union Army as a nurse, cook, scout, and spy.
Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross about 1820 on a plantation near Bucktown, Maryland. She was one of 11 children of a slave couple. At 7 she was hired out to do housework and to care for white children on nearby farms. Later she became a field hand. While still a teenager, she was struck on the head by an overseer. As a result of the blow, she fell asleep suddenly several times a day for the rest of her life. Hard work toughened her, and before she was 19 she was as strong as the men with whom she worked.
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