What You Didn't Know About Harriet Tubman

The Underground Railroad was not underground...and other did you knows…

It came to our attention, that although I had been elbows deep in Harriet Tubman books and articles...most people have not studied up on her since college, and some even before.

Working with Dr. Kate Clifford Larson (who is an amazing person), I learned so much. Some of the things that I even believed as fact, were debunked. I learned so much during the process of making this book come to life. Here are a few things that blew my mind:

The iconic Harriet Tubman with a lantern image is one of her biggest misconceptions. When you think about it, it actually does make sense. Sure, she had a lantern at times, but for the most part why would she if she was trying to go undetected? But look at 90% of the images out there...there she is with her trusty lantern.

Harriet Tubman also never picked cotton, as it did not grow in Maryland. She actually saw cotton plants for the first time when she went South during the Civil War. Where she grew up, the crops were corn, wheat, flax, barley, and tobacco.

Where Harriet Tubman grew up there were not the massive plantation homes we would expect. Many of the slave owners' homes at the time were simple farm houses, colonials and cape cods. Although Harriet Tubman is sometimes credited as the founder of the Underground Railroad, in reality, it was already in use at that time. Harriet Tubman is often thought of as just a conductor in the Underground Railroad. This accolade is merely scratching the surface of her many accomplishments (Check out the second to last spread in the book for a better idea of her many accomplishments!)

Make sure to download out our worksheet to learn more!