Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero

Larson, Kate Clifford. Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero. New York: Ballantine, 2004.
Source Type
Secondary
Year
2004
Publication Type
Book
Citation:
Kate Clifford Larson, Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero (New York: Ballantine, 2004), 161.
Body Summary:
On May 8 Brown convened his Chatham Convention, without Tubman or Fredrick Douglass, or any member of his Secret Six supporters. He explained his vision for a slave insurrection and invasion at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and laid out his plan to wage war against southern slaveholders. He believed that once the attack began, blacks throughout the North, Canada, and the South (both slave and free) would come rallying to the cause. He presented his newly printed Provisional Constitution for the new free state, and the convention delegates voted unanimously to approve the constitution. None of Tubman’s friends were among the constitution signers. Perhaps the constant shortage of money prevented them from attending the meeting. The Rev. Jermain Loguen had already expressed concern to Brown that some of the mend lacked funds to travel to Chatham.

Ultimately, [Thomas] Elliot, [Denard] Hughes, the Bailey brothers, [Peter] Pennington, [Charles] Hall, and [John] Thompson decided not to join Brown. They had already come to Canada at great sacrifice and risk; perhaps they felt they had battled slavery enough. Their new lives in freedom were precious now and outweighed any visionary dream of Brown’s. They may have also sensed the folly in Brown’s plan. But Tubman continued to support Brown by recruiting more fugitives for his cause, maintaining interest among her friends, and directly assisting in the military planning for the assault. Indeed, she remained a fixture in his plans until nearly the end.
Citation:
Kate Clifford Larson, Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero (New York: Ballantine Books, 2004), xx.
Body Summary:
Tubman was guided by an interior life shaped by a particular slave experience. Suffering under the lash, disabled by a near-fatal head injury, Tubman rose above horrific childhood adversity to emerge with a will of steel. Refusing to be bound by the chains of slavery or by the low expectations limiting the lives of women and African Americans, Tubman struggled against amazing odds to pursue her lifelong commitment to liberty, equal rights, justice, and self-determination. Owing her success to unique survival techniques, Tubman managed to transcend victimization to achieve emotional and physical freedom from her oppressors. Supported by a deep spiritual faith and a lifelong humanitarian passion for family and community, Tubman demonstrated an unyielding and seemingly fearless resolve to secure liberty and equality for others.
Citation:
Kate Clifford Larson, Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero (New York: Ballantine, 2004), 88-89.
Body Summary:
Though Tubman was nominally free in Philadelphia, she soon learned that freedom did not ensure happiness. Liberation from slavery had its own reward, but Tubman noted that “there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land; and my home, after all, was down in Maryland; because my father, my mother, my brothers, and sisters, and friends were there. But I was free, and they should be free.” What set Tubman apart from thousands of other runaways was her determination to act: she quickly set upon a plan to liberate her family. She easily found work as a domestic and a cook in various hotels and private homes in Philadelphia, and later, during the summer months, at Cape May, New Jersey. She hoarded her money, planning carefully for the days ahead when she could return to the Eastern Shore to bring her family away to freedom. She kept in touch with events back home by communicating with the extensive network of sources among the free black, fugitive black, and liberal white communities of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Wilmington, Delaware, and Cape May who shared information about the slave community.
How to Cite This Page: "Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/12654.