Freedom Train-February 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Elizabeth City, NC – Harriet Tubman (1815?-1913), born a slave, devoted all of her time to freeing others. She was a strong and powerful person, and a woman of action. To help her through times of great stress and confusion she turned to prayer. One of the prayers that always gave her great strength was “Lord, you have been with me through six troubles, be with me through the seventh.”
She repeatedly faced danger and possible death at state boundary lines dividing freedom from slavery and became so famous for doing so that her nickname, “Moses,” echoed from the plantations of the South to the free “promised land” of the North. She is one of the few women of her time to have had several books written about her during her lifetime.
Harriet was 25 when she made her perilous escape from a Maryland plantation, leaving her family and all other loved ones behind. During those times a woman — especially a black woman — traveling alone was unheard of. Nonetheless, pursued by murderous slave catchers who would do anything to catch her and collect the very large rewards being offered for her capture (including tracking her with dogs), she followed an escape route laid out by a community of people called “Quakers.” Secret hiding places along the route included churches, cellars, barns and homes.
When she finally arrived in Philadelphia (out of “Egypt” and into the “Promised Land”) she said, “I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now I was free. There was such a glory over everything! The sun came through like gold through the trees and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven.” The escape route that Harriet followed was known as the Underground Railroad, and through her skill as a woodswoman and her bravery, she quickly became one of its most celebrated “conductors.” Up creek beds, through swamps, over hills, through dark and dangerous wooded areas, on a total of nineteen secret trips, Harriet Tubman led more than 300 slaves (including the rest of her family) to freedom. In her papers she wrote, “I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger.”