The Heroes During the Time of Slavery in America

Category: Harriet Tubman, Slavery
Last Updated: 02 Nov 2022
Pages: 5 Views: 28

Envision that you were born a slave. How would that affect your life? How would it feel to be sold and bought by someone of a higher class? How would you like being whipped if you didnt do exactly as you were told?

There are many definitions of a hero. There is the little kid definition which would be Superman is my hero. He can fly and is really strong! Webster defines a hero as any person, especially a man, admired for courage or nobility (277). Heroes are people who recognize sin and try to make it right. Which is pointed in a portion of the Poem called The Heroes by Phoebe Cary in The Book of Virtues which states that:

Theres many a battle fought daily

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The world knows nothing about;

Theres many a brave little soldier

Whose strength puts a legion to rout.

And he who fights sin singlehanded

Is more of a hero, I say,

Than he who leads soldiers to battle

And conquers by arms in the fray. (461)

This portion of the poem relays that people dont have to go to battle and fight using guns to be heroes. All they have to do is fight sin singlehanded and they will be more of a hero. Heroes are not only people who fight battles and superheroes that are strong and can fly on TV. They are people who are willing to serve and prevent pain and suffering in the lives of others. Heroes are people willing to risk their own life, trying to save lives of other citizens. In my opinion heroes are people who are willing to die trying to serve others, and died breaking the law doing what they believed to be right. Harriet Tubman is a hero, because she was willing to risk her life, she was willing to serve others and willing to die for what she believed to be right! Taylor points out Harriet recalling her decision. Tubman recalls:

I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me. (Taylor 96)

This quote points out that Harriet was willing to die if that is what she had to do, but she was also determined to fight for her liberty. Taylor in the book entitled Black Abolitionists and Freedom Fighters states that Tubman was born into a family of slaves. Taylor adds she worked as a conductor of the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad is a network of safe houses for escaping slaves Taylor explains (93-94). If anyone was tired and wanted to turn back she would pull out her pistol and say Youll be free, or die a slave (<>). Americas Library online explains that Tubman knew that if anyone turned back, it would put her and the other escaping slaves in danger of discovery, capture or even death (<>).

Taylor says that Tubman also helped the Union Army she was a nurse and a cook and later as a scout and a spy (102). In May of 1862 Harriet was sent to Beaufort to teach slaves skills to support themselves (Taylor 103). Harriet Tubman is a hero because she was willing to serve others with intelligence and force to save all the slaves by making them keep going.

Harriet Tubman was also a hero because she risked her own life saving others so they could be free! According to Ralph Waldo Emerson The hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. Harriet was the only one brave enough in the home she was a slave of to attempt escaping. According to Emersons quote she was brave five minutes longer.

In the Book entitled Black Profiles written by George R. Metcalf, he writes She was the one on whom the slave owners had placed a bounty of $40,000 for her capture dead or alive. She had to assume the risk of being caught (175). She risked her life twice in the year 1851, going south to free one of her brothers and two other men on the first trip and the second she tried to free her husband but he was already remarried (Metcalf 174). Metcalf explains that Harriets Courage reflected her faith. I always told God Im going to hold steady on to you, and youve got to see me through. Metcalf adds, her friends who feared she might be captured during one of her seizures asked if the thought might trouble her. Just so long as he wants to use me, she replied. Hell take care of me, and when he dont want me no longer, Im ready to go. Harriet said They might catch me, but not alive as she points to the butt of her pistol (Qtd. in Metcalf 176). Harriet was willing to die no matter what it took to free those slaves, because, she was using it for God.

Harriet Tubman was born a slave; she was one of eleven brothers and sisters (Hughes 103). Hughes writes that:

One evening about dusk a slave boy wandered away from the corn husking to which he had been assigned and went down the road to a country store. An overseer pursued him, intending to whip him for leaving the place without permission Then the boy started to run and the overseer called to Harriet who was standing in the door to stop him. Harriet did not stop him nor did she move out of the door so that the overseer could get by He picked up an iron weight used on scales and threw it at Harriet. The weight struck her in the head making a deep gash and knocking her unconscious in the doorway. As she lay there bleeding, everyone thought she was dead From that time on, all her life, Harriet could not prevent herself at times from unexpectedly blacking out, going suddenly sound asleep Then, after a spell she would come to herself again. (104)

Hughes points out that Tubman attempted to help her brothers, Henry and Robert to freedom and they turned back at the last minute. He also explains that she offered her other siblings the life of freedom, which all of them turned down. Hughes adds that she tried to convince her husband to go with her but he refused. Tubman, then went by herself, she had made up her mind to risk the dangerous trek to freedom with company or without (Hughes 105).

Harriet was willing to die for the little boy, so he could escape slavery. She was willing to take the risk of dieing to save herself and her siblings, because escaping slavery was illegal. If you were caught you could easily have been killed. One websites warns that There were rewards for their capture, and ads like you see here described slaves in detail (<>).

Harriet Tubman freed 300 slaves including her parents and her siblings through the Underground Railroad. She went from being a slave and working in the fields to helping slaves escape the agony. Metcalf includes that Harriets success with the Underground Railroad was also due to her organizational skills (177). She didnt fear being captured by herself, but with others she wouldnt have allowed it! Harriet had the courage to stand up for whats right and was very intelligent. In the end, we should come to the conclusion that Courage conquers all things (Ovid).

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The Heroes During the Time of Slavery in America. (2022, Nov 02). Retrieved from

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