Harriet Tubman

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Conductor on the Underground Railroad

Harriet Tubman was an African American abolitionist, humanitarian and Union spy during the Civil War. After escaping from slavery, she made thirteen missions back to the land of her servitude to rescue scores of slaves, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.

Image: Painting by Paul Collins:
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Amanda Dickson

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Wealthy African American Woman

Amanda America Dickson, the daughter of a slave and her white owner, became one of the wealthiest black women in nineteenth-century America. She was born on November 20, 1849, on the plantation of her father, the famous white agricultural reformer David Dickson in Hancock County, Georgia. Amanda's birth was the product of Dickson's rape of his [Read More ...]

African Americans of Gettysburg

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Blacks in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Margaret Palm was a colorful character in Gettysburg's African American community during the mid-nineteenth century. She served as a conductor along the local branch of the Underground Railroad, earning the nickname Maggie Bluecoat for the blue circa-1812 military coat she wore while conducting fugitive slaves north. One evening, she was accosted by two strangers who bound [Read More ...]

Sarah Mapps Douglass

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African American Abolitionist and Teacher

Sarah Mapps Douglass was born in Philadelphia on September 9, 1806, the daughter of renowned abolitionists Robert Douglass, Sr. and Grace Bustill Douglass. Like many prosperous families, the Douglasses educated Sarah and her brother Robert at home with private tutors.

Image: Sarah Mapps Douglass: Faithful Attender of Quaker Meeting: View from the Back Bench by [Read More ...]

Harriet Jacobs

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African American Abolitionist and Author

Harriet Jacobs escaped from slavery and became an abolitionist speaker and reformer. Jacobs' single work, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, published in 1861 under the pseudonym Linda Brent, was one of the first autobiographical narratives about the struggle for freedom by female slaves and an account of the sexual harassment and abuse [Read More ...]