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Araminta Harriet Greene was born a slave in Maryland. In 1844, Harriet married John Tubman, who was a free man. She escaped slavery in 1849 and traveled north. She then became a conductor for the Underground Railroad and helped slaves flee to freedom in the North (both to Northern US states and to Canada). The Underground Railroad was a secret system of people of all races who helped slaves escape to the North - it was not an actual railroad. Harriet Tubman made 19 dangerous rescue trips over 10 years, rescuing over 300 slaves from Southern states. Among the people she saved were many members of her family.
Mrs. Tubman helped John Brown recruit soldiers for his raid on Harpers Ferry (1859). She worked as a nurse, scout, and a spy for the Union during the US Civil War (in South Carolina). She continued to help rescue Southern slaves during the war.
After the war, she lived in Auburn, New York, where she founded the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged Negroes and worked for the voting rights of blacks. Harriet Tubman died on March 10, 1913.
On April 20, 2016, the US Treasury Department announced that a picture of Harriet Tubman will soon appear on the front of the $20 bill. Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson, who will be moved to the back. In addition to the redesigned $20 bill, the back of the $5 and $10 bills will show a number of other women and African Americans who were prominent in the women's suffrage and civil rights movements. No African American has ever appeared on US paper money before, and no women have since the 19th century, when Pocahontas was on a $20 bill and Martha Washington was on a $1 certificate.
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