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2018 Harriet Tubman Essay by Penelope Trylch

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Harriet Tubman

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the starts and to change the world." Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman is legendary for helping African slaves escape a life of horrific oppression by transforming their existence into freedom through the underground railroad.  Against all odds, she helped them escape and served as a spy for the Union during the Civil War.  She was the first woman to lead a military expedition.  Harriet's code name was Moses because she successfully achieved this mission for the Union, time and time again.  She never once lost a slave while helping them escape.  She worked tirelessly for the cause, even on Saturdays and Sundays.

Few people know the challenges she overcame to become a permanent figure in American Civil Rights history.  She suffered from narcolepsy and helped cure the disease Dysentery which had to deal with terrible diarrhea and many people in the hospital were dying from it.  She joined the Union army as a nurse and was the first woman to lead a combat assault.

Harriet Tubman's birth name was Araminta Ross.  She changed her first name to that of her mother and her last name to that of her first husband.  She was a cook in the Civil War, and had a heart so magnanimous that she adopted one daughter, also adopted by her second husband, she also keep helping slaves escape even though slaveholders had put a bounty on her.

Harriet, also a slave, was regularly beaten and violated.  Her siblings were sold into slavery, yet she possessed the brevity within her to literally change her own world.  She remained steadfast to her goals, until the two last slaves she saved were her own parents.

I chose Harriet Tubman when I was just a little girl, long before I could write an essay, because my Mom taught me that every great dream begins with a dreamer reaching passionately for the stars; however, it is through my own thoughts, experiences and education that I see clearly what it means to be both a woman and a hero.  I choose these women as role models to inspire me to dream today while I develop a heart strong enough to blaze my own trail tomorrow.  It is because of them that I have the courage of conviction to believe that I too have the power to change the world.

Submitted August 2018