H arriet Tubman is one of
the giants of American history—a fearless visionary who led scores of her
fellow slaves to freedom and battled courageously behind enemy lines during the
Civil War. And during the century since her death, next to nothing was written
about this extraordinary woman aside from juvenile biographies. In the early
2000s, several new scholarly biographies emerged, but even now, the truth about
Harriet Tubman is still mired inside a legend woven of racial and gender
stereotypes. Bound for the Promised
Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero gives Harriet Tubman the powerful, intimate, meticulously
detailed life she deserves.
Drawing from a trove of new primary documents and untapped sources as well extensive genealogical research, Kate Clifford Larson reveals Tubman as a complex woman— brilliant, shrewd, deeply religious, and passionate in her pursuit of freedom. The descendant of the vibrant, matrilineal Asanti people of the West African Gold Coast, Tubman was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland but refused to spend her life in bondage. While still a young woman she embarked on a perilous journey of self-liberation—and then, having won her own freedom, she returned again and again to liberate much beloved family and friends, tapping into the Underground Railroad.
Yet despite her success, her celebrity, her close ties with Northern politicians and abolitionists, Tubman suffered crushing physical pain and emotional setbacks. Stripping away myths and misconceptions, Bound For the Promised Land presents stunning new details about Tubman’s accomplishments, personal life, and influence, including her relationship with Frederick Douglass, her involvement with John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, and revelations about a young woman who may have been Tubman’s daughter. Here too are Tubman’s twilight years after the war, when she worked for Civil Rights and women’s suffrage, in spite of racist politicians and suffragists who marginalized her contributions.
Harriet Tubman, her life and her work, remain an inspiration to all who value freedom. We must appreciate Tubman as a complete human being—an American hero, yes, but also a woman who loved, suffered, and sacrificed. Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero.
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