One of the most famous Americans in history, Harriet Tubman escaped slavery in 1849 and personally helped free 70 enslaved people — and aid hundreds more — as the most-well known “conductor” of the Underground Railroad. She was often referred to as the "Moses of her people."
While Tubman did not create the Underground Railroad, she most likely used this network of escape routes and safe houses when she and her brothers escaped north. Tubman returned to the South many times to help lead others to freedom. Her success led slaveowners to post a $40,000 reward for her capture or death, however, she was never caught and never lost a "passenger."
Through the Underground Railroad, Tubman became an expert in the towns and transportations routes of the South, which led her to become a keen asset to the Union Army during the Civil War. Because of this, she is considered the first African American woman to serve in the military, serving as scout, spy guerrilla soldier and nurse for the Union Army. As the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina.
Tubman was the first African-American woman to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp, and she continues to inspire generations of Americans struggling for civil rights.