History July 24, 2020 at 02:00 pm

Seven myths about Harriet Tubman you should know

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

Mildred Europa Taylor July 24, 2020 at 02:00 pm

July 24, 2020 at 02:00 pm | History

Harriet Tubman - Family, Underground Railroad & Death - Biography
Photo: Benjamin F. Powelson/Smithsonian

Tubman used the quilt code to follow the Underground Railroad

Tubman, apart from relying on her courage and faith in God, used several methods to escape slavery and then go back to rescue others. She never used a quilt that had coded directions as espoused by others. Besides, the quilt code which was said to have helped enslaved people escape was only a myth. Thus, instead of the quilt, Tubman “relied on trustworthy people, black and white, who hid her, told her which way to go, and told her who else she could trust. She used disguises; she walked, rode horses and wagons; sailed on boats; and rode on real trains,” writes Harriet Tubman Biography.

Tubman had to bribe people, follow rivers that snaked northwards, use the stars and other natural phenomena to guide her north and send letters, written for her by someone else to people she knew she could trust in her mission. She carried a pistol during her missions and even used certain songs to signal if it was safe or otherwise.

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