Many people I talk to are on board with the notion of peacefully dissolving the federal government. It is clear that we are a long way down the freedom road, compared to former times, when we declared our independence from England. One of the biggest issues many people have with the men who openly defied the most powerful empire of their time is that for all of their talk about natural rights and the freedom of mankind, many owned other human beings. I really cannot argue with that. Sure, many of them called for the abolition of slavery, but slavery continued until the civil war.
The freedom movement is poised to push our liberty to another level. It seems that, like so many other developments, we take a step back before we take a giant step forward. The last forward progression happened almost in spite of the government’s steps to curtail it. The Civil War included a step backward. It solidified the power of a centralized government in this country. That being said, the end of slavery must be seen for what it is. No man can own another man.
Harriet Tubman was born sometime between 1908 and 1932 in Maryland. Both of her parents were slaves. She had 8 siblings. Her birth name was Araminta Harriet Ross. Her early life, like most slave lives, was very hard. After 3 of her sisters were sold to a far off plantation, Harriet’s mother resisted when their owner tried to sell her youngest son. This set an example of resistance for the young Harriet.
When Harriet was older, she met a free black man named John Tubman. Little is known about him, they eventually were married in 1844. What is certain, is that the man she married may have legally been a free man, but it was his wife who was truly free.
After 5 years of marriage, Harriet heard rumors that she would be sold. Her husband was unwilling to fight to keep her where she was. This was the final straw. She ran. Using the North Star to guide her, she headed to Philadelphia. She said of her escape, “There was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.” This statement echoes of the famous statements by several founding fathers including Thomas Paine and obviously Patrick Henry who said the famous line, “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” This woman had the freedom movement in her soul.
After the start of the Civil War, Harriet found herself in combat. Initially, she acted as a nurse. Later, she became a scout. Her experience with covert travel made her effective. She helped to map South Carolina for the Union Army. Eventually, she would work with Colonel James Montgomery and was the source of key intelligence that led to victory in Jacksonville, Florida.
Harriet was the first woman to lead an armed assault in the war. On June 2nd 1863, she led 3 ships in mine infested waters to attack and burn the plantations along the Combehee River. As the steamships sounded their whistles, the slaves, hearing the sound ran for their freedom. They loaded the ships with slaves. More than 750 slaves were rescued. Again, her people were set free by this amazing woman.
When the war came to an end she continued to help the new free black men and women. Her home became a place where the old and infirmed could come for aid. Her freedom fighting was not over. She joined with other women, including Susan B. Anthony, in the effort to give women the right to vote.
As she aged, her hard life affected her. She had a painful late life and suffered many seizures. Surrounded by loved ones, she died of pneumonia in 1913. Before she died, she told those in attendance, “I go to prepare a place for you.”
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
It is the mindset of freedom that will propel us forward. The answer to the above questions is that we must decide to be free. We must be convinced that we already are and we must take action to make it so. Do whatever it is that causes your natural state of liberty to manifest. Help others to do the same and move forward with courage.
Written by @marcus.pulis (Press Secretary)