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Harriet Tubman is a legendary figure in the history of American slavery and the Underground Railroad. In the introduction to this compelling volume, Lois Horton reveals the woman behind the legend and addresses the ways in which Tubman's mythic status emerged in her own lifetime and beyond. Going beyond mere biography, Horton weaves through Tubman's story the larger history of slavery, the antislavery movement, the Underground Railroad, the increasing sectionalism of the pre-Civil War era, as well as the war and post-war Reconstruction. A rich collection of accompanying documents including the Fugitive Slave Acts, letters, newspaper articles, advertisements and tributes to Tubman shed light on Tubman's relationships with key abolitionist figures such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison; her role in the women's rights movement; and her efforts on behalf of fugitive slaves and freed blacks through the Civil War and beyond. A chronology of Tubman's life, along with questions for consideration and a selected bibliography, enhance this important volume.
Lois E. Horton (Ph.D., Brandeis University) is Professor of History Emerita at George Mason University. Her work focuses on African American communities, race, gender, and social change. With James Oliver Horton she has written and edited numerous books, including Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory; Slavery and the Making of America; Hard Road to Freedom: The Story of African America; and In Hope of Liberty: Culture, Community and Protest among Northern Free Blacks, 1700-1860. For several years she also served on the scholarly advisory committee of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.