Harriet Tubman mural in Cambridge, MA. photo by Kirt Morris
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Of Lost Time’s Letters of Note: Harriet Tubman and Her Fight Against Slavery

Future Science Group’s Literary Unit, Of Lost Time, is revisiting the astonishing life of Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) in an upcoming collection. Amongst many other historical events, the letters of note in this anthology highlight how Tubman escaped a life of slavery on the plantation and heroically returned to free others formerly enslaved with her.

Like millions of other African-Americans of her time, Tubman was born into a life of poverty and slavery and was treated as subhuman from the moment she was born. Despite her disadvantaged start, she displayed astounding courage and determination throughout her horrific experiences, escape from her plantation, and return mission to rescue other slaves. The new collection will explore Tubman’s efforts to liberate other enslaved people instead of enjoying her newfound freedom.

  1. Letters of Note Acknowledge Tubman’s Lesser-Know30n Story

Taken from her mother at five years old, Tubman endured a childhood that would have broken the toughest of people. She suffered horrendous punishments, such as being whipped when the baby in her care cried. She was forced to check muskrat traps under the scorching sun, even after contracting measles. She suffered a lifetime of epileptic seizures and hypersomnia due to a blow to the head with a two-pound weight from her enslaver, leaving her with a fractured skull.

Later, in multiple missions on the eastern shore of Maryland, Tubman travelled along a chain of secret routes and safehouses, and valiantly led over 70 people to their freedom. In 1863, she fittingly earned the nickname Moses, after the famous prophet, for being the first woman to command a military operation and rescuing over 700 enslaved people in the United States in a civil war type raid 

Despite the hardship of her childhood and adolescent years, Tubman made a mark on American history that few can equal. Of Lost Time’s carefully curated letters of note document her history, fearless determination, and commitment to setting others free.

  1. Author Frederick Douglass’ Recognition for Tubman’s Work

In the years after her death, Harriet Tubman became widely admired as an American icon. A survey conducted towards the end of the 20th cen….tury marked her as one of the most famous civilians in American history before the Civil War. Since then, generations of African Americans have been inspired by her fight for equality and civil rights, and she has been praised by several political leaders.

Tubman has sometimes been compared to the African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman Frederick Douglass, who was also born into slavery. He managed to escape, disguised as a sailor, and then dedicated his life to abolishing slavery. This is where their paths diverged. Unlike Tubman, Douglass could read and write, and he used public platforms to raise awareness for his cause. He became one of the most recognised leaders of the abolitionist movements. Meanwhile, few individuals of the time knew of Tubman except those who had directly worked with her. Now, Of Lost Time is committed to telling her story. 

After the publication of Tubman’s biography, Tubman’s dedication to leading enslaved people to freedom became evident. Douglass, the most photographed American man of the 19th century, wrote to her, offering a powerful endorsement of her biography in acknowledgement of their equal contributions to the abolition of slavery. In his letter, Douglass acknowledged that while he served his cause in the public eye with encouragement and recognition, Tubman worked in private with no motivation or adulation from the public. He also acknowledged that he knew of no other person other than Tubman who had readily encountered more danger and hardship to free enslaved people.

  1. Of Lost Time’s Other Letter Collections

Of Lost Time curates and publishes collections of insightful letters from people of the past, including captives, political detainees, and other influential individuals who made a significant impact on our history. These collections compile correspondence that might otherwise go unread, opening windows into the past so readers can envision a better future.

Of Lost Time’s collections include titles such as Letters From the Holocaust, which features letters from prisoners of concentration and extermination camps. These letters explore the prisoners’ ordeals and give today’s readers an insight into the horrors that so many endured. Another collection is Letters for the Ages: Churchill, which covers the former prime minister Sir Winston Churchill’s correspondence during his wartime leadership and beyond. A third collection is Letters for the Ages: Beyond Bars, which illustrates the torture that prisoners, including politicians, artists, doctors, activists, and criminals, endured. For some, writing to family was a lifeline. For others, writing gave them the chance to say a final goodbye.

About Of Lost Time

Of Lost Time provides insights into famous and forgotten historical moments by collating and publishing the innermost thoughts of our predecessors through their letters and other correspondence. These letters of note highlight poignant and heartening events to give modern readers an understanding of historic lives and the social, historical, and political contexts of the time. Collections aside, Of Lost Time’s Letters for the Ages video series introduces some of the most remarkable individuals, their letters, and their stories from across history.

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