Example research essay topic: Harriet Tubman – 835 words

Harriet Tubman was born around the 1820s in
Dorchester County, Maryland. Her parents worked on
a plantation, that often grew just one crop,
cotton. They named their daughter Arminta Ross,
later her name was changed to Harriet. Her owner
was Edward Brodas; people rented Harriet so she
can work for them. At age 5 Harriets job was to
wind yarn. She would sleep on the kitchen floor at
night, and shared leftover food with the dogs.
Harriet became very ill while working barefoot
during the winter so people didnt want to Harriet
to work for them.

Her mother cared for her until
she had gotten well. Then when she was 7 another
family rented her. There she had to clean the
house and take care of a baby. Many nights she had
to stay up rocking the baby. Her owners wife
whipped her hard if she fell asleep or if the baby
cried. One day Harriet took a sugar cube from the
kitchen, as her punishment she was beaten, and was
sent home.

Her owner then decided she shouldnt
work inside, so he sent her outdoors to split
fence rails and load wood onto wagons. When
Harriet was about 15 years old she watched a young
boy named Jim go into a store in town without
permission. The man in charge of the slaves
followed Jim, and asked Harriet to help tie Jim up
so he could take him back to his owner. Harriet
refused, while Jim ran out the door the man picked
up a 2-pound weight and tried to throw it at Jim,
but missed and it hit Harriet on the head. She
fell to the floor, knocked out. For several years
Harriet was near death.

Her mother was by her side
nursing her. As Harriet started to heal, she began
to depend on God to help and guide her. Thats when
she began realizing that she could help others
escape. Harriet was hired to someone who did not
beat her. At first he wanted Harriet to do
housework, but Harriet wanted to work outdoors so
she cut trees with the men. After several years
John Stewart, Harriets owner allowed her to buy
the rights to work for herself.

She paid him $50
per year and in return he let her keep the money
she earned working in her spare time. In 1844,
Harriet married a free African-American named John
Tubman, he was a tailor and Harriets hard work
impressed him. Harriet wanted to escape to the
North, but John did not even want to talk about
escaping. Harriet started to have nightmares,
about being sold south. Her nightmares then
started coming true. Harriet decided to escape the
night before being sold.

Harriet visited the
Plantation where her parents lived she wanted them
to know where she was going. Harriet knew it was
too dangerous for her to speak to them directly so
Harriet sang a Negro spiritual song while walking
past her family Harriet left that night without
telling anyone, not even her husband. She then
went to the home of a Quaker women in a near by
town. Quakers believed that slavery is wrong and
that they should help people escape it. The womens
house was on an underground railroad. This was an
escape route with a lot of safe houses.

The people
who own them helped runaway slaves to find
freedom. Harriet then arrived to Philadelphia. She
heard about an anti-slavery society. The members
worked to stop slavery. Harriett then decided to
become a conductor, who then helped other people
to escape. Harriett found a job in the kitchen of
a hotel.

As soon as she saved enough money she
planned to rescue her family. Harriet first slave
to rescue was her sister Mary Ann that came out to
be a success. In the 1850s Harriett rescued her
brother then went to go get her husband, but he
was still not interested going north. As time went
by Harriett helped many slaves to escape to
freedom. Once the Civil War began Harriet helped
the slaves that were in the Union Army. She fed
the slaves, and treated their diseases.

To earn
money Harriet started a laundry. African American
women washed clothes for the Union Soldiers. The
money they earned went to help the freed slaves.
Harriet then went to New York to visit her elderly
parents. Around April 1865 Harriets dream came
true when the Union won the Civil War. Then in
December Congress passed the 13th amendment
stating that slavery was not allowed in the United
States. The 14th amendment, passed in 1868,
granted U.S.

citizenship to all former slaves.
Harriet wanted to be named a civil war Veteran, so
she could receive money from the government after
retiring from a job. Harriet also started a home
for the disabled and aged, where she herself later
received care. Harriet became ill with pneumonia.
She died of the illness on March 10, 1913, at age
93. Her death made international newspaper
headlines. She was burned with full military

Research essay sample on Harriet Tubman