Selected Harriet Tubman Quotations
• I grew up like a neglected weed -- ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.
• I had reasoned this out in my mind, 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.
• I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.
• Quakers almost as good as colored.... They call themselves friends and you can trust them every time.
• I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger.
• We saw the lightning and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.
Quotes About Harriet Tubman
• From Alice Walker: "We will be ourselves and free, or die in the attempt. Harriet Tubman was not our great-grandmother for nothing." Alice Walker, You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down.
• From Frederick Douglass: "The midnight sky and the silent stars have been the witness of your devotion to freedom and of your heroism."
• From Frederick Douglass: "Much that you have done would seem improbable to those who do not know you as I know you."
• From William Still, diary entry: "Great fears were entertained for her safety, but she was wholly devoid of personal fear. The idea of being captured by slave-hunters or slave holders, seemed never to enter her mind."
• From Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1859 letter: "Her tales of adventure are beyond anything in fiction and her ingenuity and generalship are extraordinary. I have known her for some time -- the slaves call her Moses."
• From Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1859 letter: "... a more ordinary specimen of humanity could hardly be found among the most unfortunate-looking farm hands of the South. Yet in point of courage, shrewdness, and disinterested exertions to rescue her fellow-man, she was without equal."
• From Oprah Winfrey: "I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge."
More Women's Quotes:
Harriet Tubman Biography: From Slavery to Freedom
- Harriet Tubman's Life in Slavery
- Harriet Tubman as Underground Railroad Conductor, Abolitionist, Women's Rights Advocate
- Harriet Tubman's Civil War Service: Nurse, Scout, Spy
- Harriet Tubman's Later Years of Activism and Reform
More About Harriet Tubman:
Explore Women's Voices and Women's History
- Women's Voices - About Women's Quotes
- Primary Sources
- Today in Women's History
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About These Quotes
Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2012. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Harriet Tubman Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/cs/quotes/qu_h_tubman.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)