Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. When and where was Harriet Tubman born? How does the author illustrate this setting in Chapter 1: “The Quarter”?

Harriet Tubman was born in 1820 at the Brodas plantation in Tidewater, Maryland. The author illustrates in the first chapter the juxtaposition of the Brodas’s large house with the one-room windowless cabins of the slave quarters.

2. What does “manumission” refer to? How did manumission give hope to the slaves on the plantations during Harriet’s childhood?

Manumission refers to the act of a slave owner freeing his slaves, and many of the slaves pinned their hopes on the promise that they would be manumitted if they worked hard. Harriet Ross’s parents were supposed to be manumitted upon the death of Edward Brodas.

3. What events does the author describe in the historical notes at the end of Chapter 1: “The Quarter”?

1820 was the year of the Missouri Compromise and the year that Thomas and Sarah Garrett moved from Darby, Pennsylvania, to Wilmington, Delaware. Garrett and his wife were Quakers and would later be friends with Harriet Tubman, helping her to escort slaves along the Underground Railroad.

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