Looking for the best Harriet Tubman quotes?
Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and political activist who achieved greatness for leading hundreds of slaves to freedom.
She was a former slave who later became the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad – a network of antislavery activists and safe houses that led escaped slaves to freedom in the North.
Besides risking her life in the Underground Railroad, Tubman also worked as a spy for the Union during the Civil War. She was also the first woman in American history to lead a military expedition.
Born into slavery in the 1820s, Tubman suffered a traumatic head injury early in her life while trying to stand up for a fellow field hand.
The injury caused pain, dizziness, and spells of hypersomnia, which she experienced all her life. She died in 1913, leaving behind a legacy as an icon of American courage and freedom.
Although she was born a slave, was unable to read and write and had a debilitating illness, Tubman never relented in her quest to become something bigger.
By leading dozens of slaves to freedom and risking her life multiple times, she achieved greatness and became a highly respected figure.
In that respect, here are some inspirational Harriet Tubman quotes that will teach and inspire.
Also check out these motivational quotes from black women.
Harriet Tubman quotes to inspire humanity and leadership
1. “And I prayed to God to make me strong and able to fight, and that’s what I’ve always prayed for ever since.” – Harriet Tubman
2. “I grew up like a neglected weed – ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.” – Harriet Tubman
3. “God’s time is always near. He set the North Star in the heavens; He gave me the strength in my limbs; He meant I should be free.” – Harriet Tubman
4. “When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything.” – Harriet Tubman
5. “I am at peace with God and all mankind.” – Harriet Tubman
6. “I think there’s many a slaveholder that’ll get to Heaven. They don’t know better. They acts up to the light they have.” – Harriet Tubman
7. “The Lord who told me to take care of my people meant me to do it just as long as I live, and so I did what he told me.” – Harriet Tubman
8. “I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger.” – Harriet Tubman
9. “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.” – Harriet Tubman
10. “I have heard their groans and sighs, and seen their tears, and I would give every drop of blood in my veins to free them.” – Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman quotes on slavery and freedom
11. “Now I’ve been free, I know what a dreadful condition slavery is. I have seen hundreds of escaped slaves, but I never saw one who was willing to go back and be a slave.” – Harriet Tubman
12. “I think slavery is the next thing to hell. If a person would send another into bondage, he would, it appears to me, be bad enough to send him into hell if he could.” – Harriet Tubman
13. “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.” – Harriet Tubman
14. “Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” – Harriet Tubman
15. “Farewell, ole Maser, don’t think hard of me, I’m going on to Canada, where all the slaves are free” – Harriet Tubman
16. “I have heard their groans and sighs, and seen their tears, and I would give every drop of blood in my veins to free them” – Harriet Tubman
17. “I knew of a man who was sent to the State Prison for twenty-five years. All these years he was always thinking of his home, and counting by years, months, and days, the time till he should be free, and see his family and friends once more.” – Harriet Tubman
18. “Oh, Lord! You’ve been wid me in six troubles, don’t desert me in the seventh!” – Harriet Tubman
19. “Read my letter to the old folks, and give my love to them, and tell my brothers to be always watching unto prayer, and when the good old ship of Zion comes along, to be ready to step aboard.” – Harriet Tubman
20. “I had two sisters carried away in a chain-gang – one of them left two children. We were always uneasy.” – Harriet Tubman
21. “As I lay so sick on my bed, from Christmas till March, I was always praying for poor ole master. ‘Pears like I didn’t do nothing but pray for ole master. ‘Oh, Lord, convert ole master;’ ‘Oh, dear Lord, change dat man’s heart, and make him a Christian.'” – Harriet Tubman
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of inspirational quotes for women on strength and leadership.
Harriet Tubman quotes to help you find the leader within
22. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”- Harriet Tubman
23. “Lord, I’m going to hold steady on to You and You’ve got to see me through.” – Harriet Tubman
24. “Most of those coming from the mainland are very destitute, almost naked. I am trying to find places for those able to work, and provide for them as best I can, so as to lighten the burden on the Government as much as possible, while at the same time they learn to respect themselves by earning their own living.” – Harriet Tubman
25. “I was the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad.” – Harriet Tubman
26. “Marcus Garvey had in their times. We just had a more vulnerable enemy.” – Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman quotes that will inspire you to fight for your dreams
27. “I would fight for my liberty so long as my strength lasted, and if the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.” – Harriet Tubman
28. “In my dreams and visions, I seemed to see a line, and on the other side of that line were green fields, and lovely flowers, and beautiful white ladies, who stretched out their arms to me over the line, but I couldn’t reach them no-how. I always fell before I got to the line.” – Harriet Tubman
29. “I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was on of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive.” – Harriet Tubman
30. “If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” – Harriet Tubman
31. “Pears like I prayed all the time, ’bout my work, everywhere, I prayed an’ groaned to the Lord.” – Harriet Tubman
32. “I never had anything good, no sweet, no sugar; and that sugar, right by me, did look so nice, and my mistress’s back was turned to me while she was fighting with her husband, so I just put my fingers in the sugar bowl to take one lump, and maybe she heard me, for she turned and saw me. The next minute, she had the rawhide down.” – Harriet Tubman
Memorable Harriet Tubman quotes
33. “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” – Harriet Tubman
34. “You’ll be free or die!” – Harriet Tubman
35. “I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person.” – Harriet Tubman
36. “Twasn’t me, ’twas the Lord! I always told Him, ‘I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me,’ an’ He always did.” – Harriet Tubman
37. “Quakers almost as good as colored. They call themselves friends and you can trust them every time.” – Harriet Tubman
More Harriet Tubman quotes
38. “Never wound a snake; kill it.” – Harriet Tubman
39. “There are two things I’ve got a right to, and these are, Death or Liberty – one or the other I mean to have. No one will take me back alive; I shall fight for my liberty, and when the time has come for me to go, the Lord will let them, kill me.”- Harriet Tubman
40. “I can’t die but once.” – Harriet Tubman
You might also like these John Brown quotes about freedom, vision and slavery.
41. “Pears like my heart go flutter, flutter, and then they may say, ‘Peace, Peace,’ as much as they likes – I know it’s goin’ to be war.” – Harriet Tubman
42. “If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more.” – Harriet Tubman
43. “Some people say I would rather be pushing a ford than driving a chevy, em too i love a good workout.” – Harriet Tubman
How did you find these Harriet Tubman quotes?
Though she was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child, Tubman never lost her determination to achieve greatness. She showed great leadership by guiding dozens of slaves to freedom even when it meant risking her life.
Long after her death, we still honor Tubman for her courage, strength and unbreakable spirit. Hopefully, these quotes have inspired you to fight for your dreams and to live a fulfilling life.
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February 24, 2021 6:00 AM EST