In this portrait-style photograph, Harriet Tubman is found standing in a dress with her hands resting on the back of an upholstered chair. The photograph was taken sometime between 1871 and 1876 by Harvey B. Lindsley. Best known for her work with the Underground Railroad, Tubman also served as a nurse for African-American soldiers and freedmen, as well as a scout and spy behind enemy lines for the Union army. Leading a successful Union raid along the Combahee River in South Carolina, she became the first woman in American history to lead a military expedition.
- What skills might Harriet Tubman have acquired as a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad that would have helped her become a successful spy and scout?
- Why might enslaved people, "contraband" and free African Americans have been effective Union spies?
- What type of information could African-American spies like Tubman have provided that white spies could not?
Lindsley, Harvey B., "[Harriet Tubman, full-length portrait, standing with hands on back of a chair]," between ca. 1871 and 1876. Courtesy of Library of Congress