Civil rights hero honored one hundred years after death

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Tallahassee, Fla. - One hundred years after her death the Florida Senate will commemorate the life of Harriet Tubman, during the opening day of the Florida Legislature.

Harriet Tubman was a slave who escaped and became famous as a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad during the turbulent 1850s. Born on Maryland's eastern shore, she endured the harsh existence of a field hand, including brutal beatings. In 1849 she fled slavery, leaving her husband and family behind in order to escape. Despite a bounty on her head, she returned to the South at least 19 times to lead her family and hundreds of other slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad.

In recognition of her heroics and little-known contributions in Florida, the state senate will adopt Senate Resolution 430.

Tubman also served as a scout, spy and nurse during the Civil War.

Two of Tubman's tools for freedom and espionage are now on display at the Florida A and M University Black Archive. Harriet Tubman's personal pistol and her 3 foot long ivory-handled sword are on temporary loan to the Florida A&M Black Archive Research Center as part of an exhibit called "The Struggle Continues".  

The Tallahassee family of Alex Brickler owns the pieces and considers them a family heirloom since he's a 5th generation decedent of Tubman.  He said Harriet found the sword and kept it with her, just in case.