—1865 - 1913 —
Insult and Injury on the Train to New York
The Civil War ended in April 1865.
The irony of the situation added insult to injury. She had dedicated her life for three years, at great personal risk to the Union cause. Now a railroad conductor in a Northern state not only had treated her with disrespect, but also had inflicted the only serious injury that she suffered during the Civil War era.
Home in Auburn, New York
Eventually, Tubman recovered from her injury. But she struggled financially to take care of her aging parents and other elderly and indigent persons whom she would befriend and allow to stay in her home.
In 1868, she applied for a government pension for the services she had rendered during the Civil War. This application was originally rejected because she was never officially mustered into or out of the Union Army.
Also in 1868, a white woman named Sarah Bradford wrote a short book about Tubman called Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman
. Proceeds from the sale of this book helped Tubman pay off some of her debts.
In this book, Sarah Bradford included testimonial letters from Tubman's friends. One of these letters, from Tubman's close friend Frederick Douglass, has become almost legendary because of its poignant truth.
For Her Own Pension Finally Succeeds
In 1869, Harriet Tubman married Civil War veteran Nelson Davis. Davis originally was from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Tubman had met Davis in the South in 1864. After their marriage, his pension helped her financially through these difficult years.
Frederick Douglass (1818-1898)