A century after Harriet Tubman died, scholars try to separate fact from fiction - The Washington Post: After her death exactly a century ago, Harriet Tubman was relegated to the ranks of children’s literature — more legend than woman, remembered as a Moses who ushered her people to freedom.
Tubman’s bravery during the Civil War was overlooked, while her exploits in the network of forests, private homes and other hiding places that made up the Underground Railroad have often been exaggerated by those wishing to tell a story of courage amid the savagery of slavery.
Today, though, American scholars are developing a deeper understanding of this onetime slave and Maryland native.
“Much like Lincoln, she’s ready for a new rendition,” said Kate Clifford Larson, author of a 2003Tubman biography. “She should be remembered in all of her full dimensions, as a mother, as a daughter, as a wife who got replaced and a woman who [later] married a man who was 20 years younger than she was.” By rediscovering the woman behind the legend, historians aim to offer a better understanding not only of slavery, but also of the power of an individual to make a difference.