Harriet Tubman. born Araminta Ross was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and during the American Civil War, a Union spy. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made about thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harper's Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women's suffrage. March 10, 1822, Dorchester County, Maryland.