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A Speech Of Commemoration For Harriet Tubman

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Title: A speech of commemoration for Harriet Tubman

Specific purpose: To commemorate March 10th as Harriet Tubman Day and to inform the audience about her life and fight for freedom

I. Introduction

A. Attention getter:

Imagine a time when you have no rights of your own. From the time that you are born until the time that you die, you are someone else's property and are under their directions and orders- and sometimes their cruelty. You are a slave in the mid 1800s in the Southern part of the United States. Would you try to escape to the North for your freedom? Once you do, would you risk your life to return to the South to help others escape? If you are Harriet Tubman, then, the answers are yes.

B. Thesis statement and Preview:

Today we are here to commemorate March 10th as Harriet Tubman Day and to recognize her contributions to the abolishment of slavery. She led hundreds of slaves to freedom and inspired thousands of others. I want to talk about her early life as a slave, her escape, and her dedication to freeing others.

II. Harriet Tubman's early life

A. Childhood and life as a slave

1. Born into slavery in Maryland around 1820

2. A house slave caring for infants by the age of 5

3. Working in the fields from sun up to sun down by age of 12

B. Her escape in 1849--When her master died in 1849 and she was to be sold to another slave owner, she decided then and there that she had a right to either "Liberty or death. If she could not have one, then she would have the other

C. The Underground Railroad--C. Using the cover of darkness to move through swamps and byways and hiding during the day, she escaped through The Underground Railroad and found safety in Philadelphia.

1. Not a train but a secret system of set up by individuals who were against slavery who wanted to help provide shelter and guidance to runaway slaves.

2. Depots and stations were safe houses where runaway slaves could hide and rest

3. Underground conductors were volunteers who designed escape routes and traveled along to guide the slaves to freedom

Transition: Now that you understand her background, I will now cover her role as a leader of the Underground Railroad.

III. Leader of the Underground Railroad

A. Outrage over the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850--Congress

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