5 dollars - Harriet Tubman Bicentennial
Harriet Tubman was born enslaved as Araminta “Minty” Ross on a Maryland plantation, around 1822. Tubman freed herself from slavery in 1849 with the help of the Underground Railroad network. Though she found freedom in Pennsylvania, she braved the perilous journey repeatedly, returning to Maryland 13 times over the next decade to personally guide about 70 people from slavery to freedom. She provided instructions to approximately 70 additional people who found their way to freedom on their own. Despite laws that put her life at risk and made the journey increasingly dangerous and long, Tubman stated at a women’s suffrage convention in 1896 that she “never lost a passenger” as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. In 1862, Harriet Tubman joined the Union Army as a nurse. She served in multiple roles, including as an Army scout and spy. Tubman proved an exceptional leader, recruiting newly freed men into regiments of African American soldiers. She became the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the Civil War, the Combahee River Raid. The raid resulted in the freedom of more than 700 enslaved people in South Carolina. After the Civil War, Harriet Tubman spent the remaining 54 years of her life living in Auburn, New York. There, she continued to work to provide the means necessary to care for newly freed enslaved people, including the young and elderly. She gave speeches in support of women’s suffrage, civil rights, and access to health care – not only for African Americans but for all people. Tubman’s life was characterized by her unwavering determination and active pursuit of freedom in every aspect of American life. The coins follow the three periods of Harriet Tubman’s life and work. The silver dollar designs reflect her work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. The half dollar clad designs represent her work during the Civil War. The $5 gold coin represents her life after the Civil War and her later years.