50 Harriet Tubman Quotes

These are the Top 50 Harriet Tubman Quotes that will let you relive the life of one of the Underground Railroad’s most famous conductors. Dubbed as the “Moses” of her people, she led many of her enslaved fellowmen to freedom.

Over the years of her work as a conductor, Harriet Tubman put her life on the line to free as many people as she can. This, in turn, threatened her own freedom and safety as slave drivers placed a bounty for her capture.

Learn more about her story in the collection below.

Best Harriet Tubman Quotes

1. “I think slavery is the next thing to hell.”

2. “If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more.”

3. “I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to—liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive.”

4. “I am at peace with God and all mankind.”

5. “Now that I’ve been freed, I know what a dreadful condition slavery is.”

6. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”

7. “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say—I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”

8. “In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line, but I can’t seem to get there no matter how. I can’t seem to get over that line.”

9. “If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”

10. “I would fight for my liberty so long as my strength lasted, and if the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.”

11. “Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

12. “God’s time is always near. He gave me my strength and he set the North Star in the heavens; He meant I should be free.”

13. “I grew up like a neglected weed—ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.”

14. “When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything.”

15. “It wasn’t me, ’twas the Lord. I always told him, ‘I trust You. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me,’ and He always did.”

16. “If a person would send another into bondage, he would, it appears to me, be bad enough to send him into hell if he could.”

17. “Change is not dismantling the old, it’s building the new.”

18. “The sun came up like gold through the trees and I felt like I was in heaven.”

19. “Never wound a snake; kill it.”

20. “I had crossed the line. I was free, but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.”

Harriet Tubman Quotes on Slavery and Bondage

21. “I have seen hundreds of escaped slaves, but I never saw one who was willing to go back and be a slave.”

22. “I think there’s many a slaveholder’ll get to Heaven. They don’t know better. They act up to the light they have.”

23. “The majority of slaves struggled against this tide of indifference to their desires. They engineered love matches and cemented unions with ceremonies.”

24. “This fear, perhaps more than any other aspect of the institution, revealed the deeply dehumanizing horror of slavery.”

25. “Most of those coming from the mainland are very destitute, almost naked. I am trying to find places for those able to work, and provide for them as best I can, so as to lighten the burden on the government as much as possible, while at the same time they learn to respect themselves by earning their own living.”

26. “I never had anything good, no sweet, no sugar; and that sugar, right by me, did look so nice, and my mistress’s back was turned to me while she was fighting with her husband, so I just put my fingers in the sugar bowl to take one lump, and maybe she heard me, for she turned and saw me. The next minute, she had the rawhide down.”

27. “I had two sisters carried away in a chain-gang—one of them left two children. We were always uneasy.”

28. “Why, the language down there in the far South is just as different from ours in Maryland, as you can think. They laughed when they heard me talk, and I could not understand them, no how.”

29. “Marcus Garvey had his times. We just had a more vulnerable enemy.”

30. “I have heard their groans and sighs, and seen their tears, and I would give every drop of blood in my veins to free them.”

Harriet Tubman Quotes on Strength and Faith in God

31. “I prayed to God to make me strong and able to fight, and that’s what I’ve always prayed for ever since.”

32. “Lord, I’m going to hold steady on to You and You’ve got to see me through.”

33. “Appears like I prayed all the time—about my work, everywhere, I prayed and groaned to the Lord.”

34. “The Lord who told me to take care of my people meant me to do it just as long as I live, and so I did what he told me.”

35. “Oh, Lord! You’ve been with me in six troubles, don’t desert me in the seventh!”

36. “The good Lord has come down to deliver my people, and I must go and help him.”

37. “I prayed all night long for my master. Till the first of March; and all the time he was bringing people to look at me, and trying to sell me. I changed my prayer. First of March, I began to pray, ‘Oh Lord, if you are not ever going to change that man’s heart, kill him, Lord, and take him out of the way’.”

38. “As I lay so sick on my bed, from Christmas till March, I was always praying for the poor ole master. It Appears like I didn’t do anything but pray for ole master. ‘Oh, Lord, convert ole master;’ ‘Oh, dear Lord, change that man’s heart, and make him a Christian.’”

39. “Read my letter to the old folks, and give my love to them, and tell my brothers to be always watching unto prayer, and when the good old ship of Zion comes along, to be ready to step aboard.”

40. “I knew of a man who was sent to the state prison for twenty-five years. All these years, he was always thinking of his home, and counting by years, months, and days, the time till he should be free, and see his family and friends once more.”

Harriet Tubman Quotes on the Fight for Freedom

41. “I can’t die but once.”

42. “Quakers are almost as good as colored. They call themselves friends and you can trust them every time.”

43.“You’ll be free or die!”

44. “We saw the lightning, and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder, and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling, and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.”

45. “Farewell, ole Maser, don’t think hard of me, I’m going on to Canada, where all the slaves are free.”

46. “Stop searching for happiness in the same place you lost it.”

47. “It Appears like my heart goes flutter, flutter, and then they may say, ‘Peace, peace,’ as much as they liked— know it’s going to be war!”

48. “I’ve seen the real thing, and I don’t want to see it on no stage or in no theater.”

49. “Marriages among slaves could be grand and festive.”

50. “Slave parents lived in abject terror of separation from their children.”

Which of These Harriet Tubman Quotes Awakened the Dreamer in You?

One of her most famous quotes says, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer” and this still applies to everyone today. Harriet Tubman’s life was no less than a nightmare. She viewed their struggles under slavery as something that equates to hell. But even so, she continued to fight and act towards what she believed in and in the end, actually attained freedom for herself and her people. Through this we learn that no matter what consequences we’re born into, if we just believe and work hard towards what our goal is, we will eventually succeed.

Did these quotes spark something in you? Which ones motivated you to act towards your goals? Comment them down below.

Amy Finn

Hi. I'm Amy, the founder of this blog. I love quotes and enjoy sharing the best ones with you.

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