Related ItemsAnalysis Worksheet: Harriet Tubman Warns "Kill the Snake Before It Kills You"
Harriet Tubman Warns "Kill the Snake Before It Kills You" (with text supports)
Who Freed the Slaves During the Civil War?
[The North] may send the flower of their young men down South, to die of the fever in the summer, and of the ague in the winter. They may send them one year, two year, three year, till they tired of sending, or till they use up all the young men. All no use!...
Harriet Tubman was among the best known conductors of the Underground Railroad, a network of enslaved people, free blacks, and white sympathizers that assisted thousands of runaway slaves escape north. During the Civil War, Tubman offered her services to the Union army, first as a nurse and cook, and later as an armed scout and spy. In the allegory below, Tubman warns that the Confederacy would never be defeated unless slavery was defeated first. Tubman could not read or write, but her words were written down by Lydia Maria Child, an abolitionist and women's rights activist from Massachusetts. Child met Tubman in a Union camp in Hampton, Virginia where both women volunteered helping "contraband" slaves.
What does the snake represent in Tubman's allegory?
What does Tubman believe Lincoln must do to defeat the Confederacy?