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Underground Railroad Research Forum

Re: HARRIET TUBMAN - Union Army Spy and Scout

I do not interpret Bradford’s comments about Hunter and Tubman the same way that you do. I interpret it differently based on the other documentation available – that Tubman was asked, yes, and that if Montgomery were part of it then she was doubly convinced to participate. By the way, Bradford wrote her first biography in the summer of 1868, not 1898, using some of Tubman’s own testimony, in addition to relying heavily on Franklin Sanborn and others.

I am curious as to these reports from soldiers who were there during the raid. Do they mention any of the black scouts – Plowden, etc.?

Also, the article in the Wisconsin State Journal isn’t supposed to be anonymous. Their war correspondent, whose name I have forgotten, supposedly wrote that article, as well as many other articles from the region during that time period. Why would he flourish or make up something like that? I believe this is the only instance where a black woman is highlighted in a newspaper report of battle action. Why do you believe it is made up? Also why do you think that the soldiers who left behind a record of the raid would have known about Tubman or even bothered to write about her. You claim Sanborn has an agenda, and yet those who kept records you identify don’t? I am unclear on why you think Sanborn would exaggerate or make things up like that – he is known to have been quite diligent with facts. In fact, he wrote that Bradford got a few things wrong in that biography of Tubman, including the 19 trips and 300 rescued. That irritated him, as well as other errors. He did not write that she got the Combahee River attack wrong too.

Why, also, do you think Tubman would fight the federal government for almost forty years to get pay and recognition for her service, including the Combahee Raid? Also, what about Walter Plowden – again, as I mentioned before – he was never mentioned in the official records, and yet he petitioned Congress and was paid. The difference in Plowden and Tubman is that Plowden was attached to a regiment – some New York unit – while Tubman was not.

So again, I need to understand why you do not believe the Wisconsin State Journal article, Sanborn, Tubman, etc.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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