The Moses Quilt and Harriet Tubman
- Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Not at all. Though Underground Railroad connections helped her find a place to live and a job as a cook and cleaning woman and seamstress, her heart yearned for those she had left behind, still caught in the darkness and evil of slavery. She knew she could never rest until she did whatever she could to help them escape.
The next patch on the quilt showed a gold coin, representing the continued cost of financing Harriet’s nineteen trips back and forth to the South to lead out some 300 slaves, including her elderly parents. Nearly every dime she earned working, combined with donations from sympathetic abolitionists, went to cover the cost of her dangerous trips. But Harriet never swerved from her mission, and she never lost one slave along the way.
Some of the more surprising things I learned about Harriet Tubman included that she served as both a nurse and a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War, and was later actively involved with the women’s suffrage movement. She met famous people from all walks of life and earned the respect of more than she ever knew. When she finally died of pneumonia in 1913, she left behind a legacy of faith and courage—and peacemaking—that was epitomized in the final patch on the Moses quilt, a dove with an olive branch in its beak. Harriet Tubman, who gave so much and suffered so terribly, lived and died as a woman of peace, who longed to bring people together through unconditional love and forgiveness, even as she carried out some of the most daring rescue ventures of all time.
I have indeed learned much from this great woman of faith and courage, this “Moses of her people,” and I pray I will honor her memory for as long as I live.
Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com) is the multi award-winning author of 40 books, including the 2011 Golden Scrolls Novel of the Year, Red Ink. She lives in Southern California with her husband, Al.
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