harriet tubman quotes

Harriet Tubman Quotes: Freedom, God, Every Great Dream

Famous Harriet Tubman famous quotes and sayings: There are few women in American history more inspiring than Harriet Tubman. Born in the early 1820’s in the slave state of Maryland, her childhood was unhappy. Like most slaves, she was abused, separated from family, and her future looked bleak.

However, her desire for freedom was greater than her despair, and then one night in 1849 she had enough and was quoted as saying, “we out!” This made it clear that one way or another she was done with living as a slave.

Harriet Tubman Quotes: Every Great Dream | Freedom & Slavery | We Out | God

Guided by the North Star, Harriet Tubman escaped her owners on foot by night. Through a network of safe houses called the Underground Railroad, she escaped danger and slave catchers all the way to the free state of Pennsylvania.

Gaining her own freedom was just the beginning for Harriet Tubman. She then returned to the Underground Railroad to help free scores of slaves from the South. Tubman was Dubbed, “Moses” for leading her people to freedom, including her own children and several other family members. She also famously never lost a single “passenger” on the Underground Railroad.

Harriet Tubman left behind an incredible legacy of civil rights, and her courage changed the world. Here are the most famous Harriet Tubman quotes on slavery and freedom, God, and “every great dream” for inspiration:

1. Every Great Dream Quote:

harriet tubman quote every great dream

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman

2. Quotes on Slavery & Freedom:

“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. of freedom, keep going.”

– Harriet Tubman
harriet tubman quote freedom

“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.”

– Harriet Tubman

“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.”

Harriet Tubman

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

– Harriet Tubman

harriet tubman freedom quote hands

“I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now that I was free.”

– Harriet Tubman

“I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

*Attribution of this quote to Harriet Tubman is disputed

3. “We Out!” Quote:

harriet tubman quote we out

“We out.” – Harriet Tubman

One night in 1849 Harriet Tubman decided that she was done being a slave. She reportedly was quoted as saying, “we out,” shortly before starting her bold escape to the North.


4. Quotes On God:

harriet tubman quote god

“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.”

– Harriet Tubman

“It wasn’t me, it was the Lord! I always told Him, ‘I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me,’ and He always did.”

– Harriet Tubman

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

– Harriet Tubman

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

5. Quotes About Harriet Tubman

I bring you one of the best and bravest persons on this continent, “General Tubman” as we call her.

John Brown, 1898

“Most that I have done and suffered in the service of our cause has been in public, and I have received much encouragement at every step of the way. You, on the other hand, have labored in a private way. I have wrought in the day – you in the night. I have had the applause of the crowd and the satisfaction that comes of being approved by the multitude, while the most that you have done has been witnessed by a few trembling, scarred, and foot-sore bondmen and women, whom you have led out of the house of bondage, and whose heartfelt, “God bless you” has been your only reward.

The midnight sky and the silent stars have been the witnesses of your devotion to freedom and of your heroism. Excepting John Brown – of sacred memory – I know of no one who has willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve our enslaved people than you have. Much that you have done would seem improbable to those who do not know you as I know you.

It is to me a great pleasure and a great privilege to bear testimony to your character and your works, and to say to those to whom you may come, that I regard you in every way truthful and trustworthy.”

Frederick Douglas letter to Harriet Tubman, 1868

Harriet Tubman leaves behind an incredible legacy. In fact, Congress declared March 10th “Harriet Tubman Day to commemorate the anniversary of her death in 1913 in honor of her, “courageous and dedicated pursuit of the promise of American ideals and common principles of humanity continues to serve and inspire all people who cherish freedom.”

“I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge…”

Oprah Winfrey quote, Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul

“I never met any person of any color who had more confidence in the voice of God.”

Thomas Garret, quote from Sounding Forth the Trumpet

“I have known Harriet long, and a nobler, higher spirit or a truer, seldom dwells in human form.”

William H. Seward quote, 1898


Few women or men loom larger in American history than Harriet Tubman.

In addition to her heroism in the Underground Railroad, Ms. Tubman also served in the Union Army during the Civil War as a cook, nurse, scout, and spy. She also helped establish the National Association of Colored Women.

By sharing these Harriet Tubman Quotes, we honor Ms. Tubman’s legacy and commitment to ensuring the freedom of so many others. We also have some famous quotes from John Lewis and Marcus Garvey. Thanks for visiting Pretty Sweet!