Category Archives: Famous Americans

Harriet Tubman: Heroine of the Underground Railroad



She was born in 1822 on a slave plantation in Bucktown, Maryland. After suffering a cracked skull as a punishment, she knew she must seek liberty or death. In 1849, she walked at night through Delaware, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,and New York, reaching safety at last in St. Catherine, Canada.

All of the secret places which hid escaped slaves were linked by the Underground Railroad. Unfortunately, no trains helped the runaways and their hiding places were anywhere, above or below ground.

Now, Harriet Ross Tubman’s home, in Auburn, New York, is a National Historic Park. To learn more about it go to:

It was not enough for her to start a new life in Canada. She made thirteen more trips to Maryland to lead slaves to freedom. She was helped by a famous man, William H. Seward, of Auburn, NY. He became Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State. Not only did his family and staff hide runaways, but he also sold Harriet Tubman her first home which included 7 acres of land. The brick home in the picture, was built after the original wooden house burned down. Harriet always welcomed those who needed a place to live, sometimes keeping 20 or more people in the four-bedroom space.

Her message to all of us both simple and profound, “Children, if you are tired, Keep Going; if you are scared, Keep Going; if you are hungry, Keep Going; if you want to taste freedom, Keep Going.”

What challenges have you faced, that Harriet Tubman’s motto can help to solve?20160831_120218?




John Wesley Powell


I am revising a nonfiction picture book for children ages 5 – 8 about the famous explorer, John Wesley Powell. My story must stand out from the plentiful literature about his extraordinary courage, sense of adventure, leadership, and thirst for knowledge.

The title I was using is, John Wesley Powell, a Can-do Man. Please help me by voting for alternate titles, which might grab the attention of early readers, their teachers, and parents. How about Wes Goes All the Way: The first person to explore and map the Grand Canyon, OR A Life of Daring and Success: John Wesley Powell, OR A Thirst for Adventure: The Man Who Opened the West, OR Never Give Up on Your Plans: A Lesson from John Wesley Powell?

The more I read about the history of America, the more I seek to understand how people like John Wesley Powell overcame criticism, hardship, a handicap, sacrifice, and doubt. He was the kind of leader youngsters will come to appreciate as they face their own challenges. I also hope to answer my own questions about how he grew to be so determined despite a lack of respect from family and government.

Stay tuned for news of Grand Canyon experiences, which will enhance my descriptions and translate into a lively book.