|Thomas Garrett (history.delaware.gov)|
What are the traits of a hero to you? To me a hero is someone that is always there for you and will risk their life to protect others. My hero is Thomas Garrett. I picked Garrett because he was always there for the Black Slaves that were trying to run from their owners. He would risk his life to protect the slaves from people that were trying to find them. In this essay, I will prove that Thomas Garrett was a 19th Century Hero.
Garrett was born on August 21, 1789, in Pennsylvania. Garrett was one of the leaders in the Underground Railroad. He was the last stop on the journey out of the state to a lifetime of freedom. He was so powerful that he didn't even have to hide the slaves. Even though people knew he was involved in the Underground Railroad, they wouldn't say or do anything about it. This was very important because if he hadn't helped these slaves, or done something to help them towards their journey to freedom, they might have been killed. I believe Garrett did this because he truly believed that slavery was wrong. So, Garrett did all that he did trying to fix it.
In 1848 Garrett and another Quaker, John Hunn, were tried in a court and found guilty for helping the Hawkin's family escape from their owners. They were both found guilty and Garrett was fined 4,500 dollars. So he put his house down for collateral until his debt was paid. In doing this he saved an entire family's life while risking his own and all that he owned. Even though Garrett was found guilty and he risked his house, he didn't stop there.
Garrett went on and later befriended Harriet Tubman. He helped her rescue many slaves as well as her own family members. Even though her parents were free at the time, her father was going to be arrested for secreting runaway slaves. Garret was often giving them money for clothes and food as well as shoes for their long journey. He also provided a means for them to escape.
Many people did not like Thomas Garrett, such as the Constables. They would all surround his house waiting for the Black Slaves to come out. Garrett was a very clever man and would dress them up in fine clothing and parade them right in front of the constables. Slave owners probably despised him the most. He was taking away their work force and their livelihood according to them. They considered this stealing and the fact that he was difficult to catch really angered them.