Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) led hundreds of slaves to freedom along the underground railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War. Born a slave herself, she escaped in 1849 when she heard rumors of her anticipated sale further south. Over the next ten years, she returned south nineteen times to bring other slaves to freedom, including members of her own family. She served the Union Army during the Civil War as a scout and spy.
Harriet Tubman was the first African-American woman to be honored on a U.S. stamp, and the first honoree in the Black Heritage series. Initiated with this stamp in 1978, the USPS continues to issue a stamp featuring a notable Black American every February in conjunction with Black History Month and at other times during the year.
The 13-cent Harriet Tubman commemorative stamp was first available on February 1, 1978, at Washington, D.C.