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Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent: How Daring Slaves and Free Blacks Spied for the Union During the Civil War

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Overview

Thomas B. Allen’s follow-up to the multi-award-winning George Washington, Spymaster is now available in paperback. This compelling biography tells the amazing tale of Harriet Tubman using details uncovered from military and intelligence archives, diaries and little-known memoirs from ex-slaves. In a compelling narrative, surprising new facts about Harriet’s story are brought to light: readers discover that the ex-slave who led hundreds to freedom along the Underground Railroad ...
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Overview

Thomas B. Allen’s follow-up to the multi-award-winning George Washington, Spymaster is now available in paperback. This compelling biography tells the amazing tale of Harriet Tubman using details uncovered from military and intelligence archives, diaries and little-known memoirs from ex-slaves. In a compelling narrative, surprising new facts about Harriet’s story are brought to light: readers discover that the ex-slave who led hundreds to freedom along the Underground Railroad was also a spy for the Union Army!

Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent brings readers deep into the undercover world of African-American spies—enslaved and liberated—risking everything in the name of freedom. How were the Underground Railroad and slave songs used to pass secret messages? What were "contrabands" and "black dispatches?" What did Harriet share with the Secret Six and a maidservant in the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis? The answers are revealed as history’s irresistible plot unfolds.

This detailed account of one of America’s most fascinating figures provides an authoritative source for paper writers and research students. Thomas B. Allen’s narrative is augmented with attractive woodcuts by Carla Bauer, archival photographs, artwork, and maps. The time line of events, references to Web sites, footnotes with extensive source listings, and comprehensive index make Allen’s biography an invaluable addition to every public and school library.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information. 

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sheryl O'Sullivan
The author combines his knowledge of military history and spying techniques to bring to life a little-known chapter in the life of Harriet Tubman, who is more famous for her work to lead slaves to freedom using the Underground Railroad. Excellent research using diaries, letters, and other primary sources, combines with compelling illustrations with the authentic feel of photography to make this a fascinating and insightful book. The twelve chapters in the book feature the work of Tubman and other runaway slaves or free Blacks in a spy network working for the Union during the Civil War. Each chapter contains a brief summary at the beginning, which will be helpful to younger researchers. Research tools include a time line, extensive text notes, maps, additional resources, an index, and a cast of characters, all done in an age-appropriate way. Throughout the book, the author has included notes in code. The end of the book contains the "cipher-square" necessary to read these codes. All of these features combine to make a handsome, intriguing book that will be perfect for students of U.S. history or African American history. Reviewer: Sheryl O'Sullivan
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8
This small book contains a lot of fascinating information on the network of slaves and free blacks who advanced the Union cause during the Civil War. The narrative is framed by the story of Harriet Tubman, the ex-slave and conductor of the Underground Railroad, whose work to help others escape is well known; less is known about her role as a spy. Tubman assisted Northern troops by tapping into a group of ex-slaves working in the South and passing information on to the Union forces. According to Allen, she led a raid along the Combahee River and may have led other expeditions as well. Readers also meet other people who participated in the espionage, including Elizabeth Van Lew, who devised a numerical code to transmit information that she picked up at society gatherings. Using this code, which is described in an appendix, the author includes several messages in the book. The type font and black-and-white reproductions and maps greatly enhance the presentation; in addition to illustrations from traditional sources, such as the Library of Congress, there are quality originals. A great addition to any collection.
—Elizabeth M. ReardonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This small book contains a lot of fascinating information on the network of slaves and free blacks who advanced the Union cause during the Civil War. The narrative is framed by the story of Harriet Tubman, the ex-slave and conductor of the Underground Railroad, whose work to help others escape is well known; less is known about her role as a spy. Tubman assisted Northern troops by tapping into a group of ex-slaves working in the South and passing information on to the Union forces. According to Allen, she led a raid along the Combahee River and may have led other expeditions as well. Readers also meet other people who participated in the espionage, including Elizabeth Van Lew, who devised a numerical code to transmit information that she picked up at society gatherings. Using this code, which is described in an appendix, the author includes several messages in the book. The type font and black-and-white reproductions and maps greatly enhance the presentation; in addition to illustrations from traditional sources, such as the Library of Congress, there are quality originals. A great addition to any collection.-Elizabeth M. Reardon, McCallie School, Chattanooga, TN Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426304019
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 12/23/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 259,518
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas B. Allen is the author of the award-winning book, George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War. He is the co-author with Norman Polmar of Spy Book: The Encyclopedia of Espionage; Code-name Downfall; and Merchants of Treason, a report on modern espionage. He is also the co-author, with Paul Dickson, of The Bonus Army. Tom Allen lives in Bethesda, Maryland. You can visit him on the Web at www.tballen.com.

Carla Bauer is a woodcut illustrator whose work has been exhibited in the National Academy of Design. She lives in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

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  • Posted June 29, 2014

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

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