... there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty, or death; if I could not have one, I would take de oder; for no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when de time came for me to go, de Lord would let dem take me.
Harriet Tubman (c. 1820–1913), African American escaped slave and abolitionist. As quoted in Harriet, the Moses of Her People, by Sarah Bradford (1869).
Bradford was the friend and first biographer of the great abolitionist and ex-slave who, after escaping to freedom, returned nineteen times to the South and ushered other runaway slaves, including her parents and brothers, to freedom in the North. Here, Tubman was remembering her determination to flee the South after the death of her master.