Who Is Gertie Davis? Few Facts About Her

Who Is Gertie Davis? Few Facts About Her

Well, we all are familiar with the name Harriet Tubman, but how much do we know about her adopted child Gertie Davis? We don’t know much about her, but she is also an important person who not just carried the legacy of her mother’s good works but also contributed and fought for African-Americans to get equal rights as white people. Let’s find out a little bit about herself.

Who was Gertie Davis?

Gertie Davis was not only the daughter of Harriet Tubman but also the granddaughter of Modesty, a woman who was enslaved on the Brodess plantation in Maryland. This familial connection highlights the intergenerational struggles and resilience within the Tubman family.

Who was Gertie Davis

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Gertie Davis actively participated in civil rights activism. She fought for the rights of African Americans and campaigned against racial discrimination. Gertie’s contributions to the movement were significant but often overshadowed by her mother’s legacy.

She was named “Gertie” by Harriet and her husband, Nelson Charles Davis, a former slave in South Carolina and American Civil War veteran.

Down the memory lane

Her mother, Harriet Tubman, a legend in American history, is popularly known for her brave efforts to free the slaves to freedom. It is said that she never had any biological kids of her own and adopted a baby girl. Gertie Davis was the youngest child of Harriet Tubman and  Nelson Davis and had three other siblings who died when they were infants.

Down the memory lane

Gertie Davis faced a lot of challenges in her childhood. It was a time when racial discrimination was an obvious thing, and as a daughter of a black couple, she had to face it too. She had to face biases from many people in the white community. Despite all the biases and inequalities, she paved her own path.

Her story is much like her mother’s and reminds us of the strength with which she fought for the slaves. Her legacy continues to live on through the innumerable lives she touched and through her descendants who keep her memories alive.

Her parents believed that she should have the same opportunity as white people and the same education they had. They put her in school where she faced racial discrimination, but in 1920, she graduated college from Atlanta University with a degree in social work. During this time, she also got involved with NAACP AND SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference), which are civil rights organizations.

Gertie Davis began working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1942. He works as a field sectary in many states across the country and also as an organizer. 

She worked very hard to promote justice and racial equality and worked closely with civil rights leaders like Thurgood Marshall and W.E.B DuBois. They did many boycotts, protests, and civil disobedience but in a peaceful way to get themselves equal rights as the white people.

Who were her parents?

Gertie Davis was the adopted child of Harriet Tubman and Nelson Davis, her second husband. Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in the Southern US. She has a major contribution to the Civil Rights Movement, she worked as a scout and a nurse during this time. 

She helped many people from slavery to the road to freedom through an underground railroad. She also worked fiercely for women’s rights and racial discrimination. She believed these two were the most vital points where society needed to upgrade itself.

Nelson Davis was a boarder at Harriet Tubman’s house, and they first met in the year 1866. Nelson Davis was younger than Harriet Tubman by more than twenty years. He was also born into slavery and most probably escaped through the underground railroad in 1861. 

Before, he was known as Nelson Charles, and after escaping, he changes his name and became Nelson Davis. Harriet and Nelson got married in the year 1869. He also fought during the American Civil War.

Gertie Davis had many aunts and uncles from her mother’s side as they were nine children. She had four brothers and four sisters.

Did she ever get married? Had any kids?

Well, the facts about her personal life are a blur to us all. There is no proper information about her marriage and kids. Somewhere it is said that she got married and had kids. And those kids are the family that continues and keeps the legacy of Gertie Davis and Harriet Tubman alive. And somewhere, it is said that her husband was abusive, and it is unlikely that she would have kids. 

Harriet Tubman's family

Somewhere it is said the legacy and stories of Gerte Davis and Harriet Tubman are carried forward by her descendants, not through their heroic acts. So it would be inappropriate to give a statement about the marriage and children as the facts are not verified. 


It has to be noted that there is no proper documentation of the life and events of Gertie Davis by the media and historians. This also includes her death. If we are looking for answers to how did Gertie Davis die or when did Gertir Davis die? We probably won’t get any proper answer as there is no proper record of the date that mentions her death and the reasons behind it.

If we search, we will get a lot of results but with no proper record. But her mother died in the year 1913, at the age of 93, of pneumonia, surrounded by her friends and family. And Nelson Davis died of tuberculosis in the year 1888.

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