One of the first school assignments I remember is a fictional short story I wrote about a girl who escapes from slavery in the South and walks to freedom. I think I was inspired by Harriet Tubman, one of the most famous conductors on the underground railroad (and called General Tubman by none other than John Brown himself). You can read more about her story here. She is a great example of courage and bravery in rescuing not only her family but others as well!
We probably have an over-idealized and hazy view of Harriet Tubman - a kind of gentle loving woman who had compassion on the downtrodden. But, she was a tough cookie - you can read on Wikipedia about the military expedition she helped guide during the civil war. General Tubman, I salute you!