Dorchester County, Maryland, Small County

A small county where big things happened. An event so big that it lasted and impacted the states almost 200 hundred years later. Here lies the birthplace of Araminta Ross, better know as Harriet Tubman. Around 1825 Araminta Ross was born to her mother Harriet Green and Father, Ben Ross. Known to them as “minty”, Araminta was pure of an African Ancestry. She was the fifth of nine. Minty had four brothers and four sisters, all born into slavery. At the age of five, her childhood got cut short.

Araminta was thought to be old enough to work. Edward Brodas, her master began to lend her out in the area. Araminta was lent to a couple to do some weaving.

She worked as a nursemaid for a couple. Here is where she experienced her first severe beatings that left scars that lasted her whole life. One of Araminta’s many responsibilities for this job was to keep the very small child quiet at night so the mother wasn’t woke.

This required constant holding and rocking of the baby. If and when the baby began to cry or Araminta fell asleep she would get whipped in the back of the neck by the mistress. This happened many times, finally, she was sent home because she was weak and malnourished. Her mom Harriet nursed her back to health at the plantation. It didn’t stop here. She continually got hired out to households again and again. At age eleven Araminta had to begin to wear a yellow bandana around her head to represent that she was no longer a child.

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She was no longer called Araminta but got a ‘basket name’, Harriet, named after her mother.

Around twelve years old Harriet was ‘old enough’ to work in the fields. This is where her Christian faith began to escalate. One day she was at the grocery store and she saw a fugitive slave. The master of that slave saw him and Harriet tried to protect him. The master got very angry and tried to strike the fugitive missing and instead striking Araminta in the head. She remembered it years later saying “The weight broke my skull and cut a piece of that shawl clean off and drove it into my head. They carried me to the house all bleeding and fainting. I had no bed, no place to lie down on at all, and they laid me on the seat of the loom, and I stayed there all day and the next”. After the incident, her master unsuccessfully tried t sell her. Harriet suffered a traumatic brain injury called Narcolepsy. This ailment remained throughout the remainder of her life. The head trauma left her with a lifetime of epileptic seizures, headaches, powerful visions, and dream experiences.

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Dorchester County, Maryland, Small County. (2021, Dec 16). Retrieved from

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