Monday, April 22, 2024

Harriet Tubman's Cabin

 From The Easton Gazette:

I once heard a mainstream news personality describe Harriet Tubman as someone who had led "millions" of enslaved persons to freedom during the days of legal chattel slavery in America. Such an individual clearly has no concept of how difficult it was to lead a mere ten people out of Dorchester County, Maryland, through the swamps in the middle of the night, being chased by bloodhounds. Maybe it was just her personality, or maybe it was the head injury she suffered as a teenager, but Harriet knew no fear. She had an uncompromising faith in God, and was comforted and guided by dreams and visions. Plus she made it a point to be always well-armed. She was not going down without a fight.

In the last three years or so there has been the discovery and archaeological excavation of Harriet's father's cabin in what is now known as Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Harriet, who was then known as Araminta Ross, or "Minty" was one of the many children of the freeman Benjamin Ross and his enslaved wife Harriet Ross. Because their father Benjamin Ross was free and married to their mother, Minty, her mother and her siblings went by the Ross name rather than the last name of their enslaver, as was usually the custom. Their enslaver was Edward Brodess who owned several properties in Dorchester County. Minty, her mother and siblings worked at a farm in Bucktown, Maryland. It was in the general store in Bucktown that thirteen-year-old Minty tried to protect an escaped slave but the white overseer threw a lead weight at her head, causing a brain injury. Minty afterwards suffered from headaches, seizures and narcolepsy but she also began to have prophetic dreams and visions. The Bucktown General Store where she was attacked and injured is now a museum. (Read more.)


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