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Meet Amazing Americans Activists & Reformers Harriet Tubman
Nursemaid with her charge, ca. 1855.
A nursemaid with her charge around 1855

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Tubman's Early Years and Escape from Slavery
Harriet Tubman's name at birth was Araminta Ross. She was one of 11 children of Harriet and Benjamin Ross born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland. As a child, Ross was "hired out" by her master as a nursemaid for a small baby, much like the nursemaid in the picture. Ross had to stay awake all night so that the baby wouldn't cry and wake the mother. If Ross fell asleep, the baby's mother whipped her. From a very young age, Ross was determined to gain her freedom. Can you imagine what other kinds of embarrassment Ross suffered as a slave?
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