Harriet Tubman was born in 1822 in Dorchester County, Maryland. She was one of 9 children born to Benjamin Ross and Harriet Green. Her actual name given to her by her parents was Aramita Ross and her nickname was Minty. Harriet Tubman was born a slave. Slavery is when you are forced to work for somebody when you don't want to. Back in the 1800's, White people could own Black people as their property. Examples of property are: your toys, your TV, your furniture and your pets. .
People who owned slaves were called slave owners or masters. Slaves didn't really have any rights. Slave owners would whip slaves who complained. Owners could sell slaves for money at auctions. Many slaves worked on farms called plantations. In the South, slavery was legal, which means it was okay by law. In the north, slavery was illegal, which means it was against the law. At age five, Minty started working on a plantation. She had to rock the master's baby to sleep. She had to work out on the farm also. .
When Minty was seven, she was sold to another master and worked on his plantation. When Minty was 13, she tried to help a slave boy who was running away from the master. When the master tried to whip the boy, he hit Minty instead and knocked her out. She was unconscious for a very long time (several weeks) and during this time had the same dream over and over again. The dream was about people reaching out to her and taking her to freedom. She eventually woke up from her concussion. .
Minty got better but had headaches for the rest of her life. She was sold again and worked at another plantation. There she learned about the Underground Railroad. This was a secret system of people and safe houses that helped slaves get to freedom in the North. In 1844, Minty married John Tubman. He was a free Black man. Minty changed her name to Harriet Tubman. Because she was a slave, she still needed to work for her master. She always dreamed of escaping to the North, but her husband wanted to stay in the South.