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Underground Railroad Research Forum

Re: Ancestors of Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman's mother was supposed to be set free when she turned 45 years old, which would have been around 1830. According to court testimony, Rit's last child, a son named Moses, was born after she turned 45 and thus would have been born free. None of her other 8 children, including Harriet Tubman, were born free. According the the will, however, Rit's children were also supposed to be set free when they reached the age of 45 years old. This also meant that they were not supposed to be sold out of the state because they were, what was then called in Maryland, "term" slaves. But Edward Brodess, their master (not mistress - a mistake made years ago), did not honor the terms of the will of his great grandfather, Atthow Pattison, who was the original person who owned Rit and who wrote that original will (which he wrote in 1791, when Rit was still a child herself). Edward Brodess inherited Rit and her children when he turned 21 years old in late 1822. He died in 1849 at the age of 47. He also illegally sold three of Tubman's sisters to out of state byers, violating the provisions set forth in his great grandfather's will. Hope this helps. See my website for more information.

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Ancestors of Harriet Tubman
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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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