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Underground Railroad Research Forum

Re: Ancestors of Harriet Tubman

Bennie,

I have never spoken to Mr. Adams. He is indeed descended, from what I understand, William Ross of Seaford Delaware, one of the largest slave owners of his time in Delaware. The rest of his story about Tubman is fiction as far as I know. I do not know where he has derived his information, but there is so much misinformation about Tubman and her life it does not surprise me anymore. It is a shame that Mr. Adams has not provided any supporting documents, but there probably are none, just family lore. They have probably conflated Tubman's Ross surname with their own. Perhaps Tubman's father, Ben Ross, was himself descended from people enslaved by Mr. Adams's white ancestors during the 1700s, but I have no evidence of that either.

The documentary evidence is clear: Ben Ross, Tubman's father, was enslaved from a young age by Anthony Thompson of Dorcherster County, Maryland. When Tubman, her mother, and her siblings left the Thompson plantation around 1823-24, they moved with their owner, Edward Brodess, to his farm/plantation near Bucktown on Greenbriar Road (Edward Brodess had been Thompsons ward until he reached the age of maturity in 1822.) Edward Brodess died there in 1849, his wife and children remained on the property throughout the 1850s. After Eliza Brodess died, several of the Brodess sons remained on the farm until well after the Civil War.
It would be great to discover Ben Ross's parentage, and from where his ancestors came and who enslaved them before Anthony Thompson did. But that involves research into recods from the 1700s, much of which burned in the great Court-House fire of 1852 in Dorchester County.

Tubman did not run away from any Ross plantation: she fled from Dr. Anthony's property (as stated in an earlier listing) in either Caroline County or Cambridge, MD.

Maybe Mr. Adams can provide us with the source of his information?

Thanks, Bennie, for letting me clear up some of tehse misconceptions!

Kate

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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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