A one of its kind discovery in Maryland has links to Harriet Tubman.
The archaeological homesite, discovered on a property owned by U.S. Fish and Wildlife, was the former home of Tubman’s father, Ben Ross.
“This discovery adds another puzzle piece to the story of Harriet Tubman, the state of Maryland, and our nation,” said Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford. “It is important that we continue to uncover parts of our history that we can learn from, especially when they can be lost to time, and other forces. I hope that this latest success story can inspire similar efforts and help strengthen our partnerships in the future.”
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Ten acres was given to Ross by Anthony Thompson in the 1800s. Then in Thompson’s will, Ross was to be freed 5 years after Thompson’s death in 1836. Ross was freed from slavery and received the land in the early 1840s.
“When we protect vulnerable habitats, we help preserve the stories of those who came before us, like Harriet Tubman’s father, Ben Ross,” said USFWS Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System Cynthia Martinez.
A team, led by MDOT SHA Chief Archaeologist Dr. Julie Schablitsky, searched for evidence linked to Ross in November. They returned in March with numerous artifacts dating back to the 1800s like dish fragments, nails, brick, glass and even a button.
“The importance of discovering Ben Ross’ cabin here is the connection to Harriet Tubman. She would’ve spent time here as a child, but also she would’ve come back and been living here with her father in her teenage years, working alongside him,” said Dr. Schablitsky. “This was the opportunity she had to learn about how to navigate and survive in the wetlands and the woods. We believe this experience was able to benefit her when she began to move people to freedom.”
Tubman was born Araminta Ross in March 1822 on the Thomspon Farm near Cambridge. She and her mother were enslaved by the Brodess family, but moved away from the farm when she was a toddler. Her father felled and sold timber, which was taken by free Black mariners to Baltimore’s shipyards to be used to build ships.
Ross’ home will now be added to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.
Read More: CBS Baltimore
Historic Homesite Discovered In Maryland Linked To Harriet Tubman was originally published on magicbaltimore.com