Harriet Tubman was born in 1820 in a cold, dark, windowless slave shanty on the Bucktown plantation owned by Edward Brodess in Dorchester County on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She was the daughter of black slaves, Benjamin Ross and Harriet Green, and was originally named Araminta by her master. As she defied slavery and its customs, she later changed her name to Harriet, after her mother.
During her childhood Harriet sustained a serious head injury when an angry overseer tossed a two-pound weight at her, striking her in her forehead. This injury nearly killed her and that caused her to have sudden, periodic sleeping seizures her entire life. The injury left an ugly scar, that throughout her life, reminded her of the horrors suffered as a slave. Being raised as a slave, she had to perform extremely hard work, and as such she acquired unusual strength. Because she was forced to work as a slave, Harriet did not have the opportunity to attend school. She did however, possess an innate intelligence with remarkable foresight and judgment. As time passed, and when fully recovered from her injury, her master, Brodess, hired her out to work on neighboring farms. This allowed her some independence, and the opportunity to earn small amounts of money. Some of the work Harriet would do was cut and split wood, drive oxen, and haul logs. By this work, Harriet grew quite strong in physical strength.
An amazing example of how much a woman could achieved at that time, she had a key role on women's right advocate and worked with indigents black people, she being a slave herself. An amazing story.