Harriet Tubman's Family
In 1803, Anthony Thompson married Mary Pattison Brodess, a young widow and the mother of Edward Brodess, then a toddler. Mary enslaved Rit Green Ross, and through Mary Pattison Brodess’ marriage to Thompson, Rit and Ben became members of the same household. By the time Araminta (Harriet Tubman) was born, Ben and Rit’s young family had grown to five children: Linah, Mariah Ritty, Soph, Robert and baby Araminta, called Minty, at the time. Eventually, the family would grow to nine children, including Ben Jr., Rachel, Henry and Moses. An impending crisis to their family loomed in 1822, as Edward Brodess approached age 21, when he could claim his inheritance from his mother’s estate. Mary Pattison Brodess eventually took Rit and her children to Bucktown, ten miles away from Ben and the community of free and enslaved family and friends they knew, placing hardship and strain on the family.