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Thirst for freedom HARRIET TUBMAN In 1820 Benjamin Ross and Harriet Greene both slaves in Buck Town Maryland gave birth to Araminta Greene also born a slave Araminta lived some 90 years of hardship and peerless journeys to free her people from slavery Cruelty and unbearable living conditions were a norm for these times First well need some background on the institution of slavery which began in the early 15th and 16th century recorded in the ancient history of Babylon and Rome Portuguese explores living east of Africa provided slave labor for Whites West Indies and Spanish Plantation owners in 1660 Virginia Law decreed slaves would serve their masters for life With the development of plantation land and its five staples of produce Rice Cotton Sugar Tobacco and Coffee required strenuous work to harvest At the age of six Araminta was taken from her parents to live with James Cook whose wife was a weaver to learn the skills of weaving James Cook would order her to guard his muskrat traps which compelled her to wade through the water Once she was sent when she was ill with the measles and caught a cold from wading in the water and she grew very sick Her mother convinced her master to take her away from the Cooks until she could recuperate After she entered her teens she was hired out as field hand In the fall of that same year slaves were required
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