Harriet Tubman’s childhood was full of work and hardship. In addition to taking care of her brother and sister while her mother worked, Tubman also worked in marshes checking traps, served as a nursemaid, plowed fields, and hauled timber. She was forced to work even when she contracted measles until she became so ill her mother had to care for her. Harriet suffered a tragic head injury as a teenager when a weight thrown by another slave owner, meant to hit another slave, struck Tubman instead. She received minimal medical care and suffered from intense seizures, hallucinations, and headaches for the rest of her life.
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