17. Bucktown Village Store
Site of Harriet Tubman’s First Act of Defiance
In 1835, Bucktown was a busy community with two stores, a shopkeeper’s home, blacksmith shop, and surrounding farms at this crossroads. Shipyards were nearby on the Transquaking River.
Hired out to a nearby farmer, Harriet Tubman and the farm’s cook went to a store at this crossroads to purchase some goods for the house. At the same time, a slave belonging to another master left his work without permission. His overseer pursued him to the store and ordered Tubman to help him tie up the man, but she resisted. Suddenly, the slave broke free and ran. The overseer grabbed a two-pound weight off the counter and hurled it toward him. It struck young Tubman in the head, almost killing her and causing a severe injury that troubled her for the rest of her life.
Tubman recalled “My hair had never been combed and it stood out like a bushel basket . . . I expect that thar hair saved my life.” The blow from the iron weight cracked her skull. “They carried me to the house all bleeding an’ fainting. I had no bed, no place to lie down on at all, and they lay me on the seat of the loom, and I stayed there all that day and next,” she later recalled. She was forced “to work again and there I worked with the blood and sweat rolling down my face till I couldn’t see.”
(Operated by the Bucktown Village Foundation, 410-901-9255)
4303 Bucktown Road
Bucktown, MD 21613
GPS Coordinates: 38.459167,-76.031385
- Network to Freedom Program site
- Bike rental nearby
- Kayak rental nearby