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Harriet (Bailey) Unknown (1792 - 1825)

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Harriet [family name unknown] formerly Bailey aka Anthony
Born in Maryland, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Daughter of and
[sibling(s) unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Maryland, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 12 Feb 2020 | Created 28 Oct 2009 | Last significant change: 12 Feb 2020
15:39: Janelle Weir edited the Biography for Harriet (Bailey) Unknown (1792-1825). [Thank Janelle for this]
This page has been accessed 396 times.


Name: Harriet BAILEY Sex: F Birth: 1792 1 Death: 1825 in Maryland 1 Occupation: field hand (slave) [1]

Her son Fredrick Douglas later wrote of her:

"My mother was named Harriet Bailey. She was the daughter of Isaac and Betsey Bailey, both colored, and quite dark. My mother was of a darker complexion than either my grandmother or grandfather.

My father was a white man. He was admitted to be such by all I ever heard speak of my parentage. The opinion was also whispered that my master was my father; but of the correctness of this opinion, I know nothing; the means of knowing was withheld from me. My mother and I were separated when I was but an infant—before I knew her as my mother. It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age. Frequently, before the child has reached its twelfth month, its mother is taken from it, and hired out on some farm a considerable distance off, and the child is placed under the care of an old woman, too old for field labor. For what this separation is done, I do not know, unless it be to hinder the development of the child's affection toward its mother, and to blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child. This is the inevitable result.

I never saw my mother, to know her as such, more than four or five times in my life; and each of these times was very short in duration, and at night. She was hired by a Mr. Stewart, who lived about twelve miles from my home. She made her journeys to see me in the night, travelling the whole distance on foot, after the performance of her day's work. She was a field hand, and a whipping is the penalty of not being in the field at sunrise, unless a slave has special permission from his or her master to the contrary—a permission which they seldom get, and one that gives to him that gives it the proud name of being a kind master. I do not recollect of ever seeing my mother by the light of day. She was with me in the night. She would lie down with me, and get me to sleep, but long before I waked she was gone. Very little communication ever took place between us. Death soon ended what little we could have while she lived, and with it her hardships and suffering. She died when I was about seven years old, on one of my master's farms, near Lee's Mill. I was not allowed to be present during her illness, at her death, or burial. She was gone long before I knew any thing about it. Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of her death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger.


  • Perry - b. January 1813
  • Sarah - b. August 1814
  • Eliza - b. March 1816
  • Frederick - b. February 1818
  • Kitty - b. March 1820
  • Arianna - b. October 1822
  • Harriet (Jr.) - b. c. 1825


  1. Author: Frederick Douglass Title: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Abbrev: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Publication: Yale University Press / 2001 Page: 92
  2. Dickson J. Preston, Young Frederick Douglass, p. 206

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Harriet is 22 degrees from Danielle Liard, 14 degrees from Jack London and 17 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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