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Elizabeth (Squirrel) Harden


Ms. Elizabeth Squirrel was born around the turn of the 18th century in rural Maryland. She was enslaved from birth, possibly by the Haines family. Sometime in the early 1800s she married Mr. William Harden. He may have been free-born. They had at least two children together, who were enslaved by Mr. Francis Haines, a German farmer.

Finally in the summer of 1847, her husband was able to trade money for her freedom. The County Registrar registered her manumission on July 26th, 1847. Their children continued to be enslaved. Her daughter was nearly a teenager, while her son was a toddler. The couple managed to free her son, John Singleton Harden, in the fall of 1850 when he was about six years old. Their daughter had to wait until the death of her enslavers in 1863.

When her husband passed away in 1879, and she moved in with her son and his large family. (Her daughter had died in 1866.)  As mother and grandmother, she took care of the family.

The Democratic Advocate, 24 Dec 1892