Normally, female slaves at a young age were forced to marry a mate chosen by their masters. Because of her injury, Harriet was spared this tradition. However, Harriet, now in her twenties was getting too old to remain unmarried. Having worked and earned her own money, she attracted a free black man named John Tubman, who also worked odd jobs at various plantations. Although marrying a free man was quite unusual for a slave, they permitted Harriet and John to marry. Although forced to do so by her mother, Harriet in 1844, at the age of twenty-four, married John Tubman.
Having married a free man, Harriet thought of nothing but to one day be free herself. Interestingly, they should never have enslaved Harriet. One day, determined to trace her roots, she hired a lawyer at the cost of five dollars to trace the will of her mother's first master. In doing so, a will was found that gave her mother, Harriet Green, to an heir named Mary Patterson. The will provided that Ms. Green was to serve Mary Patterson until Patterson was forty-five years old. However, Patterson died before reaching this age, and was unmarried. Because there was no provision in the will concerning Harriet Green upon Patterson's death, she was therefore free. Unfortunately, no one told Ms. Green of this right, consequently she and her children remained enslaved. Harriet Tubman, now armed with this information was now more than ever determined to be free.