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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  33,715 Ratings  ·  1,798 Reviews
This vintage book contains Harriet Ann Jacobs' 1861 autobiography, "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl." It chronicles Jacobs' life as a female slave and documents how she attained freedom both for herself and for her children. Within this volume she explores the life of female slaves on plantations, the abuse and hardships that they had to endure, and their desperate e ...more
ebook, 296 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Porter Press (first published 1861)
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Lisa I would probably have done the same. She really had no choice. She would be found otherwise. She needed to know and be connected to her children. If…moreI would probably have done the same. She really had no choice. She would be found otherwise. She needed to know and be connected to her children. If she would have exposed herself, she would have been severely punished, and her children sold off.(less)
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Petra X
Harriet Jacobs book is quite a nuanced account of slavery from the point of view of one who is not physically abused. This does not make slavery any better, being owned and used and having no free will cannot ever be anything but terrible, but it was less painful.

For most slave owners slaves were extremely expensive farm animals and only the richest who could afford 'herds' of them would be able to maltreat them on a continual basis. If you want hard work from your oxen, and you want to breed f
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Samadrita
A human being sold in the free city of New York! The bill of sale is on record, and future generations will learn from it that women were articles of traffic in New York, late in the nineteenth century of the Christian religion. It may hereafter prove a useful document to antiquaries, who are seeking to measure the progress of civilization in the United States.


Once upon a time in America, not too long ago, fellow human beings had to go to extraordinary lengths to secure ownership of their own
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Cheryl
This book was first published in 1861 and reprinted in the 1970s. Scholars initially doubted it was written by a slave. Thankfully, Harvard University Press authenticated and published findings of the 1980s, and Jean Fagan Yellin, Harriet Jacobs' biographer, dug up proof of the authenticity of this autobiography through letters and documents. I only regret not having the 1987 Harvard University Press edition edited by Yellin.

Jacobs seemed to anticipate the doubting Thomas, even as she wrote:
I
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Nicole~
Reader, it is not to awaken sympathy for myself that I am telling you truthfully what I suffered in slavery. I do it to kindle the flame of compassion in your heart for my sisters who are still in bondage, suffering as I once suffered.

In the pre-civil war period of 1861, Harriet Jacobs was the only black woman in the United States to have authored her own slave narrative, in a call to "arouse the women of the North to a realizing sense of the condition of two millions of women at the South...t
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James
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-fiction
Book Review
Harriet Ann Jacob’s work was similar to Frederick Douglass’ narrative in that both of the pieces read so quickly and easily. I very much enjoyed Jacob’s piece. The language seemed so real and almost as though Harriet, or Linda, was telling the story to me herself. I understood the work very easily also probably because I had previously read Douglass’ piece which showed the life of a slave who was beaten viciously at times. Jacobs, who experienced a very different type of slavery
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Brenda
Filled with sadness, heartache and misery, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is the personal story of Harriet Ann Jacobs, known as Linda. Linda was born into slavery and enjoyed a life of childish happiness for a short time. But when her mother’s new owner Dr Flint took control of the slaves, life changed for his unfortunate chattels. For he was a cruel and vindictive man, always free with the whip and chain for any slight misdemeanour. The majority of the slave holders were this way; it was ...more
Susan
Sep 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Letters of a Slave Girl by Mary Lyons was recommended to me, and maybe that one is easier to read than this book. That is a novel based on the life of Harriet Jacobs, and this book was actually written by her. She was a slave in the town I grew up in. It's been hard for me to finish it because it is really hard to let my mind be taken into a society like that. Her owner was a prominent member of the community, the doctor. I keep thinking, "I'm so glad I have never heard that the town doctor was ...more
Amanda Bratschie
I found this book in the free classics section of Amazon the other night when I couldn't sleep. I couldn't put it down - finished the whole thing within 30 hours. Slavery is such a heartbreaking thing - this book really helped me understand how devastating it was and why it had such a lasting impact on our society. Highly recommend.
Becky
You know, for being such a short book, this one packs a wallop. I think that we're all used to stories about the brutality and horrors of slavery, and that is a part of this memoir as well, but mostly it is focused on how degrading and dehumanizing and mentally torturous it is to be considered someone's property, to be used and treated however they feel, as though you're a throw rug to be taken out and beat for a while.

I don't think that there's much that I could say about this book that hasn't
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Ken Moten
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: This is THE autobiography of slavery
"READER be assured this narrative is no fiction. I am aware that some of my adventures may seem incredible but they are nevertheless strictly true. I have not exaggerated the wrongs inflicted by Slavery, on the contrary, my descriptions fall far short of the facts. I have concealed the names of places and given persons fictitious names. I had no motive for secrecy on my own account, but I deemed it kind and considerate towards others to pursue this course.

I wish I were more competent to the tas
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Harriet Ann Jacobs, usually wrote under the name Harriet Jacobs but also used the pseudonym Linda Brent.

Harriet was born in Edenton, North Carolina to Daniel Jacobs and Delilah. Her father was a mulatto carpenter and slave owned by Dr. Andrew Knox. Her mother was a mulatto slave owned by John Horniblow, a tavern owner. Harriet inherited the status of both her parents as a slave by birth. She was
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More about Harriet Jacobs...
“Reader, did you ever hate? I hope not. I never did but once; and I trust I never shall again. Somebody has called it "the atmosphere of hell"; and I believe it is so.” 28 likes
“There is something akin to freedom in having a lover who has no control over you, except that which he gains by kindness and attachment” 19 likes
More quotes…