Harriet Ann Jacobs in the Autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

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Brittany Holdman
Professor Ammons
February 21, 2012
Harriet Ann Jacobs
In the autobiography, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”, it tells the story of a female slave named Harriet Ann Jacobs. Losing her mother and father at such a young age, she experienced firsthand the account of a slave life. She deliberates in great detail the humiliation, sacrifice, and struggle specific to female slaves of the late nineteenth century. Though she understood the risks involved in publishing an account of her life, she moved forward with the idea and published her story under the pseudonym Linda Brent. Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery in 1813 in Edenton, North Carolina to Delilah and Elijah. While growing up she enjoyed a relatively cheerful life until she was six years old when her parents died. After the death of her parents, Harriet and her younger brother John were left to be raised by their grandmother, Molly Horniblow. Molly was an older woman who was well respected in the slave community, as well as by the slave owners. She was never mistreated, and she frequently baked goods for the people in her community. Harriet Jacobs gained the knowledge for all of her educational essentials from her first mistress, Margaret Horniblow. She taught Harriet how to read, write, and sew which gave her advantage over the rest of the slaves. It also would attract some unwanted attention. Margaret would later on will Harriet to her twelve year old niece whose father would subject Harriet to aggressive and unrelenting sexual harassment. Dr. Flint sexually harassed and physically abused the teenaged Harriet for as long as she was a servant in his household. Afraid that one day Dr. Flint would make his antics reality, she began to have an affair with a prominent white lawyer named Samuel Tredwell, whom she later on beared two children for. Instead of discouraging Flint, she enraged him. He then sent Harriet away to a life of hard labor on a plantation he owned, threatening to...
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