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Harriet Jacobs ('Linda Brent') (1818-1896)

Harriet Jacobs
Selected Bibliography on African American Literature 
Slave Narratives
Selected Bibliography on Jacobs

The Harriet Jacobs Project at Yale University includes writings by and about Jacobs and a resource guide.
Voices from the Gaps includes a brief biography and a secondary bibliography on Jacobs. (New URL)
Harriet Jacobs site by Julie Adams at the University of Virginia Crossroads site includes an introduction, glossary, links, and a search feature. (Image is courtesy of this site.)
Harriet Jacobs.  This site by Trudy Mercer includes a picture, a chronology, bibiographies, an essay, and three letters between Harriet Ann Jacobs and Lydia Maria Child.
The Harriet Jacobs page at the Africans in America site includes pictures, letters, and the full text of the handbill offering a reward for her capture.
Review of Jean Fagan Yellin's new biography of Jacobs from the New York Times (free registration required). From the review: " Yellin also sheds fresh light on Jacobs's love affair with Sawyer. Flattered by his kindly attention and hoping that he would buy her from Norcom, the 15-year-old Jacobs became his mistress. She entered the relationship with a mixture of emotions -- shame, hope and guilty attraction -- that she subtly describes in her autobiography. Sawyer, as Yellin writes, was a personable bachelor with political aspirations (he was a descendant of a colonial governor of North Carolina and was related to the state's current governor) and later served as a congressman. Jacobs was perhaps justified, then, in believing that he had enough clout to shield her from her oppressive master.

Tragically, she was wrong. The inexorable harshness of her master drove her to seek refuge in her grandmother's attic, where she lived alone for years in gloomy isolation. About 9 feet long, 7 feet wide and 3 feet high, the attic admitted no light until Jacobs drilled a tiny hole. It was stifling in the summer and frigid in winter, home to rodents and stinging insects. Jacobs could not stand up, and when she rolled over she bumped her head on the roof. Despite the discomfort and the isolation, Jacobs preferred staying there to living as Norcom's slave. Yellin reports that Jacobs sometimes experienced hallucinations brought on by sensory deprivation."


Works Available Online

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) (page images at MOA)
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (HTML at the University of Virginia's Crossroads site)
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (HTML version from the New York Public Library's Schomburg Collection)
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (HTML edition at the University of North Carolina's Documenting the American South site)
Letter from Jacobs to Ednah Dow Cheney

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