Bibliography on African American Literature
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)
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
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.
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