Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl


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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 task I have undertaken. But I trust my readers will excuse deficiencies in consideration of circumstances. I was born and reared in Slavery; and I remained in a Slave State twenty-seven years. Since I have been at the North, it has been necessary for me to work diligently for my own support, and the education of my children. This has not left me much leisure to make up for the loss of early opportunities to improve myself; and it has compelled me to write these pages at irregular intervals, whenever I could snatch an hour from household duties.

When I first arrived in Philadelphia, Bishop Paine advised me to publish a sketch of my life, but I told him I was altogether incompetent to such an undertaking. Though I have improved my mind somewhat since that time, I still remain of the same opinion; but I trust my motives will excuse what might otherwise seem presumptuous. I have not written my experiences in order to attract attention to myself; on the contrary, it would have been more pleasant to me to have been silent about my own history. Neither do I care to excite sympathy for my own sufferings. But I do earnestly desire to arouse the women of the North to a realizing sense of the condition of two millions of women at the South, still in bondage, suffering what I suffered, and most of them far worse. I want to add my testimony to that of abler pens to convince the people of the Free States what Slavery really is. Only by experience can any one realize how deep, and dark, and foul is that pit of abominations. May the blessing of God rest on this imperfect effort in behalf of my persecuted people!

-Linda Brent

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469900858
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 01/10/2012
Pages: 332
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Harriet Ann Jacobs (February 11, 1813 - March 7, 1897) was an African-American writer who escaped from slavery and was later freed. She became an abolitionist speaker and reformer.

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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Cush More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this piece. It was an educational, emotional and entertaining experience. Even though I am a student of the subject of slavery, I was still enlightened by what was recounted in this tale. I was impressed that an African American slave woman without any education (other than being able to read and write) could author this remarkably eloquent work. The facts presented therein are astounding. Also, the imagery and plot are superb. Unfortunately, the beginning of the book did not please me. I thought that the writer's description of her childhood was not credible. She paints a rosy picture that I doubt would have been shared by other slave children. Moreover, her "disrespect" of her master (in later years) sometimes went unpunished. This was unprecedented. Ironically, her recollections of childhood sets the main character up for a rude awakening. This incredible woman, at times in the novel, seems too delicate or polite to fully depict the horrors of slavery in the USA. However, she presents enough information for the reader to be absolutely appalled. It is a very good story. People who read Christian literature will enjoy this book. I recommend it.
Schmerguls on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an account of the life of a girl born in slavery in 1813 in Edenton, N.C. When she was a teenager she was sexually molested by her master, from whom she hid in a garret for nearly seven years before escaping to the North. She had had two children by Samuel Sawyer, who went on to serve one term in he U.S. House from 1837 to 1839 and did little for the children she bore him. The author suffered from racism even in the North. The book is not well-written and I found myself glad to get to the end of the book, even though one cannot help but empathize with the author and her dire, almost ubelievable travail.
Duranfan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry that I had never heard of this book before now. And I'm more surprised that this book isn't required reading in high schools and colleges. It should. An amazing personal look into the life black women had to endure during the era of slavery. Very touching story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, an autobiography by Linda Brent, involves Brent¿s horrible experience as a slave and her determination to sacrifice herself for her children so that they too, won¿t have to encounter the undeniable terrors of slavery. With Brent¿s very unique writing style, she displays the main theme of this section; that she would do anything and everything for the sake of protecting her children. She also discusses God, to demonstrate why He allows slavery to exist. Her experiences as a slave were terrible and her feelings are shown directly in the language, style, and theme of her writing.