Map of NC

Map of NC

February 11, 2019

Harriet Ann Jacob's 206th Birthday

Today, February 11th, is the birthday of abolitionist Harriet Ann Jacobs. She is best known for her moving autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Her book, first published under the name “Linda Brent,” tells the story of the sexual abuse she suffered as the slave of Dr. James Norcom and her life after her escape.

For years after her escape, she hid in the home of her grandmother, Molly Horniblow, before finally fleeing North Carolina in 1842, eventually ending up in New York. She was later reunited with her children, and much of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl recounted her attempts to free them.

Jacobs used her story to promote the abolitionist movement. Her book was one of the first to discuss the plight of female slaves, and was written to sway the hearts of Northern white women. After the publication of her book she continued to advocate for black Americans both in the United States and overseas. During the Civil War she nursed black soldiers by her daughter’s side, and after raised money for refugees from slavery.

More about her story and legacy can be found within the pages of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Visitors to Edenton, North Carolina can tour sites from her early life, including the site where Molly Horniblow's house once stood.

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