Harriet Jacobs' autobiography, written under the pseudonym Linda Brent, details her experiences as a slave in North Carolina, her escape to freedom in the north, and her ensuing struggles to free her children. The narrative was partly serialized in the New York Tribune, but was discontinued because Jacobs' depictions of the sexual abuse of female slaves were considered too shocking. It was published in book form in 1861.
©1861 Public Domain (P)2012 Cherry Hill Publishing
"In such volumes as this, the true romance of American life and history is to be found. Patient suffering, heroic daring, untiring zeal, perseverance seemingly unparalleled, and growth from surroundings of degradation and ignorance to education, refinement, and power: all find in these modest pages their simple, yet affecting narrative. It is the "oft told tale" of American slavery, in another and more revolting phase than that which is generally seen. More revolting because it is of the spirit and not the flesh. In this volume, a woman tells in words of fire, yet never overstepping the bounds of the truest purity, not, how she was scourged and maimed, but that far more terrible sufferings endured by and inflicted upon woman, by a system which legalizes concubinage, and offers a premium to licentiousness. No one can read these pages without a feeling of horror, and a stronger determination arising in them to tear down the cursed system which makes such records possible. Wrath, the fiery messenger which goes flaming from the roused soul and overthrows in its divine fury the accursed tyrannies of earth; will find in these pages new fuel for the fire, and new force for the storm which shall overthrow and sweep from existence American slavery." (Weekly Anglo-African, New York, N.Y., 13 April 1861)
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