Harriet Jacobs entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Harriet Jacobs is famous for her single book, the fictionalised autobiography Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, published in 1861, a slave narrative which one editor sees as also a kind of captivity narrative with the racial implications reversed. Jacobs, who devoted herself for years to writing this book after her escape from the southern to the northern states of the USA, was for more than a century not recognised beyond a doubt as its author. She also wrote other works in the anti-slavery cause: letters both private and for newspapers, and essays.
Autumn 1813 HJ was born at Edenton, North Carolina, the elder of two children. Bibliographic Citation link.
February 1853 The year after she achieved liberation from slavery, HJ began to mull over the suggestion of Amy Post that she should tell her story of escape and emancipation. Bibliographic Citation link.
25 July 1853 HJ first reached print, with "Letter from a Fugitive Slave. Slaves Sold under Peculiar Circumstances", published in the New York Tribune. Bibliographic Citation link.
February 1861 HJ's autobiographical Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was published at Boston after considerable struggle to reach print. Bibliographic Citation link.
1 April 1862 About a year after its US appearance, HJ's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was published in London as The Deeper Wrong; or, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Bibliographic Citation link.
25 April 1867 HJ, while on a visit back to her grandmother's old cabin at Edenton, North Carolina, wrote to white abolitionist Ednah Dow Littlehale what is currently her latest surviving letter. Bibliographic Citation link.
7 March 1897 HJ died at the age of eighty-four in Washington, DC. Bibliographic Citation link.
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