Harriett Jacobs

(1042 words)
  • Terry Novak (Johnson & Wales University)

The African-American writer Harriet Ann Jacobs was born into slavery around 1813 in Edenton, North Carolina. As is typical, the exact date of Jacobs's birth is uncertain; records of slave births were rarely kept accurately. The first six years of Jacobs's life were spent living with her free grandmother, Molly Horniblow, during which time Jacobs was unaware of her own status as a slave. It was not until her mother's death that Jacobs was sent to live with her mistress, who was, by all accounts, a tolerable person who taught Jacobs to sew and read. At the age of eleven Jacobs's life changed again. Her mistress died and willed the young Jacobs to three-year-old Mary Matilda Norcom. Jacobs's life in the Norcom household was far from i…

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Citation:
Novak, Terry. "Harriett Jacobs". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2328, accessed 26 October 2014.]

Articles on Jacobs' works

  1. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself

Related Groups

  1. Literature of the American South