Harriett Jacobs

Terry Novak (Johnson and Wales University)
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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 idyllic. Little Mary's father, Dr. James Norcom,…

1042 words

Citation: Novak, Terry. "Harriett Jacobs". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2328, accessed 15 April 2024.]

2328 Harriett Jacobs 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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