Incidents in the Life - summary from unc

Incidents in the Life - summary from unc - Harriet Ann...

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Harriet Ann Jacobs was born a slave in Edenton, North Carolina in 1813. After both her mother, Delilah, and father, Elijah, died during Jacobs's youth, she and her younger brother, John, were raised by their maternal grandmother, Molly Horniblow. Jacobs learned to read, write, and sew under her first mistress, Margaret Horniblow, and hoped to be freed by her. However, when Jacobs was eleven years old, her mistress died and willed her to Dr. James Norcom, a binding decision that initiated a lifetime of suffering and hardship for Jacobs. Dr. Norcom, represented later as Dr. Flint in Jacobs's narrative, sexually harassed and physically abused the teenaged Jacobs as long as she was a servant in his household. Jacobs warded off his advances by entering into an affair with a prominent white lawyer named Samuel Treadwell Sawyer and bearing him two children: Joseph (b. 1829) and Louisa Matilda (c. 1833-1913), who legally belonged to Norcom. Fearing Norcom's persistent sexual threats and hoping that he might relinquish his hold on her children, Jacobs hid herself in the storeroom crawlspace at her grandmother's house from 1835 until 1842. During those seven years Jacobs could
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