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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl | Study Guide

Harriet Jacobs

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Course Hero. "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Study Guide." November 28, 2016. Accessed June 6, 2023.


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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl | Characters

Character Description
Linda Brent Determined and strong-willed, Linda is the main character of the narrative. Read More
Dr. Flint A physician, Dr. Flint is married to the mother of Linda's mistress. Read More
Aunt Martha Aunt Martha is Linda's maternal grandmother and the loving mother of nine children. Read More
Mr. Sands Mr. Sands is a generous and articulate white lawyer and the father of Linda's children; he eventually serves in Congress and returns from Washington with a wife. Read More
Benny Benny is Linda's bright and cheerful son, her first child with Mr. Sands. Read More
Ellen Linda's tender, demure daughter, Ellen, is her second child with Mr. Sands. Read More
Phillip A carpenter, Phillip is Linda's uncle and the son of Martha, who purchases his freedom. Read More
Aggie Aggie is an old slave who loses all of her children to the auction block.
Benjamin Vivacious, handsome Benjamin is Linda's uncle and Martha's youngest son; he escapes to New York following his imprisonment.
Betty Outgoing and caring, Betty is the kind benefactress's cook; she helps conceal Linda.
Betty's husband Betty's husband loves children and regrets being childless.
Bill Dr. and Mrs. Flint's slave, he carries Ellen back to jail when she is sick.
Mary Bruce Mary is Mr. and Mrs. Bruce's first-born child, whom Linda takes cares of.
Mr. Bruce Mr. Bruce is a widower who remarries; a father of two, he lives in New York.
Mrs. Bruce (first) Mrs. Bruce (first) is the mother of Mary, whom Linda nurses, and she is Mr. Bruce's first wife.
Mrs. Bruce An abolitionist, Mrs. Bruce is Linda's kind boss and Mr. Bruce's second wife; she hides Linda from pursuers and purchases her freedom.
Charity Charity is a slave and Linda's childhood acquaintance.
Mr. Conant Mr. Conant is a cruel slaveholder.
Emily Dodge Emily Dodge, formerly Emily Flint, is Linda's mistress; while still a child, she inherits Linda.
Mr. Dodge Mr. Dodge is Emily Dodge's husband; he sells Linda to Mrs. Bruce after Dr. Flint dies.
Mrs. Durham Mrs. Durham is Rev. Durham's kind and intelligent wife.
Mrs. Durham's daughter Mrs. Durham's daughter shares a room with Linda in Philadelphia.
Rev. Jeremiah Durham A minister at Bethel Church and husband of Mrs. Durham, Rev. Durham hosts Linda while she stays in Philadelphia.
Fanny Fanny is a friend of Linda's who sails to Philadelphia with her.
Cousin Fanny Cousin Fanny is Linda's friend who lives with Martha for a while.
Miss Fanny Miss Fanny is Mr. Flint's great-aunt; she purchases Martha's freedom and has tea with her often.
Dr. Flint's friend When Linda wants to marry her lover, Dr. Flint's sympathetic friend tries to reason with her master.
Mr. Flint Dr. and Mrs. Flint's son, he owns a cotton plantation where Linda works.
Mrs. Flint Mrs. Flint is the cruel young wife of Mr. Flint.
Nicholas Flint Nicholas is William's master.
Uncle Fred A devout Christian, Uncle Fred wants to get closer to God by reading the Bible; Linda teaches him to read.
Free black man The free black man colludes with the whites and hunts Linda.
Friend from home At Linda's request, her friend from home visits the Dodges' hotel room to pry for information.
Gentleman Fond of Martha, the gentleman, while touring the plantation, warns Linda that her master is sending for her children.
Mr. Hobbs Mr. Hobbs is Mrs. Hobbs's husband and likes to drink with Mr. Thorne.
Mrs. Hobbs Mrs. Hobbs is the cousin of Mr. Sands and later Ellen's employer; she neglects Ellen.
Lawyer Hopper Lawyer Hopper is Mrs. Bruce's friend; he gives Linda legal advice.
Humane slaveholder The humane slaveholder inherits slaves who adore her; after marrying a selfish man who mistreats her and her slaves, she finds relief in death.
James James, Charity's son and thus also a slave, is cruelly murdered by an overseer.
Jenny Jenny is the kind benefactress's housemaid; she tries to unlock Linda's hiding place.
Kind benefactress The kind benefactress offers to hide Linda until she can escape North, as long as her name remains confidential.
Linda's father Linda's father is a respected carpenter who pays his mistress a fee to work in his trade; he dies shortly after Linda's mother.
Linda's friend Linda's friend offers to hide her when she flees the plantation and she tends to Linda's snakebite.
Linda's lover A freeborn man, Linda's lover is a pious and intelligent carpenter; he proposes to Linda and offers to buy her freedom.
Linda's mistress Linda's mistress teaches her how to read and write; when she passes away, she breaks her promise to free Linda.
Linda's mother Linda's mother is Martha's daughter; she creates a loving home and protects her children from slavery until she dies.
Mr. Litch Mr. Litch is a cruel and wealthy slaveholder.
Mr. Litch's brother Mr. Litch's brother is a cruel slaveholder who trains bloodhounds.
Martha's mistress Martha's mistress is the mother of Dr. Flint's wife; she dies without repaying a loan Martha had made to her.
Mourning mother When all of her children are traded, the mourning mother breaks down in church.
Nancy Nancy is Linda's kind aunt, Martha's daughter, and housekeeper and waiting maid for Mrs. Flint.
Nicholas's brother Nicholas's brother spreads lies about William to get him in trouble.
Northern women Northern women are Linda's intended readers; she often addresses them directly.
Peter Apprentice and best friend to Linda's father, Peter is Linda's protective and trustworthy friend; he helps her escape.
Rev. Mr. Pike After the African American church is destroyed, Rev. Mr. Pike holds the Sunday service for slaves; his teachings serve slaveholders.
Amy Post Amy Post is Linda's dear friend; she employs Linda for almost a year.
Isaac Post Amy's husband and a valued friend of Linda's, Isaac Post employs Linda for almost a year.
Sally Sally is loyal and lives with Martha; when Linda flees, she helps her and keeps her secret.
Fanny Sands Fanny is Mr. Sands's daughter, whom he favors over Ellen.
Mrs. Sands Mr. Sands's wife, who returns with him from the North.
Mrs. Sands's sister Mrs. Sands's sister likes Ellen and offers to adopt her.
Sarah Sarah is the daughter of Martha's friend who lives in New York.
Second clergyman The second clergyman preaches equality and is loved by the slaves.
Mr. Thorne Mr. Thorne is Mrs. Hobbs's brother who visits from the South; a heavy drinker, he reveals Linda's address to Dr. Flint.
Town constable A slave owner and trader, the town constable abuses his authority; Martha invites him to Christmas dinner for a house tour.
Mrs. Wade Mrs. Wade is a cruel slaveholder.
William Affectionate and bold, William is Linda's younger brother.
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