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Reader be assured this narrative is no fiction. I am aware that some of my adventures may seem incredible; but they are, nevertheless, strictly true. I have not exaggerated the wrongs inflicted by Slavery; on the contrary, my descriptions fall far short of the facts. I have concealed the names of places, and given persons fictitious names. I had no motive for secrecy on my own account, but I deemed it kind and considerate towards others to pursue this course
Jennifer Fleischner (Ph.D., Columbia) is a professor of English at Adelphi University. She is the author of Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave (2004) and Mastering Slavery: Memory, Family, and Identity in Women's Slave Narratives (1996), as well as the historical novel Nobody’s Boy (2006). With Susan Weisser she is also the co-editor of Feminist Nightmares: Women at Odds: Feminism and the Problem of Sisterhood (1994).
Table of Contents
PART ONE. INTRODUCTION: A New Voice for Freedom Jacobs’s Early Life What Really Happened? Other Dominant Themes The Power of the Pen
Pseudonyms of Key Figures in Incidents in the Life of a
Slave Girl, Written by Herself
PART TWO: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written
by Herself. Edited by L. Maria Child
PART THREE. RELATED DOCUMENTS 1. American Beacon, Advertisement for the Capture of Harriet
Jacobs, July 4, 1835 2. Lydia Maria Child, Charity Bowery, 1844 3. Harriet Jacobs, Letter to Amy Post, 1852? 4. Harriet Jacobs, Letter to Amy Post, April 4, 1853 5. Harriet Jacobs, Letter to Amy Post, March 1854 6. Harriet Jacobs, Letter to Amy Post, June 21, 1857 7. Lydia Maria Child, Letter to Harriet Jacobs, August 13, 1860 8. Weekly Anglo-African, Review of Incidents in the Life of a
Slave Girl, April 13, 1861 9. John S. Jacobs, A True Tale of Slavery, 1861
10. Harriet Jacobs, Life Among the Contrabands, 1862 11. Harriet Jacobs, Letter to Ednah Dow Cheney, April 25, 1867
Appendixes A Harriet Jacobs Chronology (1813-1897) Questions for Consideration Selected Bibliography Index