|Birth: ||Feb. 11, 1815|
North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Mar. 7, 1897|
An American Writer and Activist. She was born a slave in Edenton, North Carolina in 1813. Her mother, Delilah, was the slave of John Horniblow, a tavern-keeper, and her father, Daniel Jacobs, a slave owned by Dr. Andrew Knox. Her mother died when she was six years old and was brought up by her grandmother. In 1825 she was sold to Dr. James Norcom, who made numerous sexual advances towards her. When rebuffed, Norcom refused her permission to marry. She was seduced by Samuel Sawyer, a lawyer, and she had two children Joseph and Louisa by him. Dr. Norcom continued to sexually harass her and threatened to sell her children to a slave-dealer. By 1835 her domestic situation had become unbearable, and she managed to escape. She hid in the home of a slaveowner in Edenton to keep an eye on her children. After a short stay, she took refuge in a swamp called Cabarrus Pocosin. The inexorable harshness of her master drove her to seek refuge in her grandmother Molly's attic, where she lived alone for seven years in gloomy isolation. About 9 feet long, 7 feet wide and 3 feet high, the attic admitted no light until she drilled a tiny hole. It was stifling in the summer and frigid in winter, home to rodents and stinging insects. She could not stand up, and when she rolled over she bumped her head on the roof. Despite the discomfort and the isolation, she preferred staying there to living as Norcom's slave. She lived grandmother's attic before escaping to the North by boat to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1842. Her children lived with her grandmother. Before she escaped from North Carolina, Sawyer purchased her two children from Norcom and gave them freedom. She eventually went to Philadelphia, and finally made her way to New York where she ultimately secured her freedom. She worked as a nursemaid, and wrote on the side, publishing some of her slavery experiences in the New York Tribune, until her serial story was cancelled because it was too shocking for some readers. She continued to write and work, and her book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, was published in Boston in 1861 under the pseudonym "Linda Brent". Her book was one of the first autobiographical narratives about the struggle for freedom by female slaves and an account of the sexual abuse they endured. In addition, she was a reformer, Civil War and Reconstruction relief worker, and antislavery activist. During the war, she began a career working among black refugees. In 1863 she and her daughter moved to Alexandria, where they supplied emergency relief, organized primary medical care, and established the Jacobs Free School for the refugees. After the war, she and her daughter sailed to England and successfully raised money for a home for Savannah's black orphans and aged. Moving to Washington, D.C., she continued to work among the destitute freed people and her daughter worked in the newly established "colored schools" and, later, at Howard University. In 1896, she was present at the organizing meetings of the National Association of Colored Women. (bio by: Jackie)
Elijah Knox (1790 - 1826)
Delilah Horniblow (1790 - 1819)
Joseph Jacobs (1829 - ____)*
Louisa Matilda Jacobs (1833 - 1913)*
Harriet Ann Jacobs (1815 - 1897)
John S. Jacobs (1817 - 1873)*
"Patient in tribulation, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
Mount Auburn Cemetery
Plot: Clethra Path Section, Lot 4389.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Jackie
Record added: Oct 26, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16338196
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Added: Mar. 27, 2016
I've read your book several times. A real hero! I wish they would teach in schools all the atrocities that slaves had to endure. As a mother, I can't imagine my children being sold . We have come a long way but there are still bigotry and racisms in our w...(Read more)|
Added: Feb. 29, 2016
Added: Feb. 1, 2016
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