National Historical Publications & Records Commission

The Harriet Jacobs Family Papers

refer to caption


Harriet Jacobs.


Pace University

University of North Carolina Press

Additional information at


Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813 1897) was an African-American writer who escaped from slavery and became an abolitionist speaker and reformer. Jacobs' single work, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, published in 1861 under the pseudonym Linda Brent, was one of the first autobiographical narratives about the struggle for freedom by female slaves and an account of the sexual harassment and abuse they endured. The Harriet Jacobs Papers consists of approximately 600 items, including writings by Jacobs, her brother John S. Jacobs, and her daughter Louisa Matilda Jacobs, all active reformers. There is also a small group of letters to the Jacobs family from other black and white abolitionists and feminists. In addition, numerous published and unpublished items discuss Jacobs and her family. These include legal documents pertaining to their enslavement, reviews and correspondence concerning Jacobs's book, and texts regarding her reform and relief work during the Civil War and Reconstruction. 

Complete in two volumes

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