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Harriet Jacob's slavery account (Essay Sample)

Paper Assignment The antebellum period – the thirty or so years before the Civil War – saw the publication of a number of autobiographies by former slaves. Perhaps the most famous of these slave narratives is by Frederick Douglass. Harriet A. Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl(ISBN: 978-0-451-53146-9) first appeared in 1861 on the eve of the Civil War, and is one of the few written by a woman. Slave narratives helped expose the cruelty of conditions endured by African American slaves in the South and kept the human dimension of the issue before the public as politicians fought over the future of the “peculiar institution.” Southern attempts to explain away the efficacy of slavery for all those involved in it were mocked by the firsthand accounts of those who had escaped bondage. For your paper I want you to discuss Jacobs's account of slavery, paying particular attention to the following issues: - The importance of family to slaves - Who was her audience — that is, to whom was the narrative directed? How does Jacobs appeal to that audience? - The double burden of being a slave and a woman Include in your paper a discussion of these issues, but do not limit yourself to them if you want to broaden the focus. To support and illustrate your argument, it is best to paraphrase passages in the book rather than relying on extensive quotation. I appreciate that sometimes a passage can be so compelling – so perfect as evidence for a point you are trying to make – that it's irresistible, but try to limit your use of quotations and keep them as brief as possible. Overuse can dramatically dilute their impact. If you quote from the book in your review, include the page number in parentheses after the quotation. Once you've finished writing, if at all possible let your paper sit overnight before you return to it. Go over it again carefully, paying special attention to its organization and your prose: remove the awkward grammar, and ensure your punctuation and spelling are correct. Your paper will be much improved by careful attention to these matters. The paper should be at least 5 double-spaced pages – that is, 1500 words – in length. Leave one inch margins on all sides of the paper, and use a standard font size – 10-12 characters per inch. Finally, please remember to include your name and the course title and number on a cover sheet or at the head of the first page. The paper is due November 27. source..

Harriet Jacob`s slavery account
Author`s name
Harriet Ann Jacob was born in 1813 in Edenton, North Carolina. She was the first born in a family of two children. She was born to Daniel Jacobs, her father, and Delilah Jacobs. Her father, a white slave, belonged to Dr. Andrew Knox while the mother belonged to John Horniblow, a bar owner. Her parents were referred to as mulattoes due to their complexion. At the beginning of the civil war, Harriet was the first woman to document her persecutions while she was a slave. She wrote of the unjust discrimination, humiliation and suffering she underwent while at the mercy of her masters. This paper will focus on analyzing as well as understanding the challenges that faced the slaves before the emergence of the civil war (Harriet, 1861).
At a young age, Harriet lived oblivious of the fact that she was born in a generation of slaves. Her maternal grandmother was the daughter of a farmer who was also a slave. Daniel Jacob was a carpenter who was popular due to his skills and talent. His services were demanded both locally and across the boundaries. His master however, only allowed him to work on far land on condition that he would maintain himself and send his mistress two hundred dollars per annum. Unfortunately at the age of six years, when Harriet`s mother died, she was forced to face the cruel world of slavery.
Although the life of a slave is marked with various challenges, they always sacrificed their all for their families. When Harriet was young, her father worked hard in the hope that he would save enough money to free his children from slavery. He however, died before he could achieve this and all the money he sent to his mistress was not enough to purchase his children`s freedom. Harriet`s grandmother was the daughter of a farmer who by the time of death had saved enough to save his wife and children from the bondage of slavery. However, on their way to their way to St Augustine, they were captured and sold to a different master.
Harriet`s grandmother worked for the owner of a big hotel. Due to her intelligence and hard work, she became a famous cook and baker of crackers. As the master did not want to lose her, they allowed her to run a separate profitable business from which the proceeds would help in financing her family`s needs. The grandmother had five children. She worked very hard so as to get enough money to purchase her children`s freedom. However, she once made a contract with her mistress and lost all the money she had saved to free her children.
Later on, her grandmother`s master died and all his property was to be divided amongst his wife and children. The master`s property included the hotel, land, slaves among other physical assets. The mistress decided to split her grandmother`s children among her four children. Since Harriet`s` grandmother`s children were five, the youngest was sold and the money obtained was subdivided amongst the h...
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