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Linda brent the life of a slave girl

She felt obligated to change the names and hide the details of her escape route" William Loren Katz, Flight From the Devil: Six Slave Narratives, p. Just as male slaves were beaten whipped, lashed, clubbed, etc. Masters and mistresses used such punishments to control and dehumanize their slaves. In essence, these slaves were brought to the level of animals; there was little regard for their anguish.

The following passage as told by Harriet Jacobs demonstrates the cruel practices of one misteress, and the effects it had on two slave women: At no hour of the day was there a cessation of the lash on her premises.

Her labors began with the dawn, and did not cease until long after nightfall. The barn was her particular place of torture. There she lashed slaves with the might of a man. Day and night I prays to die.

Turning to Literature to Prove Equality

A slave who had nursed her children, and had still a child in her care, watcher her chance, and stole with it in her arms o the room where lay her dead mistress. He could not imagine how the nurse could obtain access to the room where the corpse lay; for he kept the door locked, He questioned her.

She confessed that what the child had said was true, and told how she had procured the key. She was sold to Georgia" Harriet Jacobs, p. Along with the beatings, slave women suffered from abuses unique to their gender.

Men were primarily punished by torture or death, but added to those women were emotionally and verbally wronged. Flint learned that I was again to be a mother, he was exasperated beyond measure.

  1. She is an independent spirit, and Dr.
  2. During her childhood in Edenton, young Harriet lived with her mother as part of a close-knit family.
  3. Men were primarily punished by torture or death, but added to those women were emotionally and verbally wronged.
  4. Her labors began with the dawn, and did not cease until long after nightfall. He staid at the north.

He rushed from the house, and returned with a pair of shears. I had a fine head of hair; and he often railed about my pride of arranging it nicely. He cut every hair close to my head, storming and swearing all the time. I replied in some of his abuse, and he struck me. Some months before, he had pitched me down a flight of stairs in a fit of passion; and the injury I received was so serious that I was unable to turn myself in bed for many days.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Not only was Jacobs subjected to sexual advances by this man, she was under his constant supervision. After numerous incidents with Dr. Flint, Jacobs spoke of the hopelessness of female slavery: The lash and the foul talk of her master and his sons are her teachers. When she is fourteen or fifteen, her owner, or his sons, or the overseer, or perhaps all of them, begin to bribe her with presents. If these fail to accomplish their purpose, she is whipped or starved into submission to their will.

She may have religious principles inculcated by some pious mother or grandmother, or some good mistress; she may have a lover, whose good opinion and peace of mind are dear to her heart; or the profligate men who have power over her my be exceedingly odious to her. But resistance is hopeless" p. Because of his harbored desires, he simultaneously treated Harriet better than other plantation or house slaves, yet at the same tried to keep every aspect of her live firmly under his control.

Familial slave relations were inevitably influenced by the constant selling and transporting of their kin.

Linda Brent

Jacobs paid particular attention to the passion she felt for her children. I have selected several passages from her narrative that reflect her will to have her children freed. She risked death for this cause, even abandoning her boy Benny and girl Ellen in the hopes that they would be sold to a more kindly master than Dr.

The intense love between mother and children was a consistent theme throughout the entire narrative.

  1. She risked death for this cause, even abandoning her boy Benny and girl Ellen in the hopes that they would be sold to a more kindly master than Dr.
  2. Her labors began with the dawn, and did not cease until long after nightfall.
  3. Sometimes I wished that he might die in infancy.

My master had power and law on his side; I had a determined will. There is might in each" p. Children and families were often separated and shipped to very distant parts of the nation.

This poor old creature had witnessed the sale of her children, and seen them carried off to parts unknown, without any hopes of ever hearing from them again.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

He staid at the north. Although her children and grandchildren were either deceased or had run away, she could thank the Lord that they were not still captive in the slave institution. Children brought both joy and sorrow to slave mothers. They wept at the knowledge that their babies would be shackled under slavery, but simultaneously found escape and mirth in their existence. When he was a year old, they called him beautiful.

The little vine was taking deep root in my existence, though its clinging fondness excited a solace in his smiles. I loved to watch his infant slumbers; but always there was a dark cloud over my enjoyment.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself

I could never forget that he was a slave. Sometimes I wished that he might die in infancy. My darling became very ill. The bright eyes grew dull, and the little feet and hands were so icy cold that I thought death had already touched them. I had prayed for his death, but never so earnestly as I now prayed for his life; and my prayer was heard.

Alas, what a mockery it is for a slave mother to try to pray back her dying child to life! Death is better than slavery" p.