Black History Month Report: Harriet Jacobs

Wednesday we kicked off our series of reports in honor of “Black History Month” shining the spotlight on an Eastern Carolina woman who hid in an attic for nearly seven years waiting for her chance for freedom.

The year was1813. The woman was Harriett Jacobs. Jacobs was born into slavery in the town of Edenton, Chowan County. Her life story was much like that of any slave during that time, but it was upon hearing of an underground railroad to freedom that Jacobs began to write a new chapter to her story.

That chapter included an escape plan. Jacobs hid in a small attic above her grandmother’s house for six years and eleven months, waiting for the perfect opportunity to join hundreds of others who made their way toward a new life.

She eventually escaped from by way of the maritime underground railroad and was inspired to write about her autobiography called “Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl."

That book, written under a pen name initially to protect Jacobs and her family, is now considering by many among most riveting accounts of slave life.

You can find an exhibit honoring Jacobs at the Edenton Visitor Center throughout the month of February.


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