Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

  • Chapter 1

  • Harriet

    I was born a slave. The year was 1813;

    Profile Picture of Harriet in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • the place, the coastal town of Edenton, North Carolina.

  • The first six years of my life were happy, partly because my parents concealed from me that I was a slave.

  • My grandmothers were slaves, and my grandfathers were the white men who owned them.

  • My parents were owned by different people, but their owners allowed them to live together in a comfortable home and to take care of my brother William and me.

  • Willie was two years younger than I. My father was an intelligent, skilled carpenter.

  • His owner, Mrs. Jacobs, allowed him to earn his own money, but he had to support his family and pay Mrs. Jacobs $200 a year.

  • People hired him to supervise building con­struction.

  • Father wanted to buy Willie and me from Mrs. Jacobs.

  • He kept offering her all his hard-earned money, but she never agreed.

  • Edenton’s residents called my maternal grandmother

  • “Aunt Martha.”

  • Harriet

    She was the daughter of a white man and a slave whom he owned.

    Profile Picture of Harriet in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • Upon the death of her father, Grand­mother was freed.

  • But on her way to live with some relatives, she was captured and sold to new owners, Mr. and Mrs. Nash.

  • The Nashes found that Grandmother was intelligent, faith­ful, and useful:

  • a valuable piece of property.

  • Mr. Nash was my mother’s father.

  • Three months after my mother was born, Mrs. Nash had a daughter, Ruth.