Live Of A Slave Girl
Life of a Slave Girl
Harriet Jacobs constantly refers to friends that help her through her plight for freedom. Relying on the kindness of others seems to be a trend through out her life. Harriet was always helped out when she was a slave and when she escaped from slavery. When ever she got into troubble someone always came to her rescue. Everyone that came to her rescue was risking themselves when they would aid her. Be it a good old friend from the past, someone who knew her mother or a random stranger in the last expected place, there was always someone to save her. She thankfully accepted every bit of aid that came her way.
Countless times Harriet speaks of geting help from someone whom she knew when she was little, be it an old friend or someone who is helping her because they knew her mother. People always wanted to help her, and this makes me wonder what she was like. Not once in her story does Harriet describe herself or do we get to know much about her other then how troubbled she always is.
Harriet was someone of a very strong moral character. Her second master Dr. Flint was relentless in his desires to have her as his lover yet she never gave in. In the situation of a slave this was very unusual. There was nothing to stop Dr. Flint from sticking Harriet in jail or whiping her untill she couldnt stand anymore for no other reason then he felt like it. Yet she would not do anything she chose not to. She eventually ran away from him after spending years in his service and spent seven years hiding in an atic that summed up to be a large coffin then serve him and his family any more. She would rather torchure herself then submit to the Flints and do something she felt was wrong.
At the age of six Harriet learned to read and write from her first master. Harriet had a very strong belief in god. Her ability to read was a great strength to her because it allowed her to learn the word of god and understand it better. At many points in her life she was unable to attend church for fear of being captured and returned to Dr. Flint. The Bible was the only thing she could turn to for compfort and relief.
Everytime someone did anything for Harriet she was eternally gratefull. Be it some food, clothing, kind words or sheltering her from her enimys. One man told her about her children coming to join her on the plantation, and she says to this day she is grateful to that gentleman for the information. Just a few words from one man and she is is forever thankful to him. Every person that had every done anything for her stayed in her heart and kindly remembered. Most people today take everything soo lightly that it shows a lot about her that she might be thankful to someone no matter the case.
Through out her plight she made many friends and allys. From people asked to help her to people who noticed she was in troubble and did all they possibly could with out thinking about the reprocussions if their help was found out. Most of her assistence in escaping slavery came from completely unexpected places.
Betty, the slave of a wealthy slave trader's wife was one of the people who played a large role in Harriet's escape. They had met before but we are not told to what extent Betty and Harriet knew eachother. Betty's mistress was the one hiding Harriet out of the kindness of her heart yet Betty was the one who did everything to conseal her. She faithfully hid Harriet and took care of her as best she could. At one point Betty states that she would rather see Harriet free then to be free herself. This type of thing amazes me, that someone, not family, who had almost no attachment to someone could so honistly help someone else. Though Betty was the first to give everything to help Harriet, many others helped her get away as well.