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"Linda," review of "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself" by Harriet A. Jacobs

FROM The Weekly Anglo-African 13 April 1861.

INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL, written by Herself. Edited by L. Maria Child. Boston: published for the author. 1861.

In such volumes as this, the true romance of American life and history is to be found, Patient suffering, heroic daring, untiring zeal, perseverance seemingly unparalleled, and growth from surroundings of degradation and ignorance to education, refinement, and power; all find in these modest pages their simple, yet affecting narrative. It is the "oft told tale" of American slavery, in another and more revolting phase than that which is general seen. More revolting because it is of the spirit and not the flesh. In this volume, a woman tells in words of fire, yet never overstepping the bounds of the truest purity, not, how she was scourged and maimed, but that far more terrible sufferings endured by and inflicted upon woman, by a system which legalizes concubinage, and offers a premium to licentiousness. No one can read these pages without a feeling of horror, and a stronger determination arising in them to tear down the cursed system which makes such records possible. Wrath, the fiery messenger which goes flaming from the roused soul and overthrows in its divine fury the accursed tyrannies of the earth; will find in these pages new fuel for the fire, and new force for the storm which shall overthrow and sweep from existence American slavery.

The name of the editor of the volume, Mrs. Child, is a sufficient endorsement of its literary merit. It is due however to the author to state that but little change has been made [illegible (3 or 4 words)]. Mrs. Child says: — "Such changes as I have made have been mainly for the purposes of condensation and orderly arrangement. I have not added anything to the incidents, or changed the import of her very pertinent remarks. With trifling exceptions, both the ideas and the language are her own. I pruned excresences [sic] a little, but otherwise I had no reason for changing her lively and dramatic way of telling her own story. The names of both persons and places are known to me; but for good reasons I suppress them."

The volume is a handsome, well printed 12mo, of 306 pages, price $1. It may be obtained at the Anti-Slavery Offices in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and of Thos. Hamilton, 48 Beekman St., New York.

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