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Collections >> Titles by Harriet A. Jacobs (Harriet Ann) >> Harriet Jacobs' report "Savannah Freedmen's Orphan Asylum." Anti-Slavery Reporter March 2, 1868


Harriet A. Jacobs

FROM Anti-Slavery Reporter 2 March 1868, 57-58.

We have much pleasure in publishing the following Appeal. It is made by a well-known victim of Slavery, Linda Brent, now Harriet Jacob[s], whose narrative, entitled "Linda," every one should read. We hope her appeal will be met with a generous response.


"My object in visiting England is to solicit aid in the erection of an Orphan Asylum in connection with a home for the destitute among the aged freedmen of Savannah, Georgia. There are many thousand orphans in the southern states. In a few of the states homes have been established through the benevolence of Northern friends; in others, no provision has been made except through the Freedmen's Bureau, which provides that the orphan be apprenticed till of age. It not unfrequently happens that the apprenticeship is to the former owner. As the spirit of Slavery is not exorcised yet, the child, in many instances, is cruelly treated. It is our earnest desire to do something for this class of children; to give them a shelter surrounded by some home influences, and instruction that shall fit them for usefulness, and, when apprenticed, the right of an oversight. I know of the degradation of Slavery—the blight it leaves; and, thus knowing, feel how strong the necessity is of throwing around the young, who, through God's mercy, have come out of it, the most salutary influences.

"The aged freedmen have likewise a claim upon us. Many of them are worn out with field-labour. Some served faithfully as domestic slaves, nursing their masters and masters' children. Infirm, penniless, homeless, they wander about dependent on charity for bread and shelter. Many of them suffer and die from want. Freedom is a priceless boon, but its value is enhanced when accompanied with some of life's comforts. The old freed man and the old freed woman have obtained their's after a long weary march through a desolate way. If some peace and light can be shed on the steps so near the grave, it were but human kindness and Christian love.

"I was sent as an agent to Savannah in 1865 by the Friends of New-York city. I there found that a number of coloured persons had organized a Society for the relief of freed orphans and aged freedmen. Their object was to found an asylum, and take the destitute of that class under their care. They asked my co-operation. I promised my assistance, with the understanding that they should raise among themselves the money to purchase the land. They are now working for that purpose. Their plan is to make the institution wholly, or in part, self-sustaining. It is proposed to cultivate the land (about fifteen acres) in vegetables and fruit. The institution will thereby be supplied, while a large surplus will remain for market sale. Poultry will also be raised for the market. This arrangement will afford a pleasant occupation to many of the old people, and a useful one to the older children out of school hours. I am deeply sensible of the interest taken and the aid rendered by the friends of Great Britain since the emancipation of Slavery. It is a noble evidence of their joy at the downfall of American Slavery and the advancement of human rights. I shall be grateful to any who shall respond to my efforts for the object in view. Every mite will tell in the balance.


"Contributions can be sent to

"STAFFORD ALLEN, ESQ., Honorary Secretary, 17, Church Street.

ROBERT ALSOP, ESQ., 36 Park Road, Stoke Newington, N.

MRS. PETER TAYLOR, Aubrey House, Notting Hill, W."

Titles by Harriet A. Jacobs (Harriet Ann)