Incidents in the Life of a slave girl.
To have read the book the incidents in the life of a slave girl brought tears to my eyes and
sadness to my heart. Just to read and understand the life of being a slave and all that was endured by
the slaves. When one is treated like a piece of property, like an animal rather than like a human being all
due to the color of their skin.
The slaves were treated as animals, as property and not as ones having feelings, or having a soul a life or
admiration. They were sold as animals and brought with the highest bid. Sad so sad to be treaty as
nobodies, to be taken from ones own safe haven, from ones own environment and to be captured as
animals shackled in chains and put on a ship to be taken across to an unknown territory to be bought as
property. To have been beaten like an animal until the blood shed from one’s body, mocked ;laughed
at, belittled, having to call another human being master and to be given a name that wasn’t your own.
Bought by a slaveholder and belittled and disgraced as a human being, a cry for freedom is a cry that
was felt in the hearts of every slave particularly by those who were being very mistreated and beat
upon on a regular basis. A cry for freedom is the cry one could possibly hear back in the day of slavery.
Harriet Jacobs was a slave who for the most part had a good life as a slave, she was not beaten
on a regular basis nor did she have to go without as far as having a good meal. She had family and
friends who loved and cared about her. And as time goes on she had children who also loved and cared
for her and were also treated very well for the most part. But she wanted more out of her life than to be
just a slave, she wanted her freedom, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Harriet possessed a strength
that is beyond compare, she possessed a will power that helped her to believe in herself and to know
that she was more than just a piece of property, a piece of meat. Harriet was harassed by her
slaveholder, Mr. Flint on a regular basis. Today one knows that the type of harassment that Mr. Flint was
expressing towards Harriet was sexual harassment. He was obsessed with her in a sickening way. But
Harriet kept the faith and stuck to her beliefs, her dignity and her respect and never gave into Mr. Flint,
although she did give into a Mr. Sands. Not only did she give into Mr. Sands but she has two babies by
him and this brings out a serious rage from Mr. Flint, and Harriet refuses all deals made by Mr. Flint.
Harriet runs away from her slaveholder and becomes a fugitive. This is when the fugitive law is first
talked about in this book. “In April 24, 1851 a poster warning colored people in Boston about policemen
acting as slave catchers.” It read “CAUTION!!!! COLORED PEOPLE OF BOSTON, ONE & ALL you are
hereby respectfully CAUTIONED and advised, to avoid conversing with the Watchmen and Police
Officers of Boston,” The poster was basically warning the colored people that the Mayor had sent
out an order giving kidnappers and slave catchers authority, and for the colored people to trust no
one because there were bloodhounds out on their tracks trying to track in order to return them.
“The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was a Federal Law which was written with the intention of
enforcing Article 4 Section 2 of the United States Constitution.” This constitution required that runaway
slaves, fugitives be returned to their masters even after they had made it to free states.
The Fugitive Slave Act was an act in which the issues for runaways was older than the
Constitution. It proved to be the most explosive act of the Compromise measures. What ever happened
to the Golden Rule? This means we should treat others the way we want to be treated. The precepts
Of justice was violated when the Act was written and carried out. It was an Act in which gave southern
Slave owners the legal force to go and take back their slaves who escaped to the North to
Be free. This was an Act in which the Southerners loved and felt was important to them because it gave
the slave owners a sense of security. In that it was a sense of we’ll give you this for that. It was a quid
Pro quo situation in which the South made an agreement not to secede in the exchange it gave the
slave owners a peace of mind.
The Fugitive Slave Act contained a provision for the return of any runaway slaves. “Person held to
service or labor in one state who escaped to another.” The fugitive Slave Act is exactly what it was, it
was another way designed by the white man, the slaveholder to keep people of color in bondage.
A lot of slaves became fugitives because they would run away in search of a better life. They also
became fugitives because they were tired of being beat up on and being mistreated, they searched
in hopes of being free and fled to a free state. They did remain free at one point but when the Fugitive
Slave Act was written and passed, they were no longer free and would have to be sent back to their
slaveholder whenever and wherever they were found. The interesting yet sad thing about this act is that
even the free African Americans were also being taken back as slaves. They were taken back because
they had no way of proving that they were not fugitives because they could not speak on their behalf.
And anyone who harbored a fugitive would have to face harsh punishments and fines.
The kidnappers the slave catchers did not want to hear anything the slave had to say because of
the color of their skin. In order to reclaim a slave, the only thing a slave owner had to do at the slave
owners hearing was to pay a commissioner. For keeping a person in shackles a commissioner was paid
$10, but paid only $5 for setting him free. The Separation of Powers was one of the first ways in which
The Fugitive Slave Act violated justice. It allowed for connection between enforcement in judicial
decisions. Due to the commissioners at the slave owners hearing being paid more for keeping the
slaves in shackles and less for setting them free it proved that the commissioners were more interested
in personal financial gain than in then Constitutional rights of free blacks. Primarily because over the
first 15 months of the Fugitive Slave Act, about 84 cases of alleged fugitives returned to their owners
and only about 5 alleged blacks were let go. Personal financial gain that’s what that was all about.
being a person of color back in those days meant one was hunted down like an animal and it
meant you were a nobody and you had no voice. Wow! Times have truly changed, back then a black
man had no voice, but nowadays a black man is President of the United States of America. What a
blessing to know that the color of ones skin can no longer keep us in bondage on a lot of things in this
day and age. Time has changed, and thank God he blessed me to live in this time, this day and age and
not in the day and age of my ancestors. The mind is willing but the flesh is weak, I don’t think that I
would have made it back when Linda was around. To have endured all that she endured so that she and
her children could be free. A mother’s love is so one that is so phenomenal and so unconditional.
In this book Incidents in the life of a slave girl, Linda shows her phenomenal love for children and for
herself. She stood up for what she believed in and this is why she and her children were eventually free.
She was no longer a fugitive in her society, she was finally free. Free at last free at last thank God oh
mighty they were finally free at last. Harriet taught me a lot in this book, she taught me to never give up
even when faced with adversities in life to hang in there and to not give up to keep the faith God is able.
This was a wonderful book and one that should be shared with all, and I’m so happy it was one of our