logo Click BACK to return to basecamp
Lost Teachers
Search Info
White beveled edge

Meet Daphne

Daphne Archive



In Memory of Harriet Jacobs


Who was Harriet Jacobs and what made her so special? Well, for starters, she was born into slavery in 1813 in Edenton, North Carolina. At the age of 12, she was sold to Dr. James Norcom who tried to make her his mistress, but Harriet refused and eventually became involved with another white man in town. Harriet had two children with this man, called Mr. Sawyer, which made Dr. Norcom very mad. According to the law at the time, children of slaves were the property of the slave's owner. In other words, they all belonged to Dr. Norcom.

When she was 22, Harriet decided to run away. After escaping, she spent the next seven years living in her grandmother's shed. Her grandmother, Molly, was a well-respected free black woman in Edenton with many connections. While Harriet was hiding, Mr. Sawyer was able to buy their children from Dr. Norcom.

After seven years of hiding Harriet finally escaped to the north - to the free states. She joined her brother and eventually her children came. But life wasn't easy. She was still considered a runaway slave, which meant that at any time, she could be captured and sent back to Edenton. Her life as a slave ended when one of the women she worked for in New York bought Harriet from the Norcoms and "freed" her. In 1861 she published the book about her life.


Please email me at: daphne@ustrek.org


Links to Other Dispatches

Neda - Lazy summer days? Not for these kids!
Stephanie - How would you like to speak French instead of English?