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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl


by Harriet Jacobs

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Chapter 31 Summary

Incidents in Philadelphia

  • When they reach Philadelphia, Linda meets a black man named Rev. Jeremiah Durham, a local minister. He offers Fanny and Linda places to stay for the night, while they wait for a morning car to New York.
  • Linda stays with the Durhams, who are both kind to her, and ask her stories about her life in slavery.
  • She tells them everything—and we mean everything. Mr. Durham says that maybe she shouldn't be quite so open, especially about all the sex.
  • This new city life is blowing Linda's mind. Fire engines, street vendors, portraits of black children—it's crazy.
  • One of their abolitionist friends offers to pay Linda’s way to New York. She refuses, since she has money from Aunt Martha. Instead, they pay Fanny’s way.
  • The women stay in Philadelphia for a few days, until one of Mrs. Durham’s friends offers to accompany them to New York.
  • Here comes Linda’s first experience of northern prejudice: they can ride the train, all right, but they can't ride in first-class. It's coach for them.

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