Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
by Harriet Jacobs
Linda Brent Timeline and Summary
- Linda is born in Edenton, North Carolina, in 1813.
- Her mother dies when she's six, putting a quick end to her happy childhood.
- Linda is sent off to her mother's mistress, who is nice and all but still, you know, a slave owner.
- When Linda is nearly twelve, her mistress dies, and Linda gets a new master: the five-year-old daughter of the villainous Flint family.
- At fourteen, Linda lives with the Flint family, and Mrs. Flint has grown Dursley-style abusive.
- When Linda turns fifteen, Dr. Flint thinks, "Sweet! I can finally start my campaign of molestation!" He physically and verbally abuses her, but she resists.
- Mrs. Flint grows jealous, and Linda fears for her life.
- She sets her sights on Mr. Sands, hoping that he'll buy her if she has sex with him.
- First comes love, then comes the baby carriage, and soon Linda is carrying Mr. Sands’s child.
- Aunt Martha is not thrilled. Neither is Dr. Flint.
- Linda has her baby, and they're both sick for a long time but survive.
- The abuse continues. One day, Dr. Flint throws Linda down the stairs; another time, he throws her son across the room; then, when she gets pregnant a second time, Dr. Flint cuts off all of her hair.
- Dr. Flint finally tells Linda that if she doesn't sleep with him, he'll send her and her children to his son’s plantation.
- Linda is all about going to the plantation rather than having sex with this gross old man, but she leaves her son behind because he's sick.
- After a month at the plantation, Linda runs away and ends up hiding in a crawlspace in Aunt Martha’s shed.
- Meanwhile, Mr. Sands buys Linda’s children.
- Linda writes Dr. Flint a letter from New York in order to convince him that she is living there.
- The plan works, and Dr. Flint makes several trips up north looking for Linda.
- When she learns that Mr. Sands has been elected to Congress and is moving up to Washington, D.C., Linda comes out of hiding to tell him to free her children.
- Linda lives in her cozy little crawlspace for seven years. It might actually be a little too cozy, since she can't stand, sit, or walk.
- Finally, her friend Peter finds her passage on a boat to Philadelphia. She and her friend Fanny stow away on the boat and land in Philadelphia.
- From Philadelphia, they head to New York.
- Things get better in New York. Linda works as a nursemaid to Mrs. Bruce, a nice English-born woman, and even gets to spend time with her daughter, who's living in Brooklyn.
- The whole time, Linda is living in fear of Dr. Flint tracking her down and hauling her back to slavery.
- She has to keep leaving New York to avoid him.
- After Mrs. Bruce dies, Mr. Bruce takes his little girl to England, bringing Linda along as a nurse.
- England is awesome. People might be poor, but at least they're not slaves—and no one seems to care that Linda's black.
- Back in the U.S., the Fugitive Slave Act has made the North a little too hot for Linda. She's constantly afraid of being caught and sent back South.
- Finally, Dr. Flint dies. His daughter and her new husband, Mr. Dodge, try to get Linda back, but the second Mrs. Bruce intervenes and buys her freedom.
- Free at last! Linda and her children are finally safe, even if they still don't have a home to call their own.