Study Guide

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Chapter 9

By Harriet Jacobs

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Chapter 9

Sketches of Neighboring Slaveholders

  • Linda gives sketches of three slaveholders in her neighborhood.
  • Exhibit A: Mr. Litch tortures his slaves through starvation, physical torture, and, sometimes, murder.
  • His brother is no better. When a slave runs away, he lets his bloodhounds loose to tear the flesh from his bones.
  • Exhibit B: Mr. Conant punishes a slave by tying him a tree, whipping him, and leaving him to freeze to death in winter.
  • Exhibit C: Mrs. Wade beats her slaves all day, from morning to night.
  • Sure, some slaveholders are very kind. Like, there was this one female slaveholder who treated her slaves like family.
  • Buuut…. she ended up marrying a very mean man who raped the female slaves.
  • And you'd better believe all this is true. Linda is speaking from personal experience and twenty-one years of observation.
  • The moral of this chapter? The institution of slavery is a curse to whites and blacks alike.

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