The treatment of women in the United States during slavery varied depending on time, and parts of the country. Slavery in the United States can be traced back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when it was legal in the country and became common within much of the nation until it got abolished when the Emancipation Proclamation was introduced. It was awful for women like Harriet Jacobs who was a writer, abolitionist, speaker, and reformer.
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She escaped to the north in 1842, where she was taken in by anti-slavery friends from the Philadelphia vigilante committee. They helped her get to New York in September in 1845, where she was able to help many freed slaves. In 1861, Jacobs’ autography Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl which reveals Jacobs’ hardship as a slave woman, how she overcame challenges and gained freedom for herself and for her children was published. The other article, Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage, which was written by Mustakeem (2016) also reveals how slave women and men treated, got unexpectedly abducted from their villages, and forcefully travelled over the Atlantic ocean to be exchanged as commodities or sold during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This book exposes how the unexpectedly abducted slaves’ voyages got treated and the disappointing experiences; in particular, women slaves had to face such as getting raped, being tied up together as animals and getting thrown off the boats to demolish their feelings and dehumanize them in order to avoid fighting back or escaping. These both books, explain in depth how the treatment of slave women in slavery looked like during the Antebellum History of the United States of America which is considered to be the period between the war of 1812 and civil war.
The women’s movement could be able to arouse sorrow for mistreated women among whites and obtain their help for their anti-slavery movement led by abolitionists and could initiate a government towards the introduction of the Emancipation Proclamation. In the 1800s, women were thought to be weak, unintelligent, and overall inferior to men in their communities; moreover, women born into slavery had a harsh and disappointing time. For instance, Harriet Jacobs, daughter of Delilah, the slave of Margaret Hornblow, and Daniel Jacobs, the slave of Andrew Knox, came to this world in Edenton, North Carolina, in the fall of 1813. Jacobs had no idea that she was the property of someone (a slave) until her mother died at her age of six. When Jacobs turned 12, her mistress who taught her how to read, write, and sew died since then she started facing obstacles that she was not expected. She had two children at her age of 20, but sexual exploitation drove her into hiding for 7-years until she was able to escape to New York in 1842.
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