Harriet Jacobs (1813 or 1815 – March 7, 1897) was an African-American writer whose autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, published in 1861 under the pseudonym Linda Brent, is now considered an "American classic".
Born into slavery in Edenton, North Carolina, she was sexually harassed by her enslaver. When he threatened to sell her children if she did not submit to his desire, she hid in a tiny crawl space under the roof of her grandmother's house, so low she could not stand up in it.
After staying there for seven years, she finally managed to escape to the free North, where she was reunited with her children Joseph and Louisa Matilda and her brother John S. Jacobs. She found work as a nanny and got into contact with abolitionist and feminist reformers.
Even in New York, her freedom was in danger until her employer was able to pay off her legal owner.
During and immediately after the Civil War, she went to the Union-occupied parts of the South together with her daughter, organizing help and founding two schools for fugitive and freed slaves.