No one in today’s society can even come close to the heartache, torment, anguish, and complete misery suffered by women in slavery. Many women endured this agony their entire lives, there only joy being there children and families, who were torn away from them and sold, never to be seen or heard from again.
In the book, Incidents in the Life of Slave Girl, Linda Brent tells a spectacular story of her twenty years spent in slavery with her master Dr. Flint, and her jealous Mistress. She speaks of her trials and triumphs as well as the harms done to other slaves. She takes you on the inside of slavery and shows you the Hell on Earth slavery really was. She tells you the love and heartbreak she experienced being an unmarried slave mother. At around the age of twenty or so, Linda escapes and ends up in very small garret only nine foot long and seven foot wide. So small she could not even stand up. She lived in this hole with no light, no fresh air, and barely ever moved for almost seven years. She finally escaped and made it to the North where she and her children lived much happier and most of all they lived free.
Linda Brent said, "Slavery is terrible for men, but is far more terrible for women." She makes a good and true point, for when her life and the life of other slave women is compared to men’s, mentally, slavery takes a much larger toll on the suffering of women. Women are responsible for their children, because the children follow the mother and mothers often fill guilty for bringing children into the cruel world of slavery. As Linda Brent expresses, "I often prayed for death; but now I didn’t want to die, unless my child could die too . . .(Benny) it’s clinging fondness was a mixture of love and pain . . . Sometimes I wished that he (Benny) might die in infancy . . .Death is better than slavery". In the book Linda has mixed feelings about her children because she so dearly loves them. She doesn’t want them to suffer in slavery as she has so she wishes they would die, but she loves them and she doesn’t want to lose them as many slave mothers had. How torn and incapable she must have felt as a slave mother. Linda also speaks of "The Slaves New Year’s Day", this was the time that slaves everywhere were sold and leased. Many mothers were torn from their husbands and their children. Linda speak...
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...or her mistress, Mrs. Dodge, whom she’d heard had been very low of funds and needed Linda simply to get some money. Sure enough she showed up, Linda ran with the baby she nursed to California to stay with her brother. Benny was learning a trade with her brother and Ellen was in boarding school. At last her dear friend Mrs. Bruce bought her for three-hundred dollars. The Dodge’s were so certain they’d never find her and so low on finances that they probably would have sold her for anything. At last Linda and her children were free. Never to become captured by the Fugitive Slave Law. Never to have to look over their shoulder for someone that might know them and turn them in. What a relief that must have been after living such a long life as a fugitive slave and poor slave mother.
As you could see Ms. Linda Brent was a very strong woman who’s love for her children and determination for them not to live the horrible slave life she had made her and her children free. Free to what though? Freedom just to say that they weren’t a piece of property. Freedom to build and live in their own home and raise a family without fear that any person might take that happiness away at any moment.
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