Praised by the antislavery press in the United States and Great Britain, was quickly overshadowed by the gathering clouds of civil war in America. Never reprinted in Jacobs's lifetime, it remained in obscurity until the Civil Rights and Women's Movements of the 1960s and 1970s spurred a reprint of in 1973. Not until the extensive archival work of Jean Fagan Yellin did begin to take its place as a major African American slave narrative. Published in Yellin's admirable edition of (Harvard University Press, 1987), Jacobs's correspondence with Child helps lay to rest the long-standing charge against Incidents that it is at worst a fiction and at best the product of Child's pen, not Jacobs's. Child's letters to Jacobs and others make clear that her role as editor was no more than she acknowledged in her introduction to : to ensure the orderly arrangement and directness of the narrative, without adding anything to the text or altering in any significant way Jacobs's manner of recounting her story.


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