Documents > Harriet Jacobs to Amy Post. June 21, 1857|
- Jacobs relates to Amy Post of the difficulty in writing of her sexual oppression while enslaved. "Woman can whisperher cruel wrongs into the ear of a very dear friendmuch easier than she can record them for the world to read."
June 21st 
My Dear Friend
A heart full of thanks for your kind and welcomeletter which would have been answered immediatelybut for want of time to think a moment. I would dearly love to talk with you as it would be more satisfactorybut as I cannot I will try to explain myself on paper as well as I can
I have My dear friend . . . [obliterated] Striven faithfully to give a true and just account of my own life in slavry God knows I have tried to do it in a Christian spirit there are somethings that I might have made plainer I know woman can whisperher cruel wrongs into the ear of a very dear friendmuch easier than she can record them for the world to read I have left nothing out but what I thoughtthe world might believe that a Slave woman *was* too willing to pour outthat she might *gain* their sympathies I ask nothing I have placed myself before you to be judged as a woman *whether* . . . [obliterated] I deserve your pity or contempt. I have another object in view it is to come to you just as I am a poor slave Mother not to tell you what I have heard but what I have seenand what I have suffered and if their is any sympathy to givelet it be given to the thousandsof of Slave Mothers that are still in bondagesuffering far more than I have let it plead for their helpless Children that they *. . . [obliterated]* may enjoy the same liberties that my Children now enjoy Say anything of me that you have had from a truthful source that you think best ask me any question you likein regard to the father of my Children I think I have stated all perhaps I did not tell youthat he was a member of Congressat that time all
that of this I have writen I think it would be best for you to begin with our acquaintance and the length of time that I was in your family you advice about about giving the history of my life in Slavry mention that I lived at service *all the* while that I was striving to git the Book out but do not say with whom I lived as I would not use the Willis name neither would I like to have people think that I was living an Idle lifeand had got this book out merely to make money my kind friend I do not restrict you in anything for you know far better than I do what to say I am only too happy to think that I am going to have it from you
[at top of separate sheet] *1st*
I hope you will be able to read my unconnected scrool I have been interupted and called away so oftenthat I hardly know what I have written but I must send it for fear the opportunity will not come to morrowto do better Proffessor Botta and Lady with Ole Bull eldest *son* is hereon a visit from the City beside three other persons that we have had in to spend the day and Baby is just 4 weeks old this morning. houskeping and looking after the Children occupy every moment of my time we have in all five Childrenthree girlsand two boys. Imogen is at home [at top of separate sheet] *2* for the Summer Louise came up and spent a weekwith me she desired much love to you she is not well but looking miserably thin
I have been thinking that I would so like to go away and sell my Book I could then secure a copywright to sell it both here and in Englandand by identifying myself withit I might do something for the Antislavry Cause to do this I would have to
have of *get letters of* introduction. from some of the leading Abolitionist of this Country. to those of the Old when you write tell me what you think of it I must stop for I am in the only spot where I can have a lightand the mosquitoes have taken possession of me much love to all my friendsand Willie and believe me ever yours
- Autograph letter, signed; Isaac and Amy Post Family Papers, University of Rochester Library.