The Harriet Jacobs Papers

Segregation 1868 – 1917

1868 – 1877 Retreat North focuses on Jacobs’s life in Massachusetts; her trip to England to fund an orphanage and old people’s home for black Savannah; her involvement with the New England Women’s Club, and her Cambridge boarding house for Harvard faculty and students, where she met Archibald and Francis Grimke. At the beginning of this period, in the face of KKK terror, Jacobs and Louisa retreated north, where Louisa campaigned for an Equal Rights Amendment in New York State as a platform lecturer with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

1877 – 1917 Endings focuses on Jacobs’s final years in increasingly segregated Washington, D. C., where she ran two elite boarding houses, the earlier catering to whites and the latter to blacks – including Recorder of Deeds James Monroe Trotter. After Jacobs’s death in 1897, Louisa Jacobs was employed at Howard University.