Harriet WilsonHarriet Wilson was the first African-American to publish a novel in the United States -- Our Nig: or, Sketches from the life of a Free Black, in a two-storey white house, North. showing that Slavery's Shadows Fall Even There (1859). The novel realistically dramatizes the marriage between a white woman and a black man, and also depicts the difficult life of a black servant in a wealthy Christian household. Formerly thought to be autobiographical, it is now understood to be a work of fiction.
Like Jacobs, Wilson did not publish under her own name (Our Nig was ironic), and her work was overlooked until recently. The same can be said of the work of most of the women writers of the era. Noted African-American scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. -- in his role of spearheading the black fiction project -- reissued Our Nig in 1983.