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Harriet Davis

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Harriet Davis is a proud and boastful girl in Addy Walker's class at school.

Facts

Peers

  • Addy Walker: Classmate and "rival".
  • Sarah Moore: Sarah and Harriet do not get along.
  • Mavis: A member of Harriet's clique.

Personality

Harriet is smug and braggy, and looks down on people who are not as well off as she is. She is a very intelligent girl. Harriet has been free her entire life and comes from a very well to do family. Her family has enough money so that Harriet owns many different fancy dresses and can go out for ice cream on a whim. She has the kind of life Addy hoped to have in freedom. Knowing that many of her classmates are poor and uneducated former slaves, she waves this in their faces and looks down on them. She will follow authority figures if she has to but is still quite defiant. She appears to be less haughty as the series progresses and she begins to act more kindly towards others, but is still something of a braggart.

Originally, Harriet was illustrated as a very pale skinned girl by Melodye Rosales; when the books were reillustrated by Dahl Taylor, she was given a darker skin tone to help remove the colorism.

In The Books

Addy Learns a Lesson: A School Story

Harriet is first introduced when she is made Addy's desk partner. Addy is impressed with her as she has the image of life Addy expected in freedom. Harriet asks Addy if she knows the alphabet and disparages Sarah, saying that Addy was paired with her because she is the smartest in the class. She is quite condescending to Addy and helps with her schoolwork over the weeks, but does not engage with Addy outside of class.

After school one day when Addy sees Harriet ahead of her, she tries to catch up; Sarah doesn't want to catch up with her. Harriet hears her and snaps that she doesn't want Sarah to walk with her but says that Addy can come along if she likes. She also says that Sarah isn't her boss and that she can walk with her whenever she likes.

At school on a later day, Miss Dunn discusses the war. Harriet says that her mother does volunteer nursing. When Sarah says she wishes there wasn't a war, Harriet tells Sarah she should be grateful because it's freeing slaves like she used to be. Miss Dunn tells Harriet that will be enough as near every colored person used to be a slave. Harriet brags that her family has always been free. Miss Dunn lectures about lines between people and then tells Harriet that people don't need to cause any more lines to be drawn. The class agrees and Miss Dunn then addresses Harriet directly. Harriet mumbles "yes" embarrassingly.

As the class lines up to go see soldiers march, Harriet asks Addy what her decision is and teases that she would have ask Sarah's permission. Addy says she doesn't have to ask any permission and that she'll walk home with her which satisfies Harriet. At the station when Addy talks about her brother, Harriet ignores her and instead talks about her uncle in the Third Infantry.

Addy walks home with Harriet. Harriet says that the girls have been going to her house to study and that Addy might be allowed to go. She then hands her books to Addy and the other girls do the same. Harriet tells Addy she has to be their flunky and when Addy asks what that is, Harriet says Addy "just got off the plantation" and makes a sly look at Mavis. She says Addy's the new girl so she has to pass a test to be friends. When Addy asks what she must do Harriet says she can't tell because it would be cheating. When they arrive at Mrs. Ford's dress shop, the girls and Harriet take their books and leave; Harriet doesn't even look at Addy.

Happy Birthday, Addy!: A Springtime Story

Addy Saves The Day: A Summer Story

Harriet becomes devastated when she hears news about her uncle's death.

High Hopes for Addy

Addy's Wedding Quilt

A New Beginning: My Journey with Addy

Addy: An American Girl Story

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