Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins, 1825-1911

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Frances Harper was born September 24, 1825 in Baltimore, Maryland to free parents. Her writing career began in 1839 for anti-slavery publications. She published two books of poetry (1845, 1854). In 1859, Harper published the short story "The Two Offers" in Anglo-African Magazine, making her the first Black woman to publish a short story. She also wrote 3 serialized novels for magazines in 1868-1888, and another novel in 1892.

Starting in 1850, Harper moved to Ohio and began work as the first female teacher at Union Seminary. She joined the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1853. Harper was a strong supporter of abolitionism, prohibition, suffrage; in 1858, she refused to give up her seat or ride in the "colored" section of a segregated trolley car in Philadelphia. During the eleventh National Women's Rights Convention in New York City in 1866 Harper gave speech demanding equal rights for all, including Black women. Harper, along with Mary Church Terrell, founded the National Association of Colored Women in 1894; Harper was elected vice president in 1897. She died February 22, 1911 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn William Stanley Braithwaite papers, 1898-1979 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
referencedIn Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962. William Stanley Braithwaite papers, 1898-1979. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Phillips, Wendell, 1811-1884. Papers, 1555-1882 (bulk: 1833-1881) Houghton Library
referencedIn Audio collection of June Jordan, (inclusive), 1970-2000 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn May, Samuel J. (Samuel Joseph), 1797-1871. Samuel Joseph May diary, 1865. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Frank P. and Helen Chisholm family papers, 1846-1994 Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
referencedIn Foster, Frances Smith. Frances Smith Foster papers, 1980-2009. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
referencedIn Daniel, Theodora Williams. Poems of Frances E.W. Harper. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins, 1825-1911. Frances E.W. Harper card, [ca. 1895]. Cornell University Library
Relation Name
memberOf American Anti-Slavery Society corporateBody
memberOf American Women's Suffrage Association corporateBody
associatedWith Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962. person
associatedWith Cary, Mary Ann Shadd, 1823-1893 person
associatedWith Daniel, Theodora Williams. person
associatedWith Foster, Frances Smith. person
associatedWith June Jordan, 1936-2002 person
associatedWith Matthews, Victoria Earle person
associatedWith May, Samuel J. (Samuel Joseph), 1797-1871. person
founderOf National Association of Colored Women (U.S.) corporateBody
memberOf National Council of Negro Women corporateBody
memberOf National Council of Women of the United States corporateBody
correspondedWith Phillips, Wendell, 1811-1884 person
associatedWith Terrell, Mary Church, 1863-1954 person
associatedWith Wells-Barnett, Ida B., 1862-1931 person
memberOf Woman's christian temperance union corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Philadelphia NY US
Baltimore MD US
United States 00 US
African American authors
Women authors, American
African American poets


Birth 1825-09-24

Death 1911-02-22




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