Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911)
MSA SC 3520-12499


Web Sources

“Frances E. W. Harper,” Britannica Biography Collection, ebscohost/Masterfile Premier (accessed July 12, 2007).

"Frances Ellen Watkins Harper", Biography Resource Center, (Accessed May 1, 2007).

"France Ellen Watkins Harper, 1825-1911." New York Public Library-Digital Schomberg African American Women Writers of the 19th Century. (Accessed July 18, 2008) 97-104.

 Grohsmeyer, Janeen.  "Frances Harper," Unitarian Universalist Historical Society.  (Accessed July 16, 2007).

Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 5: Frances Harper." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. (Accessed July 18, 2007).

"Selected Poetry of Frances Ellen Watkins (1825-1911)." Representative Poetry Online. (Accessed July 18, 2007).

"Voices From the Gaps: Women Writers of Color." The University of Minnesota. (Accessed July 18, 2007).

Works by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (chronological order)
Mulitple sources consolidated into one list.

Forest Leaves (c. 1845)

Christianity (1853)

Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (1854)

The Two Offers (1859)-Short story that placed her as the first African American woman to publish a short story. Serialized in the Anglo-African.

Minnie's Sacrifice (1869), Serialized in The Christian Recorder-first of her three novellas published.

Moses: A Story of the Nile (1869)

Achan's Sin (1870)

Sketches of Southern Life (1872)
Electronic test available @ Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library. July 18, 2007).

Fancy Etchings (1873,1874)

Sowing and Reaping:  A Temperance Story (1876-77), Serialized in The Christian Recorder-second of her three novellas published.

Trial and Triumph (1988-1989)-Serialized in The Christian Recorder-third of her three novellas published.

The Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Colored Woman (1888)

Light Beyond the Darkness (1890)

Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted (1892)-First full length novel, for which she is highly recognized today as both a historian and a proficient novelist.
Electronic text available @ New York Public Library-Digital Schomberg African American Women Writers of the 19th Century. (Accessed July 18, 2007).

The Martyr of Alabama and Other Poems (ca. 1894)

The Sparrow's Fall and Other Poems (1894)

Atlanta Offering: Poems (1895)
Electronic test available @ University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative(HTI):  American Verse Project;idno=BAC5663.0001.001. (Accessed July 18, 2007).

Poems (1895)
Electronic test available @ Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library. (Accessed July 18, 2007).

Idylls of the Bible (1901)

In Memoriam, Wm. McKinley (1901)

Compilations of Works

Foster, Frances Smith. A Brighter Coming Day: A Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Reader (edited and introduction by Foster). New York: Feminist Press at CUNY. 1990.

Graham, Maryemma, ed. Complete Poems of Frances E.W. Harper. New York: University of Oxford Press. 1988.

Harper, Frances E. W. Minnie's Sacrifice; Sowing and Reaping; Trial and Triumph; Three Rediscovered Novels. Boston: Beacon Press. 1994.

Secondary Sources

Berlant, Lauren. “Cultural Struggle and Literary History: African-American Women’s Writing.” Modern Philology: A Journal Devoted to Research in Medieval and Modern Literature 88.1(1990): 57-64.

Carby, Hazel V. Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist. New York: Oxford Universtiy Press, 1987.

Clark Hine, Darlene and Kathleen Thompson, “Resistance Becomes Rebellion,” in A Shining Thread of Hope:  The History of Black Women in America. New York: Broadway Books (1998) 120.

Collier-Thomas,  Bettye and Ann D. Gordon. “Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Abolitionist and Feminist Reformer 1825-1911.” in African American Women and The Vote, 1837-1965. Amherst, Mass: University of Massachusetts Press (1997) 41-65.

Dagbovie, Pero Gaglo. “Black Women Historians from the late 19th Century to the Dawning of the Civil Rights Movement.” Journal of African American History, 2004 89(3): 241-261.

Diggs, Marylynne. “Surveying the Intersection: Pathology, Secrecy, and the Discourses of Racial and Sexual Identity.” in Critical Essays: Gay and Lesbian Writers of Color. Ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson. New York: Haworth. 1993: 1-19.

Graham, Leroy. Baltimore: The Nineteenth Century Black Capital. Washington D.C.:  University Press of America (1982).

Elkins, M. “Beyond the Conventions-A Look at Frances E.W. Harper.”American Literary Realism (Winter 1990) 497-518.

Ernest, John. “From Mysteries to Histories: Cultural Pedagogy in Frances E.W. Harper’s lola Leroy.” American Literature 64.3 (1992): 497-513.

Hill, Patricia Liggins. “Let Me Make the Songs for the People: A Study of Frances Watkins Harper’s Poetry.” Black American Literature Forum, 15 (1981): 60-65.

“Not in a Land of Slaves; Suffragist: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper…” The Baltimore Sun. February 6, 1999.

Karcher, Carolyn.  “Reconceiving Nineteenth-Century American Literature: The Challenge of Women Writers." American Literature, vol. 66(4) December (1994) 781-793.

Peterson, Carla L. ‘Doers of the Word’: African American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Petrino, Elizabeth. “We are a Rising People: Frances Harper’s Radical Views on Class and Racial Equality in Sketches of Southern Life." American Transcendental Quarterly: 19th Century American Literature and Culture. Kingston: University of Rhode Island, vol. 19(2), (June 2005)

Riggins, Linda N. “The Works of Frances E.W. Harper.” Black World (Dec. 1972): 30-36.

Young, Elizabeth. “Warring Fictions: lola Leroy and the Color of Gender." American Literature: A Journal of Literary History, Criticism, and Bibliography. 64.2 (1992): 273-297.

Primary Sources:

Still, William. "The Underground Railroad. A record of facts, authentic narratives, letters, etc." Located at the Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD.

Return to Frances Ellen Watkins Harper's Introductory Page

Updated July 18, 2007 by Jenette Parish, summer intern 2007.

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