In addition to her rigorous lecturing schedule, Harper was also working on a second book of poems, “Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects,” published in 1854. While traveling and lecturing, several thousand copies of her books were sold, and Harper donated a large portion of the proceeds to the Underground Railroad.
What did Frances Watkins do on the Underground Railroad?
- Frances Watkins moved on her own to Ohio, where she taught sewing at Union Seminary. She moved on to Pennsylvania in 1851. There, alongside William Still, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, she helped escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad on their way to Canada.
What did Frances EW Harper do?
Not only was she the first African American woman to publish a short story, but she was also an influential abolitionist, suffragist, and reformer that co-founded the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was born on September 24, 1825 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Did Ellens Watkins Harper work on the Underground Railroad?
Frances Harper’s eloquence and philanthropic activism reached thousands of United States citizens across the nation, especially while she was active with the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper persevered well into the twentieth century.
How did Frances Harper change the world?
During her 86 years- she died on February 22, 1911- Frances championed abolition, civil rights, women’s rights, and temperance and lectured across America during a time when women rarely spoke in public. She helped organize and held office in several national advocacy organizations.
How did Frances Harper contribute to the abolitionist movement?
She was also an ardent activist in the abolitionist and women’s rights movements. Harper became dedicated to the abolitionist cause a few years later after her home state of Maryland passed a fugitive enslaved people law. This law allowed even free Black people, such as Harper, to be arrested and sold into slavery.
What is the two offers about?
The story concerns two cousins, Laura and Janette, who consider two offers of marriage extended to Laura. Though cousins, they represent two different classes, one of privilege and the other of poverty. Even though Harper married in 1860, she continued to write and to lecture against slavery.
What is forest leaves by Frances Harper about?
Forest Leaves adds to a broader genealogy of antebellum black women’s literature. In sum, Forest Leaves represents a new vista for scholarship on Frances Ellen Watkins Harper by not only expanding the cannon of her literary work, but by also adding to a broader genealogy of antebellum black women’s literature.
Where did Ellens Watkins Harper live?
The speaker in “Learning to Read” is the character, Aunt Chloe. Ask students to write a poem or a diary entry about the events Aunt Chloe describes in the poem, but from another point of view such as a Southerner (Reb) or a Yankee teacher who went to the South to educate former slaves.
How did Frances Ellen respond to John Brown’s raid?
Although Frances Ellen Watkins did not compose the poem in response to the Harper’s Ferry raid, she may have shared it in writing to Brown’s men in Virginia because Hazlett had a copy of “Bury Me in a Free Land” and sent it to Rebecca Buffum Spring prior to his execution.
How old was Frances Harper when she died?
“Rebs” is short for “rebels.” The term refers to Confederate sympathizers, who, during the Civil War, fought to maintain Southern society (including slavery). 1. Page 2. Learning to Read by Francis Ellen Watkins Harper is in the public domain.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper –
A decade before the Civil War, the leading Southern periodical De Bow’s Reviewpublished a series titled Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race—a much-needed study, the editors opined, because it had “direct and practical bearing” on 3 million people whose worth as property totaled approximately $2 billion at the time of the publication. When it comes to African Americans’ supposed laziness (“deficiency of red blood in the pulmonary and arterial systems”), love of dancing (“profuse distribution of nervous matter to the stomach, liver, and genital organs”), and extreme aversion to being whipped (“skin.
(“Fleeing slave,” he said, was an old Greek phrase for a fugitive slave).
“Treating one’s slaves lovingly but sternly,” he said, was the first option.
Despite the fact that only a few thousand individuals, at most, fled slavery each year—nearly all of them from states bordering the free North—their exodus was seen by many Southern whites as a portent of a greater disaster.
- Was it a matter of time until the entire fabric came undone?
- Rather, it was intentionally supported and helped by a well-organized network that was both huge and ominous in scale.
- The term underground railroad brings to mind pictures of trapdoors, flickering torches, and dark passageways winding through the woods, much as it did for most of the population in the 1840s and 1850s.
- At least until recently, researchers paid relatively little attention to the story, which is remarkable considering how prominent it is in the public consciousness.
- The Underground Railroad was widely believed to be a statewide conspiracy with “conductors,” “agents,” and “depots,” but was it really a fiction of popular imagination concocted from a succession of isolated and unconnected escapes?
- Depending on whose historians you trust, the answers will be different.
One historian (white) questioned surviving abolitionists (most of whom were also white) a decade after the Civil War and documented a “big and complicated network” of agents, 3,211 of whom he recognized by name, who he characterized as “a large and intricate network” (nearly all of them white).
- Activist clergyman James W.
- Pennington claimed in 1855 that he had escaped “without the help.
- As a result of his work on Abraham Lincoln and slavery, Eric Foner, one of the nation’s most recognized practitioners of history (his earlier book on the subject was awarded a Pulitzer Prize), has joined an expanding number of researchers who are illuminating the night sky.
- (Since the student, as he makes clear in his acknowledgments, chose to become a lawyer, no scholarly careers were jeopardized in the course of the publication of this book.) Readers will be surprised by the narrative told in Gateway to Freedom: The Secret History of the Underground Railroad.
- Assisting runaways was nothing new for abolitionist organisations, who made a point of publicizing it in pamphlets, publications, and yearly reports.
- Local newspapers published stories about Jermain W.
Bazaars with the slogan “Buy for the sake of the slave” offered donated luxury goods and handcrafted knickknacks just before the winter holidays, and bake sales in support of the Underground Railroad became common fund-raisers in Northern towns and cities, despite the fact that this may seem unlikely.
- Many women were enthralled by these incidents, which transformed everyday, “feminine” tasks like baking, grocery shopping, and sewing into exhilarating acts of moral commitment and political rebellion for thousands of them.
- While governor of New York, William Seward publicly sponsored Underground Railroad operations, and while serving as a senator in the United States Senate, he (not so openly) provided refuge to runaways in his basement.
- When Northern states implemented “personal liberty” acts in the 1850s, they were able to exclude state and municipal authorities from federal fugitive-slave statutes, this act of defiance acquired legal recognition.
- Yet another surprise in Foner’s gripping story is that it takes place in New York City.
- Even as recently as the 1790s, enslaved laborers tended Brooklyn’s outlying fields, constituting a quarter of the city’s total population (40 percent).
- Besides properly recapturing escapees, slave catchers prowled the streets of Manhattan, and they frequently illegally kidnapped free blacks—particularly children—in order to sell them into Southern bond slavery.
- George Kirk snuck away on board a ship bound for New York in 1846, only to be apprehended by the captain and kept in chains while waiting to be returned to his master’s possession.
- Following his triumphant exit from court, the winning fugitive was met with applause from the courtroom’s African-American contingent.
- A second legal basis was discovered by the same court to free Kirk, who this time rolled out triumphantly in a carriage and arrived in the safety of Boston in no time.
- In addition to being descended from prominent Puritans, Sydney Howard Gay married a wealthy (and radical) Quaker heiress, who became the editor of the National Anti-Slavery Standard.
- Whilst Gay was busy publishing abolitionist manifestos and raising funds, Napoleon was patrolling the New York harbor in search of black stowaways and traveling the length and breadth of the Mason-Dixon Line in pursuit of those who had managed to escape slavery.
It’s “the most complete description in existence of how the underground railroad worked in New York City,” according to Foner, and it contains “a treasure trove of compelling anecdotes and a storehouse of insights about both slavery and the underground railroad.” One of the most moving passages was when Gay documented the slaves’ accounts of their reasons for fleeing in a matter-of-fact tone.
- Cartwright’s theory, it appears that none of them addressed Drapetomania.
- I was beaten with a hatchet and bled for three days after being struck with 400 lashes by an overseer.” As a result of his research, Foner concludes that the phrase “Underground Railroad” has been used to describe something that is restrictive, if not deceptive.
- Though it had tunnels, it also had straightaways and bright straightaways where its traces might be found.
- It is true that the Underground Railroad had conductors and stationmasters in a sense, but the great majority of its people contributed in ways that were far too diverse to be compared in such a straightforward manner.
- Its passengers and their experiences were almost as different.
- During this time, a Virginia mother and her little daughter had spent five months crouched in a small hiding hole beneath a house near Norfolk before being transported out of the country.
- Although the Underground Railroad operated on a small scale, its effect considerably beyond the size of its activities.
It fostered the suspicions of Southern leaders while driving Northern leaders to choose sides with either the slaves or the slavecatchers.
Escapees were reported to be flooding northward at an unusual rate just a few days after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in April 1861.
There had been a Drapetomania on a magnitude that was worse beyond Dr.
The Reverend Samuel Cartwright passed away in 1863, just a few months after the Emancipation Proclamation, which officially established Drapetomania as a national policy.
As he put it, the Underground Railroad “has hardly no business at all these days.
New Yorkers may have been astonished to open their eyes in the early 1864 season as well.
The accompanying piece, on the other hand, soon put their concerns to rest. According to the plan, Manhattan’s first subway line would travel northward up Broadway from the Battery to Central Park, beginning at 42nd Street.
A decade before the Civil War, the leading Southern periodical De Bow’s Reviewpublished a series titled Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race—a much-needed study, the editors opined, given its “direct and practical bearing” on 3 million people whose worth as property totaled approximately $2 billion. The author of the essays, the eminent New Orleans physician Samuel Adolphus Cartwright, described in precise anatomical terms the reasons for African Americans’ supposed laziness (“deficiency of red blood in the pulmonary and arterial systems”), love of dancing (“profuse distribution of nervous matter to the stomach, liver, and genital organs”), and extreme aversion to being whipped (“skin.
- But it was Cartwright’s discovery of a previously undiscovered medical illness, which he coined “Drapetomania, or the sickness that causes Negroes to flee,” that grabbed the most attention from readers.
- Despite the fact that only a few thousand individuals, at most, fled slavery each year—nearly all of them from states bordering the free North—their migration was seen by many Southern whites as a portent of a wider calamity.
- How long do you think it will take until the entire cloth begins to fall apart?
- Rather, it was intentionally promoted and aided by a well-organized network that was both large and diabolical in scope.
- The name “Underground Railroad” brings up thoughts of trapdoors, flickering torches, and dark passageways through the woods for most people today, just as it did for most Americans in the 1840s and 1850s.
- At least until recently, historians paid relatively little attention to this story, which is remarkable considering how prominent it is in the national consciousness.
- Was the Underground Railroad genuinely a countrywide conspiracy with “conductors,” “agents,” and “depots,” or was it merely a fabrication of popular imagination conjured up from a succession of ad hoc, unconnected fugitives’ escapes?
Depending on whose historians you trust, the answers will differ.
One historian (white) questioned surviving abolitionists (most of whom were white) a generation after the Civil War and documented a “vast and complicated network” of agents, 3,211 of whom he recognized by name (nearly all of them white).
In 1855, the radical preacher James W.
Pennington wrote, “I escaped without the assistance.
As a result of his work on Abraham Lincoln and slavery, Eric Foner, one of the nation’s most recognized practitioners of history (his last book on the subject was awarded a Pulitzer Prize), has joined an expanding number of researchers who are illuminating the darkness.
(Since the student, as he makes clear in his acknowledgments, chose to become a lawyer, no scholarly careers were jeopardized by the publication of this volume.) Readers will be surprised by the narrative told in Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.
Abolitionist organizations made no secret of their willingness to aid runaways; in fact, they publicized their efforts in pamphlets, publications, and yearly reports.
Local newspapers published stories about Jermain W.
Bazaars with the slogan “Buy for the sake of the slave” provided donated luxury items and handcrafted knickknacks just before the winter holidays, and bake sales in support of the Underground Railroad were frequent fund-raisers in Northern towns and cities, despite the fact that they seemed unlikely.
- Even legislators who had sworn vows to preserve the Constitution — including its provision demanding the return of runaways to their lawful lords – disobeyed their oaths and failed to fulfill their responsibilities.
- Escaped slave laws were disregarded by Judge William Jay, a son of the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, who provided money to aid fugitive slaves.
- One overlooked historical irony is that, up until the eve of Southern secession in 1860, states’ rights were cited as frequently by Northern abolitionists as they were by Southern slaveholders, a fact that has been overlooked.
- When compared to places like Boston and Philadelphia, which had deep-rooted reformer traditions—as well as upstate cities like Buffalo and Syracuse—the city was not recognized for its anti-slavery fervor.
Even before the city’s final bondsmen were released, in 1827, its economy had become deeply intertwined with that of the South, as evidenced by a gloating editorial in the De Bow’s newspaper soon before the Civil War that the city was “nearly as reliant on Southern slavery as Charleston.” Planters’ slave purchases were financed by New York banks, while New York merchants made their fortunes on slave-grown cotton and sugar.
- Slave catchers prowled the streets of Manhattan, and in addition to officially apprehending escapees, they frequently illegally kidnapped free blacks—particularly children—to sell them into Southern bondage.
- George Kirk snuck away on board a ship bound for New York in 1846, only to be apprehended by the captain and kept in shackles while waiting to be returned to his owner.
- The winning fugitive was escorted out of court by a watchful phalanx of African Americans from the surrounding community.
- In this case, the same court found new legal grounds on which to free Kirk, who rolled out triumphantly in a carriage and made his way to the safety of Boston in no time at all.
- Founder and editor of the National Anti-Slavery Standard, Sydney Howard Gay, was descended from Puritan luminaries and had married a wealthy (and radical) Quaker heiress.
- Napoleon, on the other hand, prowled the New York docks in search of black stowaways and traveled the length and breadth of the Mason-Dixon Line, escorting fugitives to freedom.
- This paper, according to Foner, “is the most complete description in existence of how the underground railroad worked in New York City.
One first-person narrative opens with the words “one meal a day for eight years.” “It’s been sold three times and is expected to be sold a fourth time.
There was undoubtedly a countrywide network in existence, with its operations sometimes shrouded in secrecy.
Its routes and schedules were continuously changing.
Akin to the cooperation between Gay and Napoleon, its efforts frequently brought together rich and poor, black and white, for a shared purpose.
Among others who decamped to Savannah were a light-skinned guy who set himself up in a first-class hotel, strutted around town in a magnificent new suit of clothes, and insolently purchased a steamship ticket to New York.
At the height of the Civil War, the number of such fugitives was still a small proportion of the total population.
In addition to contributing to the political crisis of the 1850s, it galvanized millions of sympathetic white Northerners to join a noble fight against Southern slaveholders, whether they had personally aided fugitives, shopped at abolitionist bake sales, or were simply entertained by the colorful accounts of slave escapes in books and newspapers.
- Above all, it trained millions of enslaved Americans to gain their freedom at a moment’s notice.
- Within a few months, a large number of Union soldiers and sailors successfully transformed themselves into Underground Railroad operatives in the heart of the South, sheltering fugitives who rushed in large numbers to the Yankees’ encampments.
- Cartwright could have imagined.
- In the same year, an abolitionist reported that all of the Union’s railway lines were seeing record wartime traffic, with the exception of one.
- A solitary wanderer is hard to come by.” In addition, New Yorkers may have been surprised to open their eyes in early 1864.
However, the accompanying article instantly put their concerns at ease. In it, the author presented a plan to construct Manhattan’s first subway line, which would travel northward along Broadway from the Battery to Central Park.
Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins · William Still: An African-American Abolitionist
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was an antislavery educator, writer, poet, temperance reformer, and Underground Railroad conductor who lived from 1825 to 1911 in the United States. Previously occupied residence at 1006 and Bainbridge Street More information on Frances Ellen Watkins and her poems may be found in Dr. Regina Jennings’ study on William Still’s foresight, which can be found here. Frances Harper, who was born free in Baltimore, Maryland, was the first African-American woman to teach vocational education at the African Methodist Episcopal Union Seminary near Columbus, Ohio, where she taught domestic science.
- This extraordinary self-educated woman was dubbed the “Brown Muse” and was characterized as “a small, dignified woman whose keen black eyes and appealing features reflect her sensitive nature.” She was also known as the “Brown Muse” because of her brown hair and brown eyes.
- Harper moved to Philadelphia, where he resided in an Underground Railroad station and eventually rose to the position of conductor.
- Harper was so good as a lecturer for the antislavery campaign that the Pennsylvania Antislavery Society employed her as a full-time employee.
- She was also a prominent member of the National Council of Women, the American Women’s Suffrage Association, and the American Association for the Education of Colored Youth, among other organizations.
- Brown) accused the international gathering of women of showing indifference to the needs and concerns of African-American women, Harper was arrested.
- Her accomplishments as a writer and poet were considerable, and she is best known for her poems The Slave Mother and Bury Me in a Free Land, both of which are included in this collection.
- Philadelphia’s Guide to African-American State Historical Markers in Philadelphia.
- Blockson Afro-American Collection / William Penn Foundation published this book in 1992 in Philadelphia.)
- Her uncle was the abolitionist William Watkins, father of William J.
- She received her education at her uncle’s Academy for Negro Youth and absorbed many of his views on civil rights.
- Her poems appeared in newspapers, and in 1845 a collection of them was printed asAutumn Leaves(also published asForest Leaves).Following the passage in 1850 of the Fugitive Slave Law, conditions for free blacks in the slave state of Maryland deteriorated and the Watkins family fled Baltimore.
- She moved on to Pennsylvania in 1851.
- In these poems she attacked not only racism but also the oppression of women.
- In 1854 she also began her lecturing career.
- Watkins gave emotional support and comfort to Mary Brown during her husband’s trial and execution.
Although cast in fictional form, the piece is actually a sermon on the important life choices made by young people, women in particular.
“Talk as you will of woman’s deep capacity for loving,” Watkins preached, “of the strength of her affectional nature.
But woman—the true woman—if you would render her happy, it needs more than the mere development of her affectional nature.
Their daughter, Mary, was born in 1862.
After the war was over, Frances Harper toured the South, speaking to large audiences, encouraging education for freed slaves, and aiding in reconstruction.Harper first became acquainted with Unitarians before the war, due to their support of abolition and the Underground Railroad.
Clark, a noted abolitionist and educator in Ohio, had become a Unitarian in 1868.
She spoke up for the empowerment of women and worked with Susan B.
Unlike Anthony and Stanton, Harper supported the Fourteenth Amendment, which, together with the Fifteenth, granted the vote to black men but not to women.
With that would come the possibility of securing further legal and civil rights.During the next few decades, Harper wrote a great deal and had her works published frequently.
At the same time she also wrote for periodicals with a mainly white circulation.Long fascinated with the character of Moses, whose modern equivalents she sought in the women and men of her own era, Harper treated this theme in poetry,fiction, and oratory.
We have millions of our race in the prison house of slavery, but have not yet a single Moses in freedom.”InMoses: A Story of the Nile, her 1869 verse rendition of the Biblical tale, she included the points of view of Moses’ natural and adoptive mothers.
In the article, “A Factor in Human Progress,” 1885, she invoked Moses again, to have him ask God to forgive the sins of his people and to give the African-American a model of self-sacrifice, who would reject the temptations of drink and other forms of oblivion that obstructed racial and individual progress.
Harper’s serialized novel, “Sowing and Reaping,” in theChristian Recorder, 1876-77, expanded on the theme of “The Two Offers.” In “Trial and Triumph,” 1888-89, the most autobiographical of her novels, Harper presented her program for progress through personal development, altruism, non-discrimination, and racial pride.In 1873 Harper became Superintendent of the Colored Section of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
In 1894 she helped found the National Association of Colored Women and served as its vice president, 1895-1911.
Wells, Harper wrote and lectured against lynching.
She worked with a number of churches in the black community of north Philadelphia near her home, feeding the poor, preventing juvenile delinquency, and teaching Sunday School at the Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church.Both Unitarians and the AME church have claimed Harper as a member.
AME was the church she had been raised in.
Her reasons for joining the Unitarian church, on the other hand, may have been partly political.
In a society where color lines were clearly drawn, a Unitarian church provided a rare opportunity for the races to meet.
Christ was not a distant God to her, but a role model for the kind of exalted existence that all human beings could attain.
Her funeral service was held at the Unitarian Church on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.
Following her death W.E.B.
Harper’s gravestone fell over and was covered by grass.
In 1992 African-American Unitarian Universalists honored her and commemorated the one-hundredth anniversary ofIola Leroyby installing a new headstone.
Harper’s call for full human development—black and white, male and female—also endures, as urgent and vital during these decades following the Civil Rights movement and Women’s Liberation as it was during Reconstruction and its aftermath.* Phrase struck from sentence on 07 Feb 2011.
Among Harper’s works not mentioned above arePoems(1857),The Martyr of Alabama and Other Poems(1892),The Sparrow’s Fall and Other Poems(1894), andAtlanta Offering(1895).
Frances Smith Foster’sA Brighter Coming Day(1990) is a valuable anthology of the entire range of Harper’s writing, including speeches, journalism, poetry, fiction, and letters.
An early criticism is Benjamin Griffith Brawley’s “Three Negro Poets: Horton, Mrs.
Studies of Harper include Melba Joyce Boyd’sDiscarded Legacy: Politics and Poetics in the Life of Frances E.
Harper(1994) and Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley’s “Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: 19th Century Pioneer in the Women’s Suffrage Movement,” a research paper written at Wesley Theological Seminary (1993).Article byJaneen Grohsmeyer- posted September 16, 2003 – bibliographic note on the finding of a copy ofForest Leaveswas added April 2020.
The DUUB does not endorse materials on other sites.CREDIT LINE: From the biography of _written by_ inthe Dictionary ofUnitarian and Universalist Biography, an on-line resource of the Unitarian Universalist HistoryHeritage Society.