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Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (poet)

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was well known in 19th century America. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland and, orphaned at the age of 3, raised by an aunt and uncle. Her unce was an abolitionist, a Methodist minister and ran his own school called the Watkins Academy for Negro Youth. Frances attended the Watkins Academy until she was 13 and then took up paid work, as a nursemaid and seamstress for a family that owned a bookshop. In her spare time, Frances read and wrote, and she published her first volume of poetry at the age of 21. Frances Harper had a long career as a poet, a short story writer, and a lecturer for the Anti-Slavery Society. In addition, she published 3 novels and several essay collections.

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