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Frances E. W. Harper (Sept 24, 1825 – Feb 22, 1911) was an African American abolitionist, suffragist, poet, teacher, public speaker, and writer.

Born free in Baltimore Maryland, she had a long and prolific life, publishing her first book of poetry at the age of 20, making her one of the first African American published writers. At 67, she wrote her widely praised novel
Iola Leroy (1892).

In 1851, alongside William Still, chairman of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, she helped escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad. She began public speaking after joining the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1853.

In 1894, she helped found the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and served as its vice president.

She is considered the “mother of African American journalism.” Her moving quote on slavery appears large on a wall at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. In 2018, Frances was inducted into the National Abolition Hall of Fame
and Museum.