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Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was educated as a teacher. She became a professional lecturer, activist, suffragette, poet, essayist, novelist, and the author of the first published short story written by an African-American woman. Her work spanned more than sixty years. She joined the American Anti-Slavery Society as a traveling lecturer. First serialized in The Christian Recorder Trial and Triumph was first written for African-Americans. It address issues of passing, social responsibility, sexuality, and temperance. An excerpt reads, "What is the matter now, Aunt Susan? What has Annette been doing?" "Doing! She is always doing something; everlastingly getting herself into trouble with some of the neighbors. She is the most mischievous and hard-headed child I ever saw." "Well what has she been doing this morning which has so upset you?" "Why, I sent her to the grocery to have the oil can filled, and after she came back she had not been in the house five minutes before there came such an uproar from Mrs. Larkins', my next door neighbor, that I thought her house was on fire, but----" "Instead of that her tongue was on fire, and I know what that means." "Yes, that's just it, and I don't wonder. That little minx sitting up there in the corner looking so innocent, stopped to pour oil on her clean steps. Now you know yourself what an aggravating thing that must have been."
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