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Francis Ellen Watkins Harper - Sowing and Reaping

By FarrahB
  • Africans to Jamestown

    Africans to Jamestown
    A Dutch slavetrader trades his cargo of Africans for food in Jamestown.
  • Virginia Slave laws

    Virginia Slave laws
    The first slave laws establing negroes could be enslaved permenantly were enacted.
  • Maryland Says no Negroe gatherings

    Maryland Says no Negroe gatherings
    Maryland, the birthplace of Francis Watkins, enacted laws against Negroes meeting and traveling freely on the Sabbath. This law made those activities illegal and subject to corporal punishment.
  • Period: to

    American Revolution

    The Battle of Lexinton and Concord marks the beginning of the American Revolution for the colonies to gain independence from Great Britain. The Battle of Yorktown marks the end of the war with the colonies establishing their independence. Slaves fought on both sides of the war with promises of freedom brom both sides. The promise was not kept and blacks continued to be held in bondage. The war highlights the hypocrisy in desiring independence while simultaneously enslaving a race of people.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    The Articles of Confederation was signed with no mention of slavery but indicating the document was for "free citizens".
  • The Constitution

    The Constitution
    The Constitution was signed and it established the institution of slavery in the United States and designated slaves as only 3/5 a person for politicl purposes only. James Madison writes of the 3/5 Compromise, "It seems now to be pretty well understood that the real difference of interests lies not between the large and small but between the northern and southern states. The institution of slavery and its consequences form the line of discrimination."
  • George Washinton

    George Washinton
    George Washington, a slaveowner of over 300 slaves, became the first president of the United States of America.
  • Sojourner Truth

    Sojourner Truth
    Born Isabella Baumfree, she was a slave in New York. She escaped slaver after many brutalities and was helped by a family until New York's Abolition Law was enacted. She was the first black woman to win a court case against a white man when she got her son Peter back. She was an active abolitionist and women's rights activist. Harper is credited as being the only other person who was most helpful to blacks during the antibellum period.
  • William Lloyd Garrison

    William Lloyd Garrison
    William Lloyd Garrison, the creator of the Liberator, an anti-slavery newspaper, was born. Garrison would work with many of the abolitionist of Harper's time until the civil war.
  • Frederick Douglas is born

    Frederick Douglas is born
    Frederick Douglas is born a slave in Maryland, the exact date is not known. Douglas flees slavery and eventually British supporters paid for his freedom and he becomes an active abolitionist and temperance movement activist.
  • William Still

    William Still
    Still was born. In 1847, he became the first black member of the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society. Still heped over 647 slaves through the Underground railroad. He was a co-worker and confidant of Harper.
  • John Quincy Adams

    John Quincy Adams
    John Quincy Adams became the 6th president of the United States.
  • Francis Ellen Watkins

    Francis Ellen Watkins
    Francis Ellen Watkins was born to a free family in Baltimore Maryland.
  • Frances orphaned

    Frances orphaned
    Frances' mother dies when Frances is only three years old. She is sent to live with her aunt and uncle, William Watkins.
  • The Liberator

    The Liberator
    William Lloyd Garrison launcfhes The Liberator, an anti-slavery newspaper. Many of Harpers works and letters were printed in the paper.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion-Virginia

    Nat Turner's Rebellion-Virginia
    Nat Turner was a slave that had religious visions and what he thought to be signs from God to revold against his masters. He, and other slaves, murdered his master and the entire family while they were sleepingas well as all the white people they came across resulting in 55 deaths. Turner and his accomplices were captured and sentenced to death. This rebellion caused Virginia to consider aboloshing slavery, but in a narrow vote ifurther oppression of both free and enslaved blacks resulted.
  • Forest Leaves

    Forest Leaves
    This was Harper's first novel to which there are no surviving copies.
  • The North Star

    The North Star
    Frederick Doughlas prints the first edition of his anti-slavery newpaper, The North Star.
  • Seneca Falls Convention

    Seneca Falls Convention
    A convention to discuss many subjects including abolition, temperance, and women's rights. Atteneded by over 300 women and 40 men! Frederick Doughlas and Harper were both in attendance. Douglas was instrumental in swaying the audience of men into resolutions for women's rights. Photos is of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the organizer of the convention.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    The Compromise of 1850 enacted the fugitive slave act which called on all citizens to police the nation for fugitive slaves. Citizens were paid for their trouble even if the slave was not really a slave. Many free blacks were placed into slavery because of the law. Many blacks fled to Canada, including William Watkins, Harper's uncle. Harper moved to Ohio.
  • Christian Recorder

    Christian Recorder
    The first edition of the Christian Recorder was released in New York City. The paper was formelry the Christian Herald. Many of Watkins-Harper's work appeared in this newspaper. The focus of the paper was religion and morality, but it focused on the issues effecting blacks in America.
  • Speaking Career

    Speaking Career
    Francis Watkins launched her speaking career with a lecture entitled "The Educatoin and Elevation of the Colored Race". Watkins began to travel and speak to audiences of both whites and blacks. Shortly after she began working for the Maine Anti-Slavery Society.
  • Dred Scott

    Dred Scott
    The Supreme Court established that since Dred Scott and his family were black, they could only be slaves. They claim that a negro whose ancestors were imported as slaves to this country could not expect to be anything more than the merchandise they always were. This decision officially dehumanized blacks in this country and solidified the institution of slavery and declared blacks were not , and never going to be, citizens.
  • Anglo African

    Anglo African
    The magazine was a publication for and by colored Americans. "The Two Offers", considered to be the first short story by an African American woman, was published in the first issue.
  • Harper's Ferry

    Harper's Ferry
    John Brown, a white man, and his army raided the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry in an attempt to start an insurrection against slavery. The revolt was quickly squashed and John Brown was arrested, prosecuted, and executed quickly. Fraces Harper provided support to John Brown's wife during this tumultuous time.
  • Frances gets married

    Frances gets married
    Frances Ellen Watkins marries Fenton Harper in Ohio.
  • South Carolina Secedes

    South Carolina Secedes
    South Carolina secedes from the union. By February of 1861 Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas had followed.
  • Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln takes office as the 16th president of the Unitrd States. He stated in his inauguration speach that he was not going to abolish slavery nor was he going to repeal the fugitive slave act.
  • Civil War

    Civil War
    Confederates attack Fort Sumter marking the beginning of the Civil War.
  • Mary is born

    Mary is born
    Mary is born to Fenton and Frances Harper.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the confederate states.
  • Fenton dies

    Frances husband dies leaving her inan substantial amount of debt that required her to resume her work in order to support her family. She was only married for less than four years.
  • Assassination

    Assassination
    President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. His assassination marked the end of all plans the president had for former slave assimilation into society.
  • Andrew Johnson

    Andrew Johnson became the 17th president after Lincoln's death. He vetoed legislation Congress passed for former slaves. Congress overrode his veto and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1865 which named all former slaves as citizens.
  • Superintendent

    Superintendent
    Harper became superintendent of the Colored Section of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Women's Christian Temperance Union. Her novel, Sowing and Reaping, was published a few years later.
  • Sowing and Reaping

    Sowing and Reaping
    Sowing and Reaping is serialized in the Christian Recorder. It is a story about temperance and the importance of holding ourselves to a certain standard and living our lives according to God's plan. Much like "The Two Offers", Sowing and Reaping is racially ambiguous.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes

    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Rutherford B. Hayes was elected president after a highly contested contest where a deal had to be struck. The compromise stated with the presidency going to Hayes, he would withdraw the troops out of the Soth, basically give the South back to the states and ending reconstruction.
  • Sojourner Truth dies

    Sojourner Truth dies
    An instrumental member of the undergrougnd railroad and activist for equality, dies at 86 years old.
  • Vice President

    Vice President
    Harper served as Vice President for the National Association of Colored Women. A position she held until the day she died.
  • Francis Ellen Watkins Harper

    Francis Ellen Watkins Harper
    The day this driven and inspirational woman dies.
  • African American Studies

    African American Studies
    Class begins on a course taught by Dr. Jocelyn Moody thaat studies Harpers's works exclusively and in depth!