F.E.W. Harper: Temperance Advocate

F.E.W. Harper was an author, poet, and public speaker. She wrote and spoke about temperance and abolition. And later she spoke on the right of women to vote.

Frances Ella Watkins was born free in Baltimore. It was on September 24, 1825.  She was orphaned by age three. Watkins’ aunt and uncle raised her. Her uncle had formed Watkins Academy for Negro Youth. She attended his school.

At age 20 Harper wrote her first book of poetry. It was Forest Leaves.

Ms. Watkins married Fenton M. Harper in 1860. They moved to a small farm near Colubus, Ohio. There they had a daughter, Mary, in 1862. Fenton Harper died in 1864. Ms. Harper is most often known as F.E.W. Harper.

She was head of the Colored Section of the PA Women’s Christian Temperance Union. 

f.e.w. harperF.E.W. Harper was co-founder and vice president of the National Association of Colored Women. Not to be confused with the  similar group. It’s the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. (It still exists.) She was also the head of the American Association of Colored Youth.

F.E.W. Harper died February 22, 1911, in Philadelphia.

By Ms. Harper

About Ms. Harper