From Columbiana, February 20th, she wrote concerning her work, and presented the “lights and shades” of affairs as they came under her notice.
“I am almost constantly either traveling or speaking. I do not think that I have missed more than one Sunday that I have not addressed some Sunday-school, and I have not missed many day-schools either. And as I am giving all my lectures free the proceeds of the collections are not often very large; still as ignorant as part of the people are perhaps a number of them would not hear at all, and may be prejudice others if I charged even ten cents, and so perhaps in the long run, even if my work is wearing, I may be of some real benefit to my race. * * I don’t know but that you would laugh if you were to hear some of the remarks which my lectures call forth: ‘She is a man,’ again ‘She is not colored, she is painted.’ Both white and colored come out to hear me, and I have very fine meetings; and then part of the time I am talking in between times, and how tired I am some of the time. Still I am standing with my race on the threshold of a new era, and though some be far past me in the learning of the schools, yet to-day, with my limited and fragmentary knowledge, I may help the race forward a little. Some of our people remind me of sheep without a shepherd.”
* * * * *
Desiring to speak to women who have been the objects of so much wrong and abuse under Slavery, and even since Emancipation, in a state of ignorance, not accessible always to those who would or could urge the proper kind of education respecting their morals and general improvement, Mrs. Harper has made it her business not to overlook this all important duty to her poor sisters.
The following extract taken from a letter dated “Greenville, Georgia, March 29th,” will show what she was doing in this direction:
“But really my hands are almost constantly full of work; sometimes I speak twice a day. Part of my lectures are given privately to women, and for them I never make any charge, or take up any collection. But this part of the country reminds me of heathen ground, and though my work may not be recognized as part of it used to be in the North, yet never perhaps were my services