Returning to Philadelphia after many months of hard labor in the South, Mrs. Harper, instead of seeking needed rest and recreation, scarcely allows a day to pass without seeking to aid in the reformation of the outcast and degraded. The earnest advice which she gives on the subject of temperance and moral reforms generally causes some to reflect, even among adults, and induces a number of poor children to attend day and Sabbath-schools. The condition of this class, she feels, appeals loudly for a remedy to respectable and intelligent colored citizens; and whilst not discouraged, she is often quite saddened at the supineness of the better class. During the past summer when it was too warm to labor in the South she spent several months in this field without a farthing’s reward. She assisted in organizing a Sabbath-school, and accepted the office of Assistant Superintendent under the auspices of the Young Men’s Christian Association.
Mrs. Harper reads the best magazines and ablest weeklies, as well as more elaborate works, not excepting such authors as De Tocqueville, Mill, Ruskin, Buckle, Guizot, &c. In espousing the cause of the oppressed as a poet and lecturer, had she neglected to fortify her mind in the manner she did, she would have been weighed and found wanting long since. Before friends and foes, the learned and the unlearned, North and South, Mrs. Harper has pleaded the cause of her race in a manner that has commanded the greatest respect; indeed, it is hardly too much to say, that during seventeen years of public labor she has made thousands of speeches without doing herself or people discredit in a single instance, but has accomplished a great deal in the way of removing prejudice. May we not hope that the rising generation at least will take encouragement by her example and find an argument of rare force in favor of mental and moral equality, and above all be awakened to see how prejudices and difficulties may be surmounted by continual struggles, intelligence and a virtuous character?
Fifty thousand copies at least of her four small books have been sold to those who have listened to her eloquent lectures. One of those productions entitled “Moses” has been used to entertain audiences with evening readings in various parts of the country. With what effect may be seen from the two brief notices as follows:
“Mrs. F.E.W. Harper delivered a poem upon ‘Moses’ in Wilbraham to a large and delighted audience. She is a woman of high moral tone, with superior native powers highly cultivated, and a captivating eloquence that hold her audience in rapt attention from the beginning to the close. She will delight any intelligent audience, and those who wish first-class lecturers cannot do better than to secure her services.”—Zion’s Herald, Boston.
“Mrs. Frances E.W. Harper read her poem of ‘Moses’ last evening at Rev. Mr. Harrison’s church to a good audience.