Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Sketches of Southern Life

(197 words)
  • Terry Novak

Frances E.W. Harper’s Sketches of Southern Life is a short miscellaneous collection of poems and one short story that was first published in 1888. The collection begins with the long, subdivided poem “Aunt Chloe”, which traces the history of Aunt Chloe’s life as an American slave. The reader learns of Aunt Chloe’s children being sold away from her, of Chloe’s experiences with the war and reconstruction, and of the education and reunion efforts that accompanied Reconstruction. Another long poem in the collection, “The Jewish Grandfather’s Story”, revolves around themes of captivity, struggle and faith outside of the African American struggle.

The one story included in this volume, “Shalmanezer, …

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Novak, Terry. "Sketches of Southern Life". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2005
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]