Upgrade to a better browser, please.

Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Pauline Hopkins

Added By: Rhondak101
Last Updated: Rhondak101

Pauline Hopkins

Search for this author through Search for this author on Search for this author on
Full Name: Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins
Born: January 1, 1859
Portland, ME
Died: August 13, 1930
Cambridge, MA
Occupation: Author, Editor
Nationality: American


Hopkins was born to Benjamin Northup and Sarah Allen in Portland, Maine and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. Her father was influential in Providence, Rhode Island, due to his political ties and her mother was a native of Exeter, New Hampshire. Though he was not her biological father, Pauline regarded William Hopkins to be her father, hence her surname.

Her first known work, a musical play called Slaves' Escape; or, The Underground Railroad (later revised as Peculiar Sam; or, The Underground Railroad), first performed in 1880. Her short story "Talma Gordon", published in 1900, is often named as the first African-American mystery story. She explored the difficulties faced by African-Americans amid the racist violence of post-Civil War America in her first novel, Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South, published in 1900. She published three serial novels between 1901 and 1903 in the African-American periodical Colored American Magazine: Hagar's Daughter: A Story of Southern Caste Prejudice, Winona: A Tale of Negro Life in the South and Southwest, and Of One Blood: Or, The Hidden Self. She sometimes used the pseudonym Sarah A. Allen. Pauline Hopkins was beginning to make a reputation for herself. As a result of this, she was offered the opportunity to become a member of the board of directors, a shareholder and a creditor of the Colored American Magazine. Along with her amazing writing, she helped to increase subscriptions and raise funding for the magazine. These roles alone helped her break into the literary world, with her work making up a substantial amount of the literary and historical materials promoted by the magazine.

After her involvement with the Colored American Magazine, Hopkins published four additional stories and serialized three novels, Hagar's Daughter: A Story of Caste Prejudice, Winona: A Tale of Negro Life in the South and Southwest, and Of One Blood; or The Hidden Self, in the Colored American Magazine. Her work has been regarded among other notable African-American writers at the time such as Charles Chesnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Sutton Griggs by Richard Yarborough. In relation to women's publications, Yarborough calls her "the single most productive black woman writer at the turn of the century."

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Non Series Works