Disenfranchisement after the. Black women helped rebuild the postwar south. The failure of reconstruction was a tragedy, but it. Frances ellen watkins harper, born free in. S also possible to say that it might have turned out a good deal worse than it did. Supporting from the age of thirteen, working as a nursemaid, later as an abolitionist lecturer, reader of her own poetry, spoke all through the southern states after the war. Free civil war reconstruction essays and papers.