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Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896) was an Americanmarker abolitionist and author. Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) depicted life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the U.S. and Britainmarker and made the political issues of the 1850s regarding slavery tangible to millions, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. Upon meeting Stowe, Abraham Lincoln allegedly remarked, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!"

Early life

Born in Litchfield, Connecticutmarker on June 14, 1811, Beecher Stowe was the daughter of an outspoken religious leader Lyman Beecher and Roxana Foote, a deeply religious woman who died when Stowe was four years old. She was the sister of the educator and author, Catharine Beecher, clergymen Henry Ward Beecher and Charles Beecher.Harriet enrolled in the seminary run by her eldest sister Catharine, where she received a traditionally "male" education. At the age of 21, she moved to Cincinnati, Ohiomarker to join her father, who had become the president of Lane Theological Seminary, and in 1836 she married Calvin Ellis Stowe, a professor at the seminary and an ardent critic of slavery. The Stowes supported the Underground Railroad and housed several fugitive slaves in their home. They eventually moved to Brunswick, Mainemarker, where Calvin taught at Bowdoin College.In 1850 Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law prohibiting assistance to fugitives. Stowe was moved to present her objections on paper, and in June 1851 the first installment of Uncle Tom's Cabin appeared in the antislavery journal National Era. The forty-year-old mother of seven children sparked a national debate and, as Abraham Lincoln is said to have noted, a war.Stowe died on July 1, 1896, at age eighty-five, in Hartford, Connecticut.


Harriet worked as a teacher with her older sister Catharine.

Landmarks related to Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Housemarker in Cincinnati, Ohiomarker is the former home of her father Lyman Beecher on the former campus of the Lane Seminary. Her father was a preacher who was greatly affected by the pro-slavery riots that took place in Cincinnati in 1834. Beecher Stowe lived here until her marriage. It is open to the public and operated as an historical and cultural site, focusing on Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Lane Seminary and the Underground Railroad. The site also presents African-American history.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Harriet Beecher Stowe and her family wintered in Mandarinmarker, south of Jacksonvillemarker on the St. Johns River. Stowe wrote Palmetto Leaves while living in Mandarin, arguably the most effective and eloquent piece of promotional literature directed at Florida's potential Northern investors at the time. The book was published in 1873 and describes Northeast Florida and its residents. In 1870, Stowe created an integrated school in Mandarin for children and adults. This was an early step toward providing equal education in the area and predated the national movement toward integration by more than a half century. The marker commemorating the Stowe family is located across the street from the former site of their cottage. It is on the property of the Community Club, at the site of a church where Stowe's husband once served as a minister.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Housemarker in Brunswick, Maine is where Uncle Tom's Cabin was written while Harriet and Calvin lived there when Calvin worked at Bowdoin College. Although local interest for its preservation as a museum has been strong in the past, it has long been an inn and German restaurant. It most recently changed ownership in 1999 for $865,000.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Housemarker in Hartfordmarker, Connecticutmarker is the house where Harriet lived for the last 23 years of her life. In this cottage style house, there are many of Beecher Stowe's original items and items from the time period. In the research library, which is open to the public, there are numerous letters and documents from the Beecher family. The house is opened to the public and offers house tours on the half hour.

Partial list of works

As Christopher Crowfield

  • House and Home Papers (1865)
  • Little Foxes (1866)
  • The Chimney Corner (1868)

See also

References and further reading

  • Jeanne Boydston, Mary Kelley, and Anne Margolis, The Limits of Sisterhood: The Beecher Sisters on Women's Rights and Woman's Sphere (U of North Carolina Press, 1988),
  • Matthews, Glenna. "'Little Women' Who Helped Make This Great War" in Gabor S. Boritt, ed. Why the Civil War Came - Oxford University Press pp 31–50.
  • Gossett, Thomas F. Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture. Southern Methodist University Press: 1985.
  • Hedrick, Joan D. Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life. Oxford University Press: 1994, the main scholarly biography
  • Rourke, Constance Mayfield. Trumpets of Jubilee: Henry Ward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lyman Beecher, Horace Greeley, P.T. Barnum (1927).
  • Stowe, Charles Edward. The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe: Compiled from her letters and journals. (1889). by her son
  • Sundquist, Eric J. ed. New Essays on Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Cambridge University Press: 1986.
  • Weinstein, Cindy. The Cambridge Companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe. Cambridge UP, 2004. ISBN 978-0-521-53309-6
  • Wilson, Edmund. Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War (1962) pp 3–58
  • Stowe, Harriet Beecher: Three Novels (Kathryn Kish Sklar, ed.) (Library of America, 1982) ISBN 978-0-94045001-1
  • Fritz, Jean. Harriet Beacher Stowe and The Beecher Preachers
  • 12:04 in louisville kentucky

Other sources


  1. Stowe, Charles Edward Harriet Beecher Stowe: The Story of Her Life. 1911. Page 203. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1417902132, 9781417902132
  2. Thulesius, Olav. Harriet Beecher Stowe in Florida, 1867 to 1884. McFarland & Co, Jefferson, N.C. 2001.

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