Harriet Beecher Stowe


Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Born Harriet Elisabeth Beecher
June 14, 1811(1811-06-14)
Litchfield, Connecticut, United States
Died July 1, 1896(1896-07-01) (aged 85)
Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Pen name Christopher Crowfield
Spouse(s) Calvin Ellis Stowe
Children Eliza Taylor, Harriet Beecher, Henry Ellis, Frederick William, Georgiana May, Samuel Charles, and Charles Edward

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Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896) was an American abolitionist and author. Her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) was a depiction of life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom. It energized anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. She wrote more than 20 books, including novels, three travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. She was influential both for her writings and her public stands on social issues of the day.

Contents

Biography

Harriet Elisabeth Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut on June 14, 1811.[1] She was the seventh of 13 children,[2] born to outspoken religious leader Lyman Beecher and Roxana Foote, a deeply religious woman who died when Stowe was only five years old. Her notable siblings included a sister, Catharine Beecher,who was an educator and author as well as seven brothers[citation needed] who became ministers: including Henry Ward Beecher, Charles Beecher, and Edward Beecher .

Harriet enrolled in the seminary (girls' school) run by her sister Catharine, where she received a traditionally "male" education in the classics, including study of languages and mathematics. Among her classmates there was Sarah P. Willis, who later wrote under the pseudonym Fanny Fern.[3] At the age of 21, she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to join her father, who had become the president of Lane Theological Seminary. There, she also joined the Semi-Colon Club, a literary salon and social club whose members included the Beecher sisters, Caroline Lee Hentz, Salmon P. Chase, Emily Blackwell, and others.[4]

It was in that group that she met Calvin Ellis Stowe, a widower and professor at the seminary. The two married on January 6, 1836.[5] He was an ardent critic of slavery, and the Stowes supported the Underground Railroad, temporarily housing several fugitive slaves in their home. They had seven children together, including twin daughters.

Uncle Tom's Cabin and Civil War

Early portrait of Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1853

In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, prohibiting assistance to fugitives. At the time, she had moved with her family into a home on the campus of Bowdoin College, where her husband was now teaching. On March 9, 1850, Stowe wrote to Gamaliel Bailey, editor of the weekly antislavery journal National Era, that she planned to write a story about the problem of slavery: "I feel now that the time is come when even a woman or a child who can speak a word for freedom and humanity is bound to speak... I hope every woman who can write will not be silent."[6] Shortly after, In June 1851, when she was 40, the first installment of her Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in the National Era. She originally used the subtitle "The Man That Was A Thing", but it was soon changed to "Life Among the Lowly".[1] Installments were published weekly from June 5, 1851, to April 1, 1852.[6] Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in book form on March 20, 1852, by John P. Jewett with an initial print run of 5,000 copies.[7] Each of its two volumes included three illustrations and a title-page designed by Hammatt Billings.[8] In less than a year, the book sold an unprecedented three hundred thousand copies.[9] By December, as sales began to wane, Jewett issued an inexpensive edition at 37 1/2 cents each to further inspire sales.[10]

The book's emotional portrayal of the impact of slavery captured the nation's attention. It added to the debate about abolition and slavery, and aroused opposition in the South. Within a year, 300 babies were named "Eva" in Boston alone and a play based on the book opened in New York in November of that year.[11]

After the outbreak of the Civil War, Stowe traveled to Washington, D.C. and there met President Abraham Lincoln on November 25, 1862.[12] Legend has it that, upon meeting her, he greeted her by saying, "so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war."[13] In reality, little is known about the meeting. Stowe's daughter Hattie reported, "It was a very droll time that we had at the White house [sic] I assure you... I will only say now that it was all very funny—and we were ready to explode with laughter all the while."[14] Stowe's own letter to her husband is equally ambiguous: "I had a real funny interview with the President."[14]

Later years

In the 1870s, Stowe's brother Henry Ward Beecher was accused of adultery and became the subject of a national scandal. Stowe, unable to bear the public attacks on her brother, fled to Florida but asked family members to send her newspaper reports.[15] Through the affair, however, she remained loyal to her brother and believed he was innocent.[16]

Mrs. Stowe was among the founders of the Hartford Art School which later became part of the University of Hartford.

Stowe died on July 1, 1896, at age eighty-five, in Hartford, Connecticut. She is buried in the historic cemetery at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.

Legacy

Bust by Brenda Putnam at Hall of Fame for Great Americans

Landmarks

Multiple landmarks are dedicated to the memory of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and are located in several states including Ohio, Florida, Maine and Connecticut. The locations of these landmarks represent various periods of her life such as her fathers house where she grew up, and where she wrote her most famous work.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Cincinnati, Ohio 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 Cincinnati Riots of 1836. Harriet Beecher Stowe lived here until her marriage. It is open to the public and operated as a historical and cultural site, focusing on Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Lane Seminary and the Underground Railroad. The site also presents African-American history.[17]

In the 1870s and 1880s, Stowe and her family wintered in Mandarin, Florida, now a neighborhood of modern consolidated Jacksonville, on the St. Johns River. Stowe wrote Palmetto Leaves while living in Mandarin, arguably an eloquent piece of promotional literature directed at Florida's potential Northern investors at the time.[18] 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 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 House in Brunswick, Maine is where Stowe lived when she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin. Her husband was teaching theology at nearby Bowdoin College, and she regularly invited students from the college and friends to read and discuss the chapters before publication. Future Civil War general, and later Governor, Joshua Chamberlain was then a student at the college and later described the setting. “On these occasions,” Chamberlain noted, “a chosen circle of friends, mostly young, were favored with the freedom of her house, the rallying point being, however, the reading before publication, of the successive chapters of her Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and the frank discussion of them.” In 2001 Bowdoin College purchased the house, together with a newer attached building, and was able to raise the substantial funds necessary to restore the house. It is not open to the public.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford, Connecticut is the house where Stowe lived for the last 23 years of her life. It was next door to the house of fellow author Mark Twain. In this 5,000 sq ft (460 m2) 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 open to the public and offers house tours on the half hour.

In 1833, during Stowe's time in Cincinnati, the city was afflicted with a serious cholera epidemic. To avoid illness, Stowe made a visit to Washington, Kentucky, a major community of the era just south of Maysville. She stayed with the Marshall Key family, one of whose daughters was a student at Lane Seminary. It is recorded that Mr. Key took her to see a slave auction, as they were frequently held in Maysville. Scholars believe she was strongly moved by the experience. The Marshall Key home still stands in Washington. Key was a prominent Kentuckian; his visitors also included Henry Clay and Daniel Webster.[19]

The Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site is part of the restored Dawn Settlement at Dresden, Ontario, which is 20 miles east of Algonac, Michigan. The community for freed slaves founded by the Rev. Josiah Henson and other abolitionists in the 1830s has been restored. There's also a museum. Henson and the Dawn Settlement provide Stowe with the inspiration for Uncle Tom's Cabin.[20]

Honors

Partial list of works

  • The Mayflower; or, Sketches of Scenes and Characters Among the Descendants of the Pilgrims (1834)
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
  • A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (1853)
  • Dred, A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp (1856)
  • The Minister's Wooing (1859)
  • Agnes of Sorrento (1862) (reading online)
  • The Pearl of Orr's Island (1862)
  • Old Town Folks (1869)
  • Little Pussy Willow (1870)
  • Lady Byron Vindicated (1870)
  • My Wife and I (1871)
  • Pink and White Tyranny (1871)
  • Woman in Sacred History (1873)
  • Palmetto Leaves (1873)
  • We and Our Neighbors (1875)
  • Poganuc People (1878)
  • The Poor Life (1890)

As Christopher Crowfield

  • House and Home Papers (1865)
  • Little Foxes (1866)

See also

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Notes

  1. ^ a b McFarland, Philip. Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe. New York: Grove Press, 2007: 112. ISBN 978-0-8021-4390-7
  2. ^ Hendrick, Joan (1994). Harriet Beecher Stowe: a Life. Oxford University Press. p. 6. ISBN 0-19-506639-1. http://books.google.com/books?id=tl8m84E2iFkC&lpg=PP1&dq=harriet%20beecher%20stowe&pg=PR4#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 30-Jun-2011. 
  3. ^ Warren, Joyce W. Fanny Fern: An Independent Woman. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992: 21. ISBN 0-8135-1763-X
  4. ^ Tonkovic, Nicole. Domesticity with a difference: The Nonfiction of Catharine Beecher, Sarah J. Hale, Fanny Fern, and Margaret Fuller. University Press of Mississippi, 1997: 12. ISBN 0878059938
  5. ^ McFarland, Philip. Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe. New York: Grove Press, 2007: 21. ISBN 978-0-8021-4390-7
  6. ^ a b Hedrick, Joan D. Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995: 208. ISBN 9780195096392208
  7. ^ McFarland, Philip. Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe. New York: Grove Press, 2007: 80–81. ISBN 978-0-8021-4390-7
  8. ^ Parfait, Claire. The Publishing History of Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852–2002. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007: 71–72. ISBN 9780754655145
  9. ^ Morgan, Jo-Ann. Uncle Tom's Cabin As Visual Culture. University of Missouri Press, 2007: 136–137. ISBN 9780826217158
  10. ^ Parfait, Claire. The Publishing History of Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852–2002. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007: 78. ISBN 9780754655145
  11. ^ Morgan, Jo-Ann. Uncle Tom's Cabin As Visual Culture. University of Missouri Press, 2007: 137. ISBN 9780826217158
  12. ^ McFarland, Philip. Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe. New York: Grove Press, 2007: 163. ISBN 978-0-8021-4390-7
  13. ^ Bennett, William John. America: From the Age of Discovery to a World at War, 1492-1914. Thomas Nelson Inc, 2006: 284. ISBN 9781595550552
  14. ^ a b Hedrick, Joan D. Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995: 306. ISBN 9780195096392208
  15. ^ Applegate, Debby. The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher. New York: Three Leaves Press, 2006: 444. ISBN 978-0-385-51397--5
  16. ^ McFarland, Philip. Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe. New York: Grove Press, 2007: 270. ISBN 978-0-8021-4390-7
  17. ^ "Stowe House". ohiohistory.org. http://www.ohiohistory.org/places/stowe/. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  18. ^ Thulesius, Olav. Harriet Beecher Stowe in Florida, 1867 to 1884, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co, 2001
  19. ^ Calvert and Klee, Towns of Mason County [KY], LCCN 86-62637, 1986, Maysville and Mason County Library, Historical, and Scientific Association.
  20. ^ http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMWAP_THE_DAWN_SETTLEMENT_Dresden

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe — Harriet Elizabeth Beecher (14 de junio de 1811 – † 1 de julio de 1896) fue una abolicionista y autora de más de diez libros, siendo el más famoso Uncle Tom s Cabin (La cabaña del tío Tom), el cual narra la historia de la vida en la esclavitud y… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Harriet Beecher-Stowe — Harriet Beecher Stowe, geborene Harriet Elizabeth Beecher (* 14. Juni 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut; † 1. Juli 1896 in Hartford, Connecticut) war eine US amerikanische Schriftstellerin (Onkel Toms Hütte) und erklärte Gegnerin der Sklaverei.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe — Harriet Beecher Stowe, geborene Harriet Elizabeth Beecher (* 14. Juni 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut; † 1. Juli 1896 in Hartford, Connecticut) war eine US amerikanische Schriftstellerin und erklärte Gegnerin der Sklaverei. Ihr Buch Onkel Toms… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe — Nom de naissance Elizabeth Harriet Beecher Stowe Activités romancière …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe — noun United States writer of a novel about slavery that advanced the abolitionists cause (1811 1896) • Syn: ↑Stowe, ↑Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe • Instance Hypernyms: ↑writer, ↑author, ↑abolitionist, ↑emancipationist * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe — ➡ Stowe * * * …   Universalium

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe — (1811 1896) black American writer and abolitionist, author of Uncle Tom s Cabin …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe House — can refer to:* Harriet Beecher Stowe House (Hartford, Connecticut), listed on the U.S. NRHP * Harriet Beecher Stowe House (Brunswick, Maine), NRHP * Harriet Beecher Stowe House (Cincinnati, Ohio), NRHPee also* Harriet Beecher Stowe * Mandarin,… …   Wikipedia

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe House — bezeichnet mehrere gleichnamige, im NRHP gelistete, Objekte: Harriet Beecher Stowe House (Connecticut), ID Nr. 70000710 Harriet Beecher Stowe House (Maine), ID Nr. 66000091 Harriet Beecher Stowe House (Ohio), ID Nr. 70000497 Diese Seite ist ei …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe House (Hartford, Connecticut) — Infobox nrhp | name =Stowe, Harriet Beecher, House nrhp type = caption = location= Hartford, Connecticut lat degrees = 41 | lat minutes = 46 | lat seconds = 1.14 | lat direction = N long degrees = 72 | long minutes = 42 | long seconds = 2.81 |… …   Wikipedia


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