Harriet Beecher Stowe

1811–1896

Harriet Beecher Stowe
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
Harriet Beecher was born in Connecticut, the seventh of thirteen children and the daughter of deeply religious parents. She attended the school run by her older sister Catharine, where she studied languages, mathematics, and other subjects typically reserved for young men. At age 21, she moved to Cincinnati, where her father had been made president of Lane Theological Seminary. In Ohio, she joined the Semi-Colon literary club, and she married fellow member Calvin Stowe in 1836. The two later had seven children together.

In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, ordering that all runaway slaves be returned to their owners escape. Both Stowe and her husband were staunchly abolitionist, and she wrote to the sympathetic journal National Era promising a story about the problems of slavery. That next summer, the first installment of Uncle Tomís Cabin, originally subtitled ďThe Man That Was a Thing,Ē was released. Chapters of the story appeared in weekly issued until April 1852, and the tale was published in book form a month later. In less than a year, Uncle Tomís Cabin had sold 300,000 copies. The book brought attention to the issue of slavery, incurring opposition in the South and adding to the national debate. During the American Civil War, Stowe travelled to Washington, D.C., where she met with Abraham Lincoln. Later, during the 1870s, her brother was accused of adultery, a national scandal. Although she believed him innocent, Harriet fled to Florida for a time to escape the negative publicity. Toward the end of her life, Stowe helped found the Hartford Art School, later the University of Hartford, and in 1896 she passed away in Connecticut.


Key events during the life of Harriet Beecher Stowe:


Year
Event
1811
Born.
1832
Moved to Cincinnati, Ohio.
1836
Married Calvin Ellis Stowe.
1850
Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law.
1851
Began releasing the story Uncle Tom's Cabin to the National Era.
1852
Published Uncle Tom's Cabin.
1861-65
Civil War.
1862
Met with Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C.
1877
Helped found the Hartford Art School.
1896
Died.

Book Links
Story of Harriet Beecher Stowe  by  R. B. MacArthur


Contemporary
Short Biography
Abraham Lincoln President of the United States during the American Civil War.
Lucretia Mott Influential Quaker leader who advocated the rights of women. Held relatively conservative views among early feminists.
William Lloyd Garrison Prominent abolitionist, well-known as the publisher of the Liberator, an abolitionist newspaper.
John Brown Radical abolitionist who condoned violence in order to abolish slavery. Led a raid on the armory in Harper's Ferry.