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Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896)

Author of Uncle Tom's Cabin

236+ Works 19,151 Members 205 Reviews 10 Favorited

About the Author

Harriet Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, one of nine children of the distinguished Congregational minister and stern Calvinist, Lyman Beecher. Of her six brothers, five became ministers, one of whom, Henry Ward Beecher, was considered the finest pulpit orator of his day. In 1832 Harriet show more Beecher went with her family to Cincinnati, Ohio. There she taught in her sister's school and began publishing sketches and stories. In 1836 she married the Reverend Calvin E. Stowe, one of her father's assistants at the Lane Theological Seminary and a strong antislavery advocate. They lived in Cincinnati for 18 years, and six of her children were born there. The Stowes moved to Brunswick, Maine, in 1850, when Calvin Stowe became a professor at Bowdoin College. Long active in abolition causes and knowledgeable about the atrocities of slavery both from her reading and her years in Cincinnati, with its close proximity to the South, Stowe was finally impelled to take action with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. By her own account, the idea of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) first came to her in a vision while she was sitting in church. Returning home, she sat down and wrote out the scene describing the death of Uncle Tom and was so inspired that she continued to write on scraps of grocer's brown paper after her own supply of writing paper gave out. She then wrote the book's earlier chapters. Serialized first in the National Era (1851--52), an important abolitionist journal with national circulation, Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in book form in March 1852. It was an immediate international bestseller; 10,000 copies were sold in less than a week, 300,000 within a year, and 3 million before the start of the Civil War. Family legend tells of President Abraham Lincoln (see Vol. 3) saying to Stowe when he met her in 1862: "So this is the little lady who made this big war?" Whether he did say it or not, we will never know, since Stowe left no written record of her interview with the president. But he would have been justified in saying it. Certainly, no other single book, apart from the Bible, has ever had any greater social impact on the United States, and for many years its enormous historical interest prevented many from seeing the book's genuine, if not always consistent, literary merit. The fame of the novel has also unfortunately overshadowed the fiction that Stowe wrote about her native New England: The Minister's Wooing (1859), Oldtown Folks (1869), Poganuc People (1878), and The Pearl of Orr's Island (1862), the novel that, according to Sarah Orne Jewett, began the local-color movement in New England. Here Stowe was writing about the world and its people closest and dearest to her, recording their customs, their legends, and their speech. As she said of one of these novels, "It is more to me than a story. It is my resume of the whole spirit and body of New England." (Bowker Author Biography) Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) remains one of the most influential writers in American history. Following the publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" she became an instant celebrity, speaking against slavery in the United States & Europe. (Publisher Provided) show less

Includes the names: H B STOWE, H.B. Stowe, Mrs. Stowe, Harriet Stowe, Beecher Stowe, Stowe Beecher, Harriet Stowe, h beecherstone, Harriet Beecher, Harriet Beecher, Harriet R Stowe, Beecher-Stowe H, H. Beecher-Stowe, H. Beecher Stowe, E. Beecher Stowe, Harriet B. Stowe, Mrs. H. B. Stowe, Harriet Beech Stowe, BEECHER - STOWE Mme, H.E. Beecher- Stowe, Hariet Beecher Stowe, Harret Beecher Stowe, stroweharrietbeecher, Harret Beecher Stowe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harrier Beecher Stowe, Harriet Beacher Stowe, Harriet Beecher Stiwe, Beecher Harriet Stowe, Mrs. H. Beecher Stowe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Christopher Crowfield, Harriet Beecher-Stowe, Harriet Beacher Stowe, Harriet Beechers Stowe, Harriët Beecher-Stowe, Harriert Beecher-Stowe, Harriet Stowe; Beecher, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Harriët Beecher Stowe, Harriett Beecher-Stowe, Breecher Harriet Stowe, HHarriet beecher Stowe, Harrient Beecher Stowe, Harrriet Beecher Stowe, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Enriqueta Beecher Stowe, Harriet-E Beecher-Stowe, Enrichetta Beecher Stowe, Harriet E. Beecher Stowe, Stowe Harriet Beecher R7H6, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, הריט ביצ׳ר סטו, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mevr. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mistress Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe, Professor Harriet Beecher Stowe, Хариет Бичер Стоу, Бичер-Стоу Харриет, Гарриет Бичер-Стоу, HARRIET BEECHER STOWE 2 VOULME SET., Harriet Elizabeth Beecher-Stoweová, হ্যারিয়েট বিচার স্টো

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery

Works by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin (1964) 16,488 copies
The Minister's Wooing (1859) 205 copies
The American Woman's Home (1869) 119 copies
Oldtown folks (1869) 44 copies
Pink and White Tyranny (1871) 42 copies
Woman in Sacred History (1873) 35 copies
Poganuc People (1998) 32 copies
My Wife and I (1875) 20 copies
Lady Byron Vindicated (1870) 19 copies
Queer Little Folks (2006) 16 copies
Agnes of Sorrento (2012) 13 copies
Oldtown Fireside Stories (1872) 10 copies
House and Home Papers (1869) 6 copies
La cabaña del tío Tom (1991) 3 copies
He's Coming To-morrow (1901) 3 copies
House and Home Papers (1865) 2 copies
La case de l'oncle Tom (1852) — Author — 2 copies
Dred. 1 2 copies
Uncle Tom's Cabin (2015) 2 copies
The Christian Slave (2004) 2 copies
La cabaña del tio Tom (1956) 1 copy
Une poignée de contes (2013) 1 copy
Onkel Tom 1 copy
Dred. 2 1 copy
Stowe Novels 1 copy
Nelly's Heroics (1883) 1 copy
Hum, the Son of Buz (2014) 1 copy
La Cabaña de Tio Tom (2020) 1 copy
Betty's Bright Idea (2019) 1 copy
Tamas batya kunyhoja (1993) 1 copy
De slavernij 1 copy
Dred Scott 1 copy
LITTLE FOXES (1878) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories (1992) — Contributor — 730 copies
Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology (2004) — Contributor — 293 copies
In the Nursery (My Book House) (1932) — Contributor — 279 copies
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume 1 (1990) — Contributor, some editions — 250 copies
The Mammoth Book of Victorian and Edwardian Ghost Stories (1995) — Contributor — 165 copies
Life in the Iron Mills [Bedford Cultural Editions] (1997) — Contributor — 142 copies
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (1996) — Contributor — 115 copies
200 Years of Great American Short Stories (1975) — Contributor — 65 copies
The Vintage Book of American Women Writers (2011) — Contributor — 55 copies
The Giant Book of Ghost Stories (1994) — Contributor — 55 copies
Pearl S. Buck's Book of Christmas (1605) — Contributor — 43 copies
The Junior Classics Volume 08: Animal and Nature Stories (1912) — Contributor — 40 copies
Best Loved Short Stories of Nineteenth Century America (2003) — Contributor — 39 copies
100 Tiny Tales of Terror (1996) — Contributor — 34 copies
Rediscoveries: American Short Stories by Women, 1832-1916 (1994) — Contributor — 31 copies
American Gothic Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (2019) — Contributor — 26 copies
The World's Greatest Books Volume 08 Fiction (1910) — Contributor — 25 copies
American Literature: The Makers and the Making (In Two Volumes) (1973) — Contributor, some editions — 25 copies
A Budget of Christmas Tales by Charles Dickens and Others (1895) — Contributor — 21 copies
Truth Stranger than Fiction: Father Henson's Story of His Own Life (1876) — Introduction; Foreword, some editions — 15 copies
Cat Encounters: A Cat-Lover's Anthology (1979) — Contributor — 10 copies
Father Henson's Story of His Own Life (1858) — Introduction, some editions — 10 copies
Inside View of Slavery; or, A Tour Among the Planters (1855) — Introduction — 9 copies
Representative American Short Stories — Contributor — 5 copies
Famous stories of five centuries (1934) — Contributor — 4 copies
Uncle Tom's Cabin [1927 film] (1927) — Original book — 4 copies
Exponent II, July 1974, Vol. 1, No. 1 (1974) — Contributor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge

Legal name
Beecher, Harriet Elizabeth
Other names
Crowfield, Christopher
Date of death
Burial location
Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, USA
Litchfield, Connecticut, USA
Place of death
Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Cause of death
Modern researchers now speculate that at the end of her life she was suffering from Alzheimer's disease
Places of residence
Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Litchfield, Connecticut, USA
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Hartford Female Seminary, Connecticut, USA
short story writer
Beecher, Lyman (father)
Beecher, Henry Ward (brother)
Beecher, Charles (brother)
Beecher, Edward (brother)
Hooker, Isabella Beecher (sister)
Beecher, Catharine Esther (sister) (show all 9)
Perkins, Frederic B. (nephew)
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins (grand-niece)
Stowe, Charles Edward (son)
Awards and honors
The Hall of Fame for Great Americans (1910)
Short biography
Harriet Beecher of the remarkable Beecher clan attended the school for girls run by her sister Catharine. In 1836, she married Calvin Ellis Stowe, a professor of Biblical literature. To help support her growing family (she had 7 children), Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote short stories and ran a small school in her home. She was catapulted to fame and helped turn millions of people away from slavery with the publication of her instant bestseller Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1851. Upon meeting her in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln is alleged to have said, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!"

Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896) was an American abolitionist and author. She came from the Beecher family, a famous religious family, and is best known for her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), which depicts the harsh conditions for enslaved African Americans. The book reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and Great Britain, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. Stowe wrote 30 books, including novels, three travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. She was influential for both her writings and her public stances and debates on social issues of the day.



Oldtown Folks group read in 75 Books Challenge for 2011 (May 2011)


ibkennedy | 186 other reviews | Oct 30, 2023 |
I was very impressed by this book, both by the story itself and its abolitionist pleas. I read this book as an adjunct to [[Ibram X. Kendi]]'s book [Stamped from the Beginning]. I feel this book is probably most effective as a read for someone who, like myself, is trying to understand the issue of slavery better rather than as an assigned read for an English literature class. I found it interesting to finally "meet" Uncle Tom and Simon Legree in this book because I'd heard their names all of my life, but I had no idea who they were or what they did.

I thought this book gave a pretty clear picture of how slaves were treated diffently depending on their owners, but it painted the life of slaves, at least at the beginning of this book, a bit rosier than it probably was. The dreadful and distressing practice of tearing apart black families by selling each member to different white owners located at great distances from each other was highlighted in this story.

The only issue I had a problem with with was its overly heavyhandedness on Christian theology. I know this was a big issue for blacks as they were trying to educate themselves, but I couldn't buy into the preachiness of the author's theology. I also found one reference to Jews very offensive in this book. Nevertheless, I am glad I put the effort into reading this classic story, and I hope the author's persuasiveness helped guide former slave-owners into rethinking their positions about slavery.
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SqueakyChu | 186 other reviews | Oct 9, 2023 |
A classic first published in 1852 - This book has been on my bucket list for years now. Finally...check! My copy: UNCLE TOM’S CABIN: LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY (possibly 1884-1885 edition), by Harriet Beecher Stowe. This is a little book, no more than 4” wide by 7” long, with very tiny print. I found it on eBay, purchased from stampinsisters for $10.00. It is badly worn and missing the copyright page. On the inside cover page is written:
“6th Prize Jr. 3rd Class, Fred Cummings, U.S.S.
No. 10th 16. S.N. & D. [signed] E. Garrett, Teacher,
Dec. 1885”.
I would gladly mail this copy to any known family members of this Fred Cummings.

According to the author, Harriet Beecher Stowe, this story is based on a collection of true life stories turned into a novel that were either witnessed by the author, herself, or told to her by others who either went through similar experiences when enslaved or told by someone who had knowledge of certain events and relayed it to the author.

I rated this book 4 stars out of 5, just above an average read, for these reasons: 1) The author constantly jumped from you reading a good story, to her interrupting with analogies and explanations and sermons. I found that strange and a bit annoying. 2) I found that she was very pretentious in her writing of those analogies, explanations and sermons…meaning, she tried too hard to write so uppity, that at times, I couldn’t understand what the heck she was writing. 3) Some parts of the slave dialog were hard to get through. Thankfully, they weren’t very long conversations.

That being said, this story did draw me into the characters and their emotional trauma experienced by being enslaved. She really did capture the essence of slavery, of a human race that owned absolutely nothing and experienced complete helplessness over every little aspect of their lives. Even if the slave had a good life, it could turn on a dime when the plantation owner had to pay in on a debt or upon a sudden death. They would then find themselves back on the auction block and praying and begging not to be separated from their children, or to be sold to a good master and not be sent down the river to the cotton plantations, which had the worst reputation for having brutal owners. The author touched on many things emotionally that I never have, and never would have, even thought about before on my own.

She portrayed different personalities handling brutal plantation owners in different ways. On the one hand, there was Uncle Tom, who was an upmost Christian and never wavered or compromised his belief in praying for and showing love and compassion even through his turmoil. He took a beating because he refused to beat another slave. Then, there was Sam Harris, who escaped with his family, and would die and fight before letting them harm his family. They were both right! In the end, Uncle Tom's cabin was symbolic for the love and compassion he spread among his people and among everyone else he encountered, whether a Christian or not. God used him to bring others to the Lord.

We learned a lot about slavery when I was in high school back in the 1980’s, but we never really touched on the “emotional” aspect of it, and I wish we had.
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MissysBookshelf | 186 other reviews | Aug 27, 2023 |
The benefits of Christianity, as described here, are so bountiful that one wonders how slavery dared to exist in its presence. The story is so replete with Jesus figures that the author has to juggle them carefully to avoid a scene where they must all sacrifice themselves en masse. The author is to be commended for restricting her anti-semitism to only a single line.
markm2315 | 186 other reviews | Jul 1, 2023 |



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