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Harriet Beecher Stowe Biography: Writer, Reformer

Known for: author of Uncle Tom"s Cabin, a book which helped build anti-slavery sentiment in America and abroad

Occupation: writer, teacher, reformer

Dates: June 14, 1811 - July 1, 1896

Also known as Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe, Harriet Stowe, Christopher Crowfield

Highlights:

Harriet Beecher Stowe is best known for writing Uncle Tom"s Cabin, in which she expresses her moral outrage at the institution of slavery and its destructive effects on both whites and blacks.

She portrays the evils of slavery as especially damaging to maternal bonds, as mothers dread the sale of their children. Written and published in installments between 1851 and 1852, publication in book form brought financial success.

Publishing nearly a book a year between 1862 and 1884, Harriet Beecher Stowe moved from her early focus on slavery in such works as Uncle Tom"s Cabin and another novel, Dred, to deal with religious faith, domesticity, and family life.

When Stowe met President Lincoln in 1862, he is said to have exclaimed, "So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!"

Family:

Harriet Beecher Stowe was the seventh child of Lyman Beecher and his first wife Roxana.

Marriage, Children:

Childhood and Youth

Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Connecticut in 1811, the seventh child of her father, the noted Congregationalist preacher, Lyman Beecher, and his first wife, Roxana Foote. Her mother died when she was four, and Harriet"s oldest sister, Catherine, took over care of the children. Even after Lyman Beecher remarried, and Harriet had a good relationship with her stepmother, Harriet"s relationship with Catherine remained strong.

After five years at Ma"am Kilbourn"s school, Harriet enrolled in Litchfield Academy, winning an award (and her father"s praise) when she was twelve for an essay titled, "Can the immortality of the Soul be Proved by the Light of Nature?"

Harriet"s sister Catherine founded a school for girls in Hartford, Hartford Female Seminary, and Harriet enrolled there. Soon, Catherine had her

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