Harriet Beecher Stowe is Born, 1811

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

-Harriet Beecher Stowe

Abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe was born today in 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut. Her Presbyterian family was committed to social justice and helped shape her views.

Stowe began publishing Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1951 soon after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1950, which made it illegal to aid a runaway slave.

 

Stowe is, of course, best known for  Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a groundbreaking novel that exposed the horrors of Southern slavery to Northern readers with the hopes of instilling change. The book definitely set the wheels in motion for abolition. Some even say that Stowe is responsible for the Civil War. In fact, when Stowe met President Abraham Lincoln for the first time, he supposedly said, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”

While it’s impossible to verify whether Lincoln truly believed Stowe singlehandedly started the Civil War, it is safe to say Stowe revealed the truth behind a social crime and caused many unenlightened or indifferent people to finally talk about it and make a change.

Further Reading:

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/uncletom/context.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2958.html

http://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/utc/

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americannovel/timeline/stowe.html

http://www.biography.com/people/harriet-beecher-stowe-9496479

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