“The Little woman that started this Great War” or also known as Harriet Beecher Stowe. She was an American abolitionist and novelist who attacked those who were pro slavery. Her book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” fueled the anti slavery forces in North America and upset many citizens in the Southern states. She reached millions across the world with one small book and as Lincoln said when he finally met Harriet Stowe “so you’re the little woman that started this Great War!”
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born on June 14, 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut. She grew up in a large family having two sisters, one half sister, five brothers, and two half brothers. She was the last of seven children in the family. Harriet was named after her aunt, Harriet Foote who greatly influenced her writing career. At the age of eleven she entered the seminary at Harford Connecticut along with her sister Catharine. Even in her most early years, Harriet Stowe was a writer. After graduating from seminary she began working as a teacher. Her first publication was a geography for children and won her first writing contest in 1834. Her first book “The Mayflower” was published and sol in 1843.
She married a man by the name of Calvin Stowe and the two moved to Brunswick, Maine. Together they had seven children some of which died in early childhood. Her first children were twin girls named Hattie and Eliza born on September 29 1836. She would later have two more sons (Frederick William and Samuel Charles) and one would die (Samuel) from choler epidemic. During this time she learned about slavery through many visits to the South and saw how cruel it was. These experiences along with the death of her son pushed Harriet into writing her most famous novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Although she was made famous for writing “Uncle Tom’s Cabin also wrote other things such as poems, biographies, travel books, children’s books, and novels.
Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote her most famous novel after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. It was then she became an abolitionist Her book affected the Northern states of America deeply which created the strong force against slavery. Most people in the South however denied that the book was in fact a truthful depiction of how life really was. It went so far as to be banished in the Southern states and if you were found in possession of it you were arrested immediately. Many people living in the Southern states mocked her book by writing others that would demean her novel. It was for this reason that she wrote a sequel to her first novel “A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin” which proved her research on the topic of slavery. At the beginning of the civil war Great Britain’s thoughts of joining the South moved to embrace the ideas of Harriet Beecher Stowe although they continued to remain a neutral party to the war.
Harriet Stowe would go on to write at least ten other adult novels but they would now get the same recognition as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” With the ongoing was, and her much in the middle of it, the focus remained on the issue of slavery and on her first novel. She became a national celebrity and was asked to speak in many different places against slavery.
Harriet Beecher Stowe has left an unforgettable mark upon society. Her influence reached millions of different people from government, to nobility, to your neighbor across the street. Harriet Beecher Stowe died on July 1 1896 and was buried on the grounds of Phillips Academy in Andover Massachusetts.