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Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe was a famous author and abolitionist. She is best known for her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), which presents the conditions of enslaved African-Americans. Her novel was influential across the Atlantic amongst anti-slavery campaign supporters. Throughout her life, Stowe produced 30 books, including her travel memoirs, articles and letters, as well as novels depicting social issues of her period.
See the fact file below for more information on Harriet Beecher Stowe or alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Harriet Elisabeth Beecher, the seventh child of the Reverend Lyman Beecher and Roxanna Foote Beecher, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on June 14, 1811. Her father was a notable Calvinist preacher while her mother was a moral reformer.
- Harriet Beecher attended the Pierce Academy and the Hartford Female Seminary, run by her older sister, Catherine.
- In 1832, Harriet and her family moved to Cincinnati when Reverend Lyman Beecher was appointed as the president of Lane Theological Seminary.
- The harsh conditions endured by African-Americans due to chattel slavery across Cincinnati became one her driving forces in writing. She met various African-Americans who became victims of several riots in the area, such as the Cincinnati Riots of 1829. Their experiences greatly contributed to her novel about slavery.
- In 1836, Harriet met Calvin Ellis Stowe, a professor at the seminary, in a literary club. They got married January 6, 1836. They had seven children, which included twin daughters.
- In 1849, Harriet and Calvin’s baby boy, Samuel Charles Stowe, died. The traumatic experience led Harriet away from the teachings of Calvinism and revived her views on Christianity.
- The Stowes were ardent supporters of the Underground Railroad. They temporarily housed several escaping slaves in their home.
- When the Fugitive Slave Act was enacted in 1850, the Stowes moved to Maine.
- By 1852, Harriet wrote her most notable work, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.This book depicts the harshness of chattel slavery in the upper and lower South of the U.S. In her novel, she explored the paradox of morality and legality of white apologists.
In its first year, the novel sold an estimated 300,000 copies. This was a significant success given that Harriet was not a writer by profession and female abolitionists were not highly regarded at the time.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin received criticism in the South where it was regarded as propaganda. However, in the North, the novel became one of the inspirations against slavery.
Amongst Stowe’s other works exploring social issues of the time were Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp (1856), which also tackled issues of slavery; and The Minister’s Wooing (1859), a novel attacking Calvinism. Stowe also wrote other works of fictions such as The Pearl of Orr’s Island (1861). She created controversy with Lady Byron Vindicated (1870), a literary work in which she accused Lord Byron with incest. And her travel memoir, Palmetto Leaves (1873), described life in Florida, of which was little was known at the time.
On July 1, 1896, Stowe died at age eighty-five in Hartford, Connecticut. Her remains lie at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Harriet Beecher Stowe worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe who was a famous author and abolitionist. She is best known for her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), which presents the conditions of enslaved African-Americans.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Harriet Beecher Stowe Facts
- Word Search
- Harriet Beecher Stowe Timeline
- The Beecher Family
- The Stowes
- Famous Abolitionists and Writers
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin
- Notable Works
- A Letter to Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Harriet Beecher Stowe Legacy
- Harriet: Abolitionist and Author
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