Harriet Beecher Stowe
Writer + Prophetic Witness
1 July 1896
Gracious God, we thank you for the witness of Harriett Beecher Stowe, whose fiction inspired thousands with compassion for the shame and sufferings of enslaved peoples, and who enriched her writings with the cadences of The Book of Common Prayer. Help us, like her, to strive for your justice, that our eyes may see the glory of your Son, Jesus Christ, when he comes to reign with you and the Holy Spirit in reconciliation and peace, one God, now and always. Amen.
From the Satucket Lectionary
Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896) was an American abolitionist and author. Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) depicted life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom and made the political issues of the 1850s regarding slavery tangible to millions, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. Upon meeting Stowe, Abraham Lincoln allegedly remarked, “So you’re the little lady who started this great war!” The quote is regarded as apocryphal.
Harriet Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut on June 14, 1811. She was the daughter of outspoken religious leader Lyman Beecher and Roxana Foote, a deeply religious woman who died when Stowe was four years old. She was the sister of the educator and author, Catharine Beecher, clergymen Henry Ward Beecher, Charles Beecher, and Edward Beecher.
Harriet enrolled in the seminary run by her eldest sister Catharine, where she received a traditionally “male” education. At the age of 21, she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to join her father, who had become the president of Lane Theological Seminary, and in 1836 she married Calvin Ellis Stowe, a professor at the seminary and an ardent critic of slavery. The Stowes supported the Underground Railroad and housed several fugitive slaves in their home. They eventually moved to Brunswick, Maine, where Calvin taught at Bowdoin College.
In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, prohibiting assistance to fugitives. Stowe was moved to present her objections on paper, and in June 1851, the first installment of Uncle Tom‘s Cabin appeared in the antislavery journalNational Era. The 40-year-old mother of seven children sparked a national debate and, as Abraham Lincoln is said to have noted, a war. Stowe died on July 1, 1896, at age eighty-five, in Hartford, Connecticut.
— more at Wikipedia