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Harriet Beecher Stowe: The Impact Of Uncle Tom's Cabin

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"So you 're the little woman who wrote the book that started this Great War?" asked the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, to Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862. The publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin has forever changed how America would view slavery. The impact of this one ladys pen has set history for Harriet Elisabeth Beecher was born on June 14, 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut into a prominent family of preachers. The sixth of eleven children, Harriet’s father played a powerful and dominant role in the lives of his children and instilled in all of them that they would impact the world. “Stowe began her formal education at Sarah Pierce 's academy. In 1824, Stowe became the first student and then a teacher at Hartford Female…show more content…
Harriet drew on her passionate anger at this unjust law, the death of her child and the personal accounts of former slaves to write her novel. The first installment of Uncle Tom 's Cabin appeared on June 5, 1851 in the anti-slavery newspaper, The National Era. “Stowe enlisted friends and family to send her information and she scoured freedom narratives and anti-slavery newspapers for first hand accounts as she composed her story” (Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 2015). In 1852, the series was published as a two volume book. Uncle Tom 's Cabin was a best seller in the United States, Britain, Europe, Asia, and translated into over 60 languages. “The heart-wrenching tale portrays slave families forced to cope with separation by masters through sale. Uncle Tom mourns for the family he was forced to leave” (Stowe, 5). The novel also takes the perspective that slavery brings out the worst in the white masters, leading them to carry out cruel acts that they would otherwise never commit. “The Fugitive Slave Law could hardly be enforced by any of Stowe 's readers. Although banned in most of the south, it served as another log on the growing fire” (US History, 2014). The book sold even more copies in Great Britain than in the United States. This had an immeasurable appeal in swaying British public opinion. “The strength of Uncle Tom 's Cabin is its ability to…show more content…
After a century and a half this classic anti-slavery novel remains an engaging and powerful work, read in college and high school courses dealing with literature, history, and issues of race and gender. Stowe 's words changed the world: her bravery as she picked up her pen inspires us to believe in our own ability to effect positive change. Uncle Tom 's Cabin, with its compelling story, challenges us to confront America 's complicated past and connect it to today 's issues. In 1873, Harriet and her family moved into their Victorian cottage on Forest Street in the Hartford literary and social reform community known as Nook Farm where she lived until she died. Over the course of a long career as an author, Harriet wrote over thirty books and essays, poems, articles and hymns. However, no work had the impact of her first novel. By picking up her pen, Harriet Beecher Stowe had created sympathy for people who lived in bondage and motivated her readers to abolish