Yesterday was the birthday of Harriet Beecher Stowe (14 June, 1811 – 1 July, 1896). Stowe is known mostly for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin but she was an avid writer all of her life.
1 ) Uncle Tom’s Cabin was originally slated to be a short series in an abolitionist magazine
2 ) Stowe was often criticized for not having firsthand knowledge of slavery. In response Stowe published A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin which revealed her sources.
3 ) After the American Civil War, Stowe bought a home in Florida and started schools for African American children.
4 ) It is said that Stowe danced in the streets when Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation.
5 ) When Stowe met President Abraham Lincoln he reported to have said: “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”
6 ) Uncle Tom’s Cabin sold 300,000 copies.
7 ) In 1853 Stowe was welcomed in England as a literary hero.
8 ) In November 1857 Stowe was one of the original contributors to The Atlantic along with Ralph Waldo Emerson.
9 ) When living in Hartford, CT Stowe’s next door neighbor was Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), it is said that the two were on friendly terms. Once Clemens visited without a cravat (tie). When his wife chastised him, Clemens put a tie on a tray and had his butler delivering it with an apologetic note. Stowe replied that Clemens discovered a new principle “that a man can call by instalments”.
10) Stowe’s Hartford home is a museum (The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center) which can be visited if you’re in the area.
Zohar – Man of la Book