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m lua mm 










mc KUbrMiSE pceo CamErrtbst 




This life of Harriet Beecher Stove is not a 
biography in the ordinary sense. It is rather the 
story of a real character ; telling, not bo much 
what she did as what she was, and how she be- 
came what she was. 

Each of the ten chapters is meant to be com- 
plete in itself, and to tell how the child grew, how 
she became a teacher and writer, a wife and mother ; 
and, as the author of " Uncle Tom's Cabin," rose 
from obscurity to fame. Then, we see her in the 
storm and stress of a war that she had done much 
to bring on ; in her Southern home; as a delineator 
of New England life and character, and, finally, 
as she waits the muffled oar beside the silent sea 
and gently drifts away with the ebbing tide. She 
herself is ever at the centre, and everything else is 
subordinated to her and viewed through her con- 
sciousness, and we look at the facts of her life as 
they were mirrored there. What her critics in the 
past thought of her, or what they think of her in 
the present, or may think of her in the future, is 
not a matter that concerns us. 

New Tobx, Uaroh 3, 


All that ioterests ua is to know and to tell how 
the experiences of her life appeared to her, and 
how she appeared to herself. We are not so hold 

! as to assume that our attempt has been entirely 

successful, hut we are confident that the aim 
was well worth the effort. 

We wish to express our obligation to Harper & 
Brothers for generously permitting us to utilize 
material contained in the "Autobiography and 
Correspondence of Lyman Beecher," and to Mrs. 
James T. Fields for her permission to use mate- 
rial to be found only in her invaluable " Life and 
Letters of Harriet Beecher Stowe." 

I Charles Edward Stowe. 

L Lyman Beecqee Stowe. 


L How THB Child Grxw 1 

IL Ov THB Thbeshold 88 

HL Tbaohkb AiTD Wbioee 88 

lY. Wm AiTD Mothxs 85 

V. How <«UvcLB Tom's Cabin " was Built • • 124 

YI. Fbom Obsousftt to Famb 158 

Til. THROuaH Smoke of Battle 188 

YUL Im TK THE South 217 

IX. Deldisatoe of New England Life and Chab- 

AOTBB 2i2 

X. The Ebbino Tide 274 

Index: 303 


Harriet Bebcher Stowe. Photogravure • • • FranHtpiece 
From a photograph taken In 18G2. 

Mrs. Stowe'b Birthplace, Litchfield, Conk. ... 6 

From a drawing by CharleB Copeland. 

Calvin Ellis Stowe 118 

After a photograph taken In 1882. 

Mrs. Stowe's Home, Brxtnbwick, Maine, where ** Uncle 
Tom's Cabin" was written 130 

Facsimile of Manuscript page of ** Uncle Tom's 
Cabin" 160 

Mrs. Stowe, Henrt Ward Beecher, and their father, 
Dr. Ltman Beecher 188 

The Stowe Home at Andoyer 206 

From a painting in 1860, 1^ F. RondeL 

Harriet Beecher Stowe 216 

From a photograph taken in 1862. 





Most of us have some recollections of early 
childhood which stand out in our minds as vividly 
as the most important events of later life. Harriet 
Beecher's earliest recollections were of her mother, 
■who died September 25, 1816, when Harriet waa 
five years old. She says of her mother, in describ- 
ing the first of tliese incidents, " Mother was an en- 
thusiastic horticulturist in all small ways that her 
limited means allowed. Herbrother John, in New 
Tork, had just sent her a small parcel of fine tulip- 
bulbs. I remember rummagiug these out of an ob- 
scure corner of the nursery one day when she was 
gone out, and being strongly seized with the idea 
that they were good to eat, and using all the httle 
English I then possessed to persuade my brothers 
that these were onions such as grown people ate, 
and would be very nice for us. So we fell to and 
devoured the whole, and I recollect being some- 


what disappointed at the odd sweetish taste, and 
thinking that onions were not as nice as I had 

" Then mother's serene face appeared at the 
nursery door, and we all ran towards her and 
began to tell our discovery and achievement, — we 
had found this bag of onions and had eaten them 
all up I 

" Also I remember that there was not even a 
momentary expression of impatience, but that 
she sat down and said, ' My dear children, what 
you have done makes mamma very sorry ; those 
were not onions, but roots of beautiful flowers; 
and if you had let them alone, mamma would have 
had in the garden next summer great beautiful 
red and yellow flowers such as you never saw.' I 
remember how drooping and dispirited we all grew 
at this picture, and how sadly we regarded the 
empty paper bag," 

This was one o£ the two incidents which, as she 
says, " twinkle like rays through the darkness." 
The other was " of our all running and dancing 
out before her from the nursery to the sitting- 
room one Sabbath morning, and her pleasant 
voice saying after us, ' Remember the Sabbath day 
to keep it holy.' " 


She goes on to saj, " Then I have a recollection 
of her reading to the children, one evening, Misa 
Edgeworth's * Frank,' which had just come out, 
I beheve, and was exciting a great deal of interest 
in the educational circles of Litchfield. After that 
I remember a time when every one said she was 
sick. ... I used to be permitted once a day to 
go into her room, where she lay bolstered up in 
bed. I have a vision of a very fair face with a 
bright red spot on each cheek, and a quiet smile as 
she offered me a spoonful of her gruel ; of our 
dreamiug one night, we little ones, that mamma 
had got well, and waking in loud transports of 
joj, and being hushed down by some one coining 
into the room. Our dream was indeed a true one. 
She was forever well ; but they told us she was 
dead, and took us in to see something that seemed 
so cold and so unlike anything we had ever seen 
or known of her." 

Then came the funeral, which in those stem 
days had none of the soothing accessories of 
GUI gentler times. We are told of Harriet's little 
baby brother, Henry Ward, that after the funeral 
he was seen by his sister Catherine digging with 
great energy under her window, the bright sunlight 
shining through the long curls that hung down on 


either side of his little flushed face. When she 
ashed what he was doing, be replied, " I 'm doing 
down to find mamma I " 

"Although mother's bodily presence disappeared 
from onr circle," sajs Mrs. Stowe, " I think that 
her memory and example had more influence in 
moulding her family, in deterring from evil and 
exciting to good, than the living presence of many 
mothers. It was a memory that met us everywhere, 
for every person in the town seemed to have been 
so impressed by her character and life that they 
constantly reflected some portion of it back upon 
us. The passage in ' Uncle Tom ' where Augus- 
tine St. Clair describes his mother's influence is a 
simple reproduction o£ this mother's influence as 
it has always been in her family." Such a woman 
was Eoxana Foote, Doctor Lyman Beecher's first 
wife and the mother of eight of Doctor Beecher's 
eleven children. 

The scenery of Litchfield, Connecticut, where 
Harriet Beecher was bom June 14, 1811, had a 
deep and lasting effect upon the moulding of her 
character. Her lifelong love of nature was early 
cultivated by the rare beauty of Litchfield's hills 
and woods and streams. Of these she says : — 

"My earliest reooUeotioQS of Litchfield are those 



of its beautiful scenery, which impressed and 
formed my miud long before I bad words to give 
names to my emotions, or could analyze my men- 
tal processes. To the west of us rose a smooth- 
bosomed hill, called Prospect Hill ; and many a 
pensive, wondering hour have I sat at our play- 
room window, watching the glory of the wonder- 
ful sunsets that used to burn themselves out amid 
voiuminous wreathings or castellated turrets of 
clonds proper to a mountainous region. 

" On the east of us lay another upland, called 
Chestnut Hills, whose sides were wooded with a 
rich growth of forest trees, whose change of tint 
and verdure, from the first misty tints of spring 
green through the deepeoing hues of summer 
into the rainbow glories of autumn, was a subject 
o£ constant remark and of pensive contemplation 
to us children. We heard them spoken of by older 
people and pointed out to visitors, and came to 
take pride in them as a sort of birthright." 

The bouse where Harriet was born was origi- 
nally a square building with a hipped roof, to which 
before her birth her father bad built an addition 
known as " the new part." In the " Autobiography 
and Correspondence of Lyman Beecher," it is de- 
scribed in part as follows : — 



" The ground floor of the new part was occu- 
pied by a large parlor, in which memory recalls 
ministers' meetings with clouds of tobacco smoke, 
and musical soirees, with piano, flute, and song. 
Over this were sleeping-rooms, and in the attic 
was the study, the windows of which looked out 
into an apple orchard." 

Mrs. Stowe wrote of this home and her father: 
" Father was very fond of music, and very suscepti- 
ble to its influence ; and one of the great eras of 
the family in my childish recollection is the tri- 
umphant bringing home from New Haven a fine- 
toned upright piano, which a fortunate accident 
had brought within the range of a poor country 
minister's means. The ark of the covenant was 
not brought into the tabernacle with more glad- 
ness than this magical instrument into our abode. 
Father soon learned to accompany the piano on 
his viohn in various psalm tunes and Scotch airs, 
and brothers Edward and William to perform 
their part on their flutes. So we had often domes- 
tic concerts which, if they did not attain to the 
height of artistic perfection, filled the house with 

" One of the most decided impressions of the 
family, as it was in my childish days, was of a 



great household inspired by a spirit of cheerful- 
ness and hilarity, and of my father, though 
pressed and driven with business, always lending 
an attentive ear to anything in the way of life 
and social fellowship. My oldest sister, whose Hfe 
seemed to be a constant stream of mirthfulness, 
was his favorite and companion, and he was al- 
ways more than indulgent towards her pranks 
ajid jokes." This eldest sister says of her father, 
"I remember him more as a playmate than in any 
other character during my childhood." In spite of 
the fact that he was ever bubbling over with f un 
he was respected and obeyed by his children in 
the minutest particulars. His oldest daughter, 
Catherine, says of her father, *' As to family gov- 
ernment, it has been said that children love best 
those that govern them best. This was verified in 
our experience. Our mother was tender, gentle, 
and sympathizing; but all the discipline of gov- 
ernment was with father. With most of his chil- 
dren, when quite young, he had one, two, or three 
seasons in which he taught them that obedience 
must be exact, prompt, and cheerful, and by a dis- 
cipline so severe that it was thorougldy remem- 
bered and feared. Ever after, a decided word of 
command was all-suf&cient. The obedience was to 


be speedy and without fretting or frowns. ' Mind 
your mother ! Quicli ! No crying ! Look pleasant ! ' 
These were words of command obeyed with almost 
mihtary speed and precision." 

Never was a father more idolized by his chil- 
dren than was Lyman Beecher. Mrs. Stowe men- 
tions especially his power for exciting family 
enthusiasm. " Whenever he had a point to be car- 
ried, or work to be done, he would work the whole 
family up to a pitch of fervent zeal in which the 
strength of each aeemed quadrupled. For instance, 
the wood for the family usedto be brought in winter 
on ox-sledfi, and piled up in the yard exactly over the 
spot where father wished to plant his cucumbers 
and melons. Of course as all thia wood was to be 
cut and split and carried into the wood-house be- 
fore the garden could be started, it required a mira- 
cle of generalship to get it done, considering the 
immense quantity of wood required to keep an old 
windy castle of a house comfortable in winter 
weather. The axes would ring and the chips fly; 
but jokes and stones would fly faster tUl all was 
cut and split. Then came the great work of wheel- 
ing in and piling." 

Harriet would work like one possessed, sucked 
into the vortex of enthusiasm by her father's re- 





marking, " I wish Harriet were a boy ! She would 
do more than any of them!" Then would she 
throw aside her booh or her needle and thread 
and, donning a little black coat which she thought 
made her look more Uke a boy, she would try to 
outdo all the rest till the wood was all in and the 
chips swept up. Frequently Doctor Beecher would 
raise a point of theology and start a discussion, 
taking the wrong or weaker side himself, to prac- 
tice the youngsters in logic. If the children did 
not make good their side of the case, he would 
stop and explain to them the position and say, 
"The argument ia thus and so! Now if you take 
thifl position you will be able to trip me up ! " Thus 
he taught them to reason as if he had taught them 
to box or wrestle by actual face-to-face contest. 

The task done, the Doctor always planned to 
have a great fishing expedition with the children. 
When Harriet was too little to go, she looked on 
these fishing expeditions as something pertaining 
only to her father and the older boys, and watched 
the busy preparations with regretful interest. They 
were all going to Great Fond and to Fine Island, 
to that wonderful blue pine forest that she could 
just see on the horizon, and who could tell what 
strange adventures they might meet! 



When they were gone the house seemed so still 
and deserted all day long, — no singing, shouting, 
tramping, and wrestling of noisy, merry boys. Har- 
riet would sit silent and lonely, sewing a long seam 
on a sheet by way of beguiling the time. At last 
it would begin to be dark, and the stars peeping 
out one by one would look down as if surprised to 
find a little girl who had gone to bed but not to 
sleep. With what joy she finally hailed in the 
distance the tramp of feet, the shouts and laughter 
of her father and brothers as, glad with triumph, 
they burst into the kitchen with long strings of 
perch, roach, pickerel, and bull-heads, with waving 
blades of sweet-flag and lofty heads of catrtail, 
and pockets full of fragrant wintergreen, a gen- 
erous portion of which was always bestowed upon 
her! To her eyes these were trophies from the 
dreamland of enchantment for which she had 
longed. She was then safe for an hour or more 
from being sent back to bed, and watched with de- 
light the cheerful hurrying and scurrying to and 
fro, the waving of lights as the fish were cleaned 
in the back shed and the fire was kindled into a 
cheerful blaze, while her father stood over the 
frying-pan frying the fish. To hla latest day 
Doctor Beecher was firm in the conviction that no 



fenuDine hand could fry fish with that perfection 
of skill which was his as a king of woodcraft 
and woodland cookery. 

One of Harriet's favorite haunts was her father's 
study. It was an arched garret room, high above 
all the noise aud confusion of the busy household, 
with a big window that commanded a ^lew of 
Great Pond with its fringe of steel-blue pines. Its 
walls were set round from floor to ceiling with the 
qniet friendly faces of books, and there stood her 
father's study-chair and his writing-table, on which 
always lay open before him his Cruden's Concor- 
dance and the Bible. Here Harriet loved to re- 
treat and eurl herself up in a quiet corner with 
her favorite books around her. Here she had 
a restful, sheltered feeling as she thus sat and 
watched her father at his sermon-writing, turning 
his books and speaking to himself from time to 
time in a loud and earnest whisper. She vaguely 
felt that he was about some holy and mysterious 
work, far above her childish comprehension. 

The books ranged around filled her too with 
solemn awe. There on the lower shelves were 
enormous folios, on whose hacks she spelled in 
black letters " Lightfooti Opera," a title whereat 
she marveled, considering the hulk of the volumes. 



And overhead, grouped along m sociable rows, 
were books of all sizes and bindings, the titles of 
'which she had read so often that she knew them 
by heart. There were Bell's " Sermons," Bon- 
nett's " Inquiries," Bogue's " Essays," " Toplady 
on Predestination," " Boston's Fourfold State," 
Law's " Serious Call," and other works of the 
kind that she had looked over wistfully day after 
day, without finding even a bope of something' 

It was a happy hour for Harriet when her fa- 
ther brought home and set up in his bookcase 
Cotton Mather's "Magnalia." What wonderful 
stories these, and stories too about her own coun- 
try, — stories that made her feel that the very 
ground under her feet was consecrated by some 
special dealings of God's wonder-working provi- 
dence! When the good Doctor related how a 
plague had wasted the Indian tribes, and so pre- 
pared a place for the Pilgrim Fathers to settle un- 
disturbed, she felt in no wise doubtful of his ap- 
plication of the text, " He drave out the heathen 
and planted them." No Jewish maiden ever grew 
up with a more earnest faith that she belonged 
to a consecrated race, a people specially called 
and chosen of God for some great work on earth. 


Her faith in every word of the marvels related in 
this book was fully as great as the dear old credu- 
lous Doctor Mather could have desired. It filled 
her soul with a great eagerness to go forth and do 
some great and valiant deed for her God and her 
country. She wanted then, as always, to translate 
her feelings into deeds. 

But aside from her father's study Harriet found 
poetry and romance in the various garrets and 
cellars of the old parsonage. There was, first, the 
garret over the kitchen, the floors of which in 
the fall were covered with stores of yellow pump- 
kins, fragrant heaps of quinces, and less fragrant 
piles of onions. There were bins of shelled com 
and of oats, and, as in every other garret in the 
house, there were also barrels of old sermons and 

But most stimulating to the imagination of a 
Puritan child, steeped in that wonderful allegory. 
Banyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," was the smoke- 
house, which was a wide, deep chasm made in the 
kitchen chimney, in which the dried beef and the 
hama were prepared. The door which opened into 
this dismal recess glistened with condensed creo- 
sote, and Harriet trembled as she listened to an 
awful rumbling within, followed by crackling re- 



verberatioDs. One daj alie summoned courage to 
open the door and peep in, and was reminded of a 
passage in tlie " Pilgrim's Progress," which reads, 
" Then I saw in my dream that the shepherds had 
them to another place, in a bottom, where was a 
door in the side of a hill ; and they opened the 
door and bid tbem look in. 

"Tbej looked in, therefore, and saw that within 
it was dark and smoky ; they also thought that 
they heard a rumbling noise as of fire and a cry 
of some tormented, and they smelt the smell of 

Harriet closed the door and ran away trembling. 

She delighted in upsetting the barrels of old 
sermons and pamphlets on the floor, pawing 
about in the contents, and reading with astonished 
eyes the queer titles. It seemed to her that there 
were thousands of unintelligible things. " An Ap- 
peal on the Unlawfulness of a Man's Marrying 
his Wife's Sister," turned up in every barrel she 
investigated. But — oh joy and triumph ! one rainy 
day she found at the bottom of a barrel a copy of 
the " Arabian Nights " ! Thenceforth her fortune 
was made. She had no idea of reading as is the 
fashion in these days — to read and dismiss a book. 
To read with her was a passion, and a book once 



read was read daily ; becoming ever dearer as an 
old friend. The '' Arabian Nights " transported 
her to fai^oS lands, and gave her a new world of 
her own. Thereafter, whea things went wrong, when 
the boys went away to play higher than she dared 
climb in the ham, or started for fishing excursions, 
on which they considered her an encumbrance, she 
would find a snug corner, where, curled up in a quiet 
lair, she could at will sail forth into fairy-land on 
her bit of enchanted carpet. 

It was also a great day when she discovered an 
old torn copy of the " Tempest." This experieuce 
she has wrought into that romance of the Maine 
coast, " The Pearl of Orr's Island," where she pic- 
tures Mara exploring the garret and finding in an 
old barrel of cast-off rubbish a bit of reading which 
she begged of her grandmother for her own. "It 
was the play of the ' Tempest,' torn from an old 
edition of Shakespeare, and was in that delight- 
fully fragmentary condition that most particularly 
pleases children, because they conceive a mutilated 
treasure thus found to be more particularly their 
own property." 

There was one class of tenants, whose presence 
and influence on Harriet's youthful mind must 
not be passed over. They were the rats. They 



had taken formal possession of the old parsonage, 
grown, multiplied, and become ancient in spite of 
traps, cats, or anything that could be devised 
against them. The family cat in Harriet's day, 
having taken a dispassionate survey of the situa- 
tion, had given up the matter in despair and set 
herself philosophically to attending to other con- 
cerns. She selected a corner of the Doctor's study 
as her special domestic retreat. Here she made 
her lair on a heap of old pamphlets and sermons, 
whence, from time to time, she led forth litters 
of well-educated, orthodox kittens, who, like their 
mother, gazed on the rats with respectful curios- 
ity, hut ran no imprudent risks. Consequently the 
rats had, as it were, *'the freedom of the city" in 
the old parsonage. 

They romped all night on the floor of the gai^ 
ret over Harriet's sleeping-room, apparently busy 
hopping ears of com across the floor and rolhng 
them down into their nests between the beams. 
Sometimes she would liear them gnawing and saw- 
ing behind the wainscoting at the head of her bed 
as if they had set up a carpenter's shop there, and 
would be filled with terror lest they should come 
through into her bed. Then there were battles 
and skirmishes and squealings and fightings, and 


at times it would seem as if a whole detachment 
of rats rolled in an avalanche down the walls with 
the cobs of corn thej had heen stealing. When 
the mighty winds of the Litchfield winters were 
let loose and rumbled and thundered, roaring and 
tumbling down the chimneys, rattling the windows 
and doors; when the beams and rafters creaked 
and groaned like the timbers of a ship at sea, and 
the old house shook to its very foundations, then 
would the uproar among the rats grow louder and 
louder, and Harriet would dive under the bed- 
clothes quaking with fear. Thus did the old par- 
sonage exert its subtle influence, every day fash- 
ioning the sensitive, imaginative child. 

Among Hairiet'E earliest recollections were those 
of a visit to Nutplains in Guilford, Connecticut, 
immediately after her mother's death. Her aunt 
Harriet Foote, for whom she was named, and who 
was with her mother during her sickness, brought 
her home to stay with ber for a time. It was in 
Nutplains and Guilford that, little child that she 
was, she was deeply impressed by finding herself 
treated with a tenderness almost amounting to ven- 
eration by those who had known her mother. 

Mrs. Stowe writes of this visit : " At Nutplains 
our mother lost to us seemed to live again. We 


saw lier paintings, her needlework, and beard a 
tbousand little doings and sayings of her daily life. 
And so dear was everything that belonged to grand- 
mother and our Nutplains home, that the Episco- 
pal service, even though not well read, was always 
chosen during our visits therein preference to our 
own. It seemed a part of Nutplains and the life 

" There was also an interesting and well-selected 
library, and a portfolio of fine engravings; and, 
though the place was lonely, yet the cheerful hos- 
pitality that reigned there left it scarcely ever with- 
out agreeable visitors. 

" I can nowrememberatthe close of what seemed 
to me a long day's ride, arriving after dark at a 
lonely little white farmhouse, and being brought into 
a large parlor where a cheerful wood-fire was crack- 
ling, partly burned down into great heavy coals. 
I was placed in the anna of an old lady, who held 
me close and wept silently, a thing at which I mai> 
veled, for my great loss was already faded from 
my childish mind. But I could feel that this dear 
old grandmother received me with a heart full of 
love and sorrow. I recall still her bright white 
hair, the benign and tender expression of her ven- 
erable face, and the great gold ring she wore, 



which seemed so curious to my childish eyes. There 
was a little tea-table set out before the fire, and 
Uncle George came in from hia farm-work, and 
sat down with grandma, and Aunt Harriet to 

" After supperl remember grandmother reading 
prayers, as was her custom, from a great prayer- 
book, which was her constant companion." 

There were no amusements then specially pro- 
vided for children. There were no children's books, 
and no Sunday-schools. It was a grown people's 
worid, not a child's. Even the children's toys were 
80 few and poor that, in comparison with our mod- 
ern profusion, they could scarcely be said to exist. 
Harriet had toys, however, and her own play- 
things, as every child of lively fancy will. Child- 
hood is poetic and creative, and can make to itself 
toys out of anything. She had the range of the 
great wood-pile in the back yard. She slopped, and 
climbed, and sang among its intricacies and found 
there treasures of wonder, — green velvet mosses, 
little white trees of lichen, long graybearded mosses 
and fine scarlet cups, and fairy caps which she 
collected and cherished. With these she arranged 
landscapes in which green mosses made the fields, 
and little sprigs of spruce and ground-pine the 




trees, and bits of broken glass represented rivers 
and lakes, reflecting the oversliadowing banks. 

She had, too, hoards of chestnuts and walnuts 
that a squirrel might have envied, picked up with 
her own hands from under the autumn leaves ; and 
— chief treasure of all — a wooden doll, with star- 
ing glass eyes, which was the central point of all 
her arrangements. To her she showed the chest- 
nuts and walnuts, gave her the jay's feathers and 
the blue-bird's wing, — a trophy secured from the 
boys. She made her a bed of divers colors, and a 
set of tea-cups out of the backbone of a codfish ; 
she brushed and curled ber hair till she took all 
the curl out of it, and washed all the jmint off her 
cheeks in motherly ablutions. This doll came to a 
tragic end. Harriet was awakened one morning by 
her little brother Charles calling out in the most 
cheerful voice imaginable, " O Hattie, wake up I 
Henry and I have pulled your doll all to pieces I " 
To her dying day she carried the remembrance of 
the pang that went to her heart at these words. 

There was probably no one who more profoundly 
influenced Mrs. Stowe's intellectual development 
than did her seafaring uncle, Captain Samuel Foote. 
Of him ber sister Catherine says, " After we re- 
moved to Litchfield, Uncle Samuel came among 




us, on his return from each voyage, as a sort of 
brilliant genius of another sphere, bringing gifts 
and wonders that seemed to wake up new faculties 
in all. Sometimes he came from the shores of 
Spain, with mementoes of the Alhambra and the 
aocient Moors ; sometimes from Africa, bringing 
Oriental caps or Moorish slippers; sometimes from 
South America, with ingots of silver or strange im- 
plements from the tombs of the Incas, or hammocks 
wrought by South American tribes of Indians. 

" He was a man of great practical common 
sense, united with large ideality, a cultivated taste 
and very extensive reading. With this was com- 
bined a humorous combat! veness, that led him to 
attack the special theories and prejudices of his 
friends, sometimes jocosely and sometimes in 

" Of course he and father were in continual 
good-natured skirmishes, in which all the New 
England peculiarities of theology and of character 
were held up, both in caricature and in sober 

"I remember long discussions in which he 
maintained that Turks were more honest than 
Christians, bringing very startling facts in evi- 
dence. Then I heard his serious tales of Roman 


Catholic bishops and archbishops whom be had 
carried to and from Spain and America, and he 
affirmed them to be as learned and as truly pious 
and devoted to tiie good of men as any Protestant 
to be found in America. 

"The new fields of vision presented by my 
uncle, the skill and adroitness of his arguments, 
the array of his facts, combined to tai my father's 
powers to the utmost. 

"Whenever Uncle Sam came to Litchfield he 
brought a stock of new books which he and Aunt 
Mary read aloud. This was the time when Scott, 
Byron, Moore, and that great galaxy of contem- 
porary writers were issuing their works at inter- 
vals of only a few months, all of which were read 
and re-read in the family circle." 

When Harriet was between six and seven years 
old, her father married Miss Harriet Porter, of 
Portland, Maine. She has herself thus described 
the advent of the new mother: "I was about six 
years old and slept in the nursery with my two 
younger brothers. We knew father was gone away 
Bomewbere on a journey, and was expected home, 
and thus the sound of a bustle or disturbance in 
the bouse more easily awoke us. We heard father's 
voice in the entry, and started up, crying out as 



he entered our room, * Why, here 's pa ! ' A cheer- 
ful voice called out from behind him, ' And here's 
ma ! ' 

" A beautiful lady, very fair, with bright blue 
eyes, and soft auburn hair bound round vrith a 
black velvet bandeau, came into the room, smiling, 
eager, and happy-looking, and, coming up to our 
beds, kissed us, and told us that she loved little 
children and would be our mother. We wanted 
forthwith to get up and be dressed ; but she paci- 
fied us with the promise that we should find her 
in the morning. 

"Never did mother-in-law make prettier or 
sweeter impression. The next morning I remember 
we looked at her with awe. She seemed to us so 
fair, so elegant, so delicate that we were afraid to 
go near her. We must have been rough, red- 
cheeked, hearty country children, honest, obedient, 
and bashful. She was pecuUarly dainty and neat 
in all her ways and arrangements ; I remember I 
used to feel breezy, rough, and rude in her pres- 
ence. We felt a little in awe oE ber, as if she 
were a strange princess, rather than our owu 
mamma ; but her voice was very sweet, her ways 
of moving and speaking very gracef ul.and she took 
us up in her lap and let ns play with her beautiful 



hands, which seemed like wonderful things made 
of pearl and ornamented with rings." 

Once in a fit of delirious boldneas Harriet marched 
op to her, and putting her little hands behiod her 
back, and thrusting her head somewhat forward, 
said defiantly, " You have come and married my 
pa ! and when I grow up I will go and marry your 

One Sunday evening, shortly after the arrival of 
the new mother, Doctor Beecher, who was at that 
time given to an undiscriminating admiration for 
the works of the great Jonathan Edwards, was read- 
ing to her from a volume of sermons by that great 
divine. It happened to be the sermon with the pun- 
gent title, " Sinners in theHandsof an Angry God." 
Harriet was curled up on the sofa, apparently ab- 
sorbed in a book of her own. Drawn to observe 
closely her new mother, she saw that she seemed to 
be listening with abhorrence and suppressed emo- 
tion. A bright red spot suffused each cheek, every 
moment growing brighter and redder. Finally rift- 
ing to her stately height, she swept out of the room, 
saying as she went, " Mr. Beecher, I will not listen 
to another word ! Why, it is horrible ! It is a slan- 
der on the character of my Heavenly Father I " 
Harriet was impressed with the stupefaction pic- 



tured on her father's face. If a bucket of ice-water 
had been thrown over him, the effect could not have 
been more etarthng. He probably never again read 
Edwards's lurid pages with the same ease of mind 
as formerly. Doubtless this incident placed his 
foot on the first rung of a ladder which the ultra- 
orthodoz of the period thought led anywhere but 
to heaven. Harriet Porter, though orthodox was 
human, and she belonged to a different age from 

Harriet attended a school for young women kept 
by a Miss Sarah Pierce, who is described as a woman 
of " more than ordinary talent, sprightly in conver- 
sation, social, and full of benevolent activity." la 
process of time the school was enlarged and her 
nephew, Mr. John Brace, became her assistant. Of 
him Mrs. Stowe writes : " Mr. Brace was one of 
the most stimulating and inspiring instructors that 
I ever knew. He was himself widely informed, an 
enthusiast in botany, mineralogy, and the natural 
sciences generally. The constant conversation that 
he kept up on these subjects tended more to de- 
velop the mind and inspire a love of literature than 
any mere routine studies could do. 

" This school was the only one I ever knew that 
carried out a thorough course of ancient and mod- 




ern history. . . . The interest of these historical 
recitations, with a preceptorso widely informed and 
80 fascinating in conversation as Mr. Brace, ex- 
tended further than the class. Much of the training 
and inspiration of my early days consisted, not in 
the things I was supposed to he studying, but in 
hearing, while seated unnoticed at my desk, the con- 
versation of Mr. Brace with the older classes. There 
from hour to hour I listened to historical criticisms 
and discussions, or to recitations in such works 
as Paley's 'Moral Philosophy,' Blair's 'Rhetoric,' 
Alison ' On Taste,' all full of most awakening 
suggestions to my thoughts. 

" Mr. Brace exceeded all the instructors that I 
ever knew in the faculty of teaching the art of Eng- 
lish composition. The constant excitement in which 
he kept the minds of his pupils — the wide and 
varied regions of thought into which be led them 
— formed a preparation for teaching composition, 
the main requisite for which, whatever people may 
think, is to have something that one feels inter- 
ested to say. 

" His manner was to divide his school of about one 
hundred pupils into divisions of about three or four, 
one of which was to write every week. At the same 
time he inspired an ambition to write by calling 



every week for volunteers, aod every week there 
were those who volunteered to write. 

" I remember I could have been but nine years 
old, and my handwriting hardly formed, when the 
enthusiasm he inspired led me, greatly to hisamuse- 
ment, I believe, to volunteer to write every week. 
The first week the subject of the composition 
chosen by the class was, ' The Difference between 
the Natural and the Moral Sublime.' 

" One may smile at this for a child nine years of 
age ; but it is the best account I can give of hia 
manner of teaching to say that the discussion that 
he had held in the class not only made me under- 
stand the subject as thoroughly as I do now, but 
so excited me that I felt sure that I had something 
to say about it ; and that first composition with 
half the words misspelled amused him greatly. 

"By two years of constant practice, under his 
training and suggestioo, I had gained so far as to 
be appointed one of the writers for the annual ex- 
hibition, a proud distinction as I then viewed it. 
The subject assigned me was one that had been 
very fully discussed in the school in a manner to 
show to the best advantage Mr. Brace's peculiai^ 
ity in awakening the minds of his pupils to the 
higher regions of thought. The question was, 



*Can the Immortality of the Soul be Proved by 
tbe Light of Nature?' 

" Several of the young ladieshad written strongly 
in tbe affirmative. Mr. Brace himself had written 
in tbe negative. To all theBe compositions and con- 
sequent diHcussions I bad listened, and, in view of 
them, chose to adopt tbe negative. 

*' I remember the scene at that exhibition to 
me 80 eventful. The hall was crowded with all tbe 
literati of Litchfield. Before them all our compo- 
sitions were read aloud. When mine was read I 
noticed that father, who was sitting oa high by 
Mr. Brace, brightened, and looked interested, and 
at tbe close I beard bim ask, * Who wrote that 
composition?' 'Your daughter, bir!' was 
the answer. It was the proudest moment of 
my life. There was no mistaking father's face 
when he was pleased, and to have interested him 
was past all juvenile triumphs." 

"Never shall I forget the dignity and sense of 
importance which swelled my mind when I was 
first pronounced old enough to go to meeting," 
writes Mrs. Stowe in another account of those 
early Litchfield days. 

"To my childish eyes our old meeting-bouse 
was an awe-inspiring place. To me it seemed 


fashioned very nearly on the model of Noah's 
ark and Solomon'3 Temple, as set forth in the 
pictures of my scripture catechism — pictures which 
I did not doubt were authentic copies ; and what 
more respectable and venerable architectural pre- 
cedent could any one desire ? Its double rows of 
windows of which I knew the number by heart, 
its doors with great wooden curls over them, its 
belfry projecting out of the east end, its steeple 
and bell, all inspired as much sense of the sublime 
in me as Strasburg Cathedral itself; and the in- 
side was not a whit less imposing. How magnifi- 
cent to my eye seemed the turnip-like canopy 
that hung over the minister's head, hooked by a 
long iron rod to the wall above ! How apprehen- 
sively did I consider the question, what would 
become of him if it should fall. With what 
amazement I gazed on the panels on either side 
of the pulpit, in each of which was carved and 
painted a flaming red tulip, bolt upright, with its 
leaves projecting out at right angles. Then there 
was a grapevine, basso-relievo in front, with its 
exactly triangular bunches of grapes, alternating 
at exact intervals with exactly triangular leaves. 

" To me it was a faultless representation of 
how grapevines ought to look, if they would only 



be straight and regular, instead o£ curling and 
scrambling, and twisting themselves into all sorts 
of uncanny shapes. 

" It was good orthodox custom ol old times to 
take every part o£ the domestic establishment to 
meeting, even down to the faithful dog, who as 
he had supervised the labors of the week, also 
came with due particularity to supervise the 
worship on Sunday. I think I can see now the 
fitting out on a Sunday morning — the one 
vagon, or two, as the case might be, tackled up 
with an ' old gray,' or ' old bay,' with a buffalo 
skiD thrown over the seat by way of a cushion, 
and all the family in their Sunday best packed 
in for meeting; while waiting Bose, Watch, or 
Towser stood to be an outguard, and went meekly 
pattering up bill and down dale behind the 

" Arrived at meeting the cauine part of the 
establishment generally conducted themselves with 
great decorum, lying down and going to sleep as 
decently as anybody present, except when some 
mischief- loving flies would make a sortie on them, 
when you might hear the snap of their jaws as 
they vainly tried to lay hold upon the intruder. 

" Now and then, between some of the sixthliea. 


Hventhlies, and eighthlies of the long sermon, 
you might hear some old patriarch of a dog giv- 
ing himself a rousing shake, and pitpatting 
soberly up and down the broad aisle as if to see 
that everything was going properly, after which 
he would lie down and compose himself to sleep 
again. This was certainly as improving a way of 
spending Sunday as a good Christian dog could 

** We are compelled to acknowledge that Trip, 
the minister's dog, did not always conduct him- 
self with that propriety and decorum that befitted 
his social station and reBponsible position. He 
was emotional and nervous, and never could be 
taught to respect conventionahties. If anything 
about the performance in the singers' seat did 
not please him he was apt to express himself in a 
lugubrious howl. If the sermon was longer than 
suited him, he would gape with such a loud creak 
of his jaws as would arouse everybody's attention. 
If flies disturbed his afternoon naps, he would 
give sudden snarls or snaps ; or if he had troubled 
dreams, he would bark out in his sleep in a 
manner not only to interrupt his own slumbers, 
but those of worthy deacons and old ladies, 
whose sanctuary repose was thereby sorely broken 





up and troubled. For these reasons Trip bad been 
denied the sanctuary privileges usually accorded 
to good dogs of the period. He was shut up on 
Sunday for private meditation. Trip of course 
waa only the more strongly bent on social wor- 
ship with dogs and men. He would bide behind 
doors, jump out of windows, sneak through by- 
ways and alleys, and lie hid till the second bell 
had done tolling, and then patter up the broad 
aisle, innocent and happy, and take his position 
right under the pulpit and in front of the 
ministfir'a pew, 

" One Sunday Doctor Beecher exchanged 
with the Rev. Father Mills of Torringford. He 
was a thin, wiry, frisky httle man, in a powdered 
white wig, black tights, and silk stockings, with 
bright knee-buckles and shoe-buckles ; with round, 
dark snapping eyes; and a curious high, cracked, 
squeaking voice, the very first tones of which made 
all the children stare and giggle. 

"On the Sunday morning when the event we are 
about to relate transpired, we children went to the 
house of the Lord in a very hilarious state, all 
ready to explode with laughter on the slighteBt 

*' The occasion was not long wanting. Directly 


after the closing not«s of the tolling bell, Master 
Trip walked soberly up the centre aisle and seating 
himself gravely in front of the pulpit, raised hia 
nose critically and expectantly towards the scene 
of the forthcoming performance. He wore an 
alert, attentive air that befitted a soundly ortho- 
dox dog that scents a possible heresy, and deems 
it his sacred duty to narrowly watch the perform- 

"He evidently felt called upon to see who and 
■what were to occupy that pulpit in his master's ab- 
sence. Up rose Father Mills, and up went Trip's 
nose vibrating with attention. The good man 
began to read the opening hymn : — 

'Sing to the Lord ftloud,' 
when Trip broke into a dismal howl. 

" Father Mills went on to give directions to the 
deacons to remove the dog in the same tone in 
which he read the hymn, so that the effect of the 
whole performance was somewhat as follows: — 

' Sing to the Lord alond, (Please put that dog oot !) 
And make a joffal noise.' 

"We youngsters were delivered over to the 
temptations of Satan and sank in waves and bil- 
lows of hysterical giggles while Trip was put out 


and the choir did its best at maldng a 'joyful 
noise.' " 

In front of the pulpit was a bench on which at 
noon between the two long sermons some members 
of the congregation who came from afar sat and 
ate their dinners. Consequently there would be by 
time of the afternoon service sundry crumbs of 
cheese and bread on the floor. In the base of the 
pulpit just above the floor dwelt a number of 
pious church mice, and in the afternoons when 
Doctor Beecher was thundering away in the lofty 
pulpit, Harriet would see their little bright eyes 
shining cautiously out of their holes. If the Doc- 
tor became quieter they would venture out and 
begin a meal on the crumbs ; but suddenly some 
awful words, like reprobation or foreordlnation, 
would come roaring down from above, and the 
mice would run for their lives, and not venture 
out again till they thought the danger past. 

Harriet had hallowed as well as humorous associa- 
tions connected with the thought of the old church. 
"One beautiful, fresh, dewy, summer morning, when 
it seemed as if all nature were hushed and listening 
for the music of higher spheres," she stood at her 
open 'window looking out on the green hills oppo- 
site, the stately trees feathered with their varied 


greens, and the meadows waving with buttercups 
and daisies. On the old apple tree under her win- 
dow, a bobolink was tilting up and down chatter- 
ing and singing with all bis might. Early that 
morning sbe had been reminded that it was Sun- 
day, the holy Sabbath day, by this incident. Her 
two younger brothers, Henry and Charles, slept 
together in a little trundle-bed in a corner of the 
nursery where she also slept. She was waked by 
the two little fellows chattering to one another, 
while tliey lay in their bed making httle sheep 
out of the cotton pulled from the holes in the old 
quilt that covered them, and pasturing them on 
the undulating hill-sides and meadows which their 
imaginations conjured up amid tlie bedclothes. 
Suddenly Charles's eyes grew big with fright and 
he cried out, "Henry, this is wicked! It's Sun- 
day ! " There was a moment of consternation, fol- 
lowed by silence, as both little curly heads disap- 
peared under the old coverlid. 

Yes, it was Sunday, and Harriet was trying her 
best to feel herself a dreadful sinner, but with very 
poor success. She was so healthy and the blood 
raced and tingled so in her young veins. She tried 
to feel her sins and count them up, but the birds, 
and the daisies, and the buttercups were a con- 



Harriet was between twelve and thirteen when 
she came to Hartford, GoDnecticut, to attend a 
school recently estabhshed by her sister Cather- 
ine. The schoolroom was over a harness store, 
which, after the fashion of the day, had for a sign 
two white horses. Great was the surprise and 
pleasure with which Harriet gazed upon this tri- 
umph of artistic skill as it then appeared to her. 
One of the young men who worked in the harness 
shop in the rear of the store had a fine tenor 
voice, and often delighted her by singing in school 
hours: — 

" When in cold oblmon's shade, 
Beauty, wealth, and power are laid, 
When around the eculptured shrine, 
Moaa stiall cl!iig, and ivy twine 
Where immortal spirits reign, 
There Bhall we all meet again." 

The expense of her board was provided for by 
a kind of exchange common in those days. Mr. 


Isaac D. Bull, of Hartford, sent a daughter to 
Miss Pierce's school in Litchfield, who boarded io 
Doctor Beecher's family in exchange for Harriet's 
board in his own. The very soul of neatness and 
order pervaded the whole estabUshment, and Mrs. 
Stowe has said that her own good, refined, par- 
ticular stepmother could not have found a family 
better suited to her taste had she searched the 
whole town. Mr. Bull, "a fine vigorous man on 
the declining slope of life, but full of energy and 
kindness," kept a large wholesale drug store, and 
his oldest son had established a retail drug store 
of his own at the sign of the Good Samaritan. 
Harriet frequently contemplated with reverence a 
large picture of the Good Samaritan relieving the 
wounded traveler, which formed a conspicuoua 
part of this sign. 

Harriet occupied a little hall bedroom which 
looked out over the Connecticut River. Mrs. Bull 
took her young boarder into her heart as well as 
into her house. If Harriet was sick, nothing could 
exceed her watchful care and tender nursing. The 
daughter, Miss Mary Ann Bull, was a beauty of 
local celebrity, with long raven curls falling from 
a comb on the top of her head. She had a rich 
soprano voice and was one of the leading singers 



in the choir of the Congregational Church. She 
received freijuent and impressive calls from a sol- 
emn young man who lived next door. The three 
brothers were also singers, and the family circle 
was often enlivened hy quartette-singing and Hute- 

In Hartford Harriet found what she had long 
craved, real and lasting friendships with girls of 
her own age. One of these friends was Catherine 
Cogswell, a daughter of Hartford's leading physi- 
cian. The other was Georgiana May. Georgiana 
had two younger sisters and a number of brothers- 
She was older and more sedate than Catherine, 
and consequently less attractive to the other girls, 
but the friendship that sprang up between her 
and Harriet endured undimmed through life. Mrs. 
Stowe has described Catherine Cogswell as "one 
of the most sunny-tempered, amiable, lovable, and 
sprightly souls she had ever known." Her compan- 
ionship was so much in demand that it was diffi- 
cult for Harriet to see much of her. Her time was 
all bespoken by tlie various girls who wanted to 
walk to or from school with her, and at the half- 
hour recess Harriet was only one of the many 
suppliants at her shrine. Yet among the many 
claimants there was always a little place kept here 



and there for Hattie Beecher. Catherioe and 
Georgiana were reading Virgil when Harriet en- 
tered the school and hegan the study of Latin, but 
by the end of the first year she had made a trans- 
lation of Ovid into verse that was so creditable as 
to be read at the final exhibition of the school. 

Harriet was, at this time, much interested in 
poetry, and it was her dream to be a poet. Con- 
sequently, she began to write a metrical drama 
which she called " Cleon." Cleon was a Greek 
lord residing at the court of the Emperor Nero, 
who after much searching, doubting, and tribula- 
tion became a convert to Christianity, This theme 
filled her thoughts sleeping and waking, and 
blank book after blank book bore testimony to her 
industry, till finally her sister Catherine pounced 
upon her and declared that she must not waste her 
time trying to write poetry, but must discipline her 
mind by the study o£ Butler's " Analogy." Young 
as she was, she was set to instructing a class of girls 
as oldas herself in the " Analogy " ; a task for which 
she had been fitted by listening to Mr, Brace's 
lectures at the Litchfield school. She wrote out 
abstracts of the " Analogy," and mastered chapter 
after chapter just ahead of her pupils. This she 
did in addition to her regular work as a pupU in 


the school. From then on she hecame both pupil 
and teacher. 

At thi8period,too,she read for the first time Bax- 
ter's " Saints' Everlasting Rest," and she often said 
that no book ever affected her more powerfully. 
As she walked the pavements she wished that they 
might sink beneath her, and she awake in heaven. 

Among her manifold duties was the instruc- 
tion of her jolly, little, round-faced brother, Henry 
Ward, One time in desperation she said, " Now, 
Henry, please do stop your fun and attend to your 
grammar lesson ! Now, Henry, listen! His is the 
possessive pronoun. You would not say him book; 
you would say his book." 

"Why can't I say himbook, sister Hattie? I 
say hymnbook every Sunday," This sally quite 
destroyed the gravity of the exasperated little 

Shortly after going to Hartford Harriet made a 
call upon the Rev. Dr. Hawes, her father's friend, 
and her spiritual adviser, which left an enduring 
impression upon her mind. It was her father's ad- 
vice that she join the church in Hartford, as he 
had received a call to Boston, and the breaking 
up of the Litchfield home was imminent. Accord- 
ingly, accompanied by her two school friends, she 



went one day to the pastor's studj to consult him 
coDcerning the contemplated step. In those days 
much stress was placed on religious experience, 
and more especially on what was termed a convic- 
tion of fiin, and self-examination was carried to 
an extreme calculated to drive to desperation a 
sensitive, high-strung nature. The good man lis- 
tened to the child's simple and modest statement 
of her Christian experience, and then with an 
awful though kindly solemnity of speech and 
manner, said, " Harriet ! do you feel that if the 
universe should be destroyed (alarming pause) 
you could be happy with God alone ? " After 
struggling in vain to fix in her mind the meaning 
of the sounds which fell on her ears like the mea- 
sured tolling of a funeral bell, the child of fourteen 
stammered out, "Yes, sir! " 

" You realize, I trust, in some measure, at least, 
the deeeitfulness of your own heart, and that in 
punishment for your sins God might justly leave 
you to make yourself as miserable as you have 
made yourself siuful." 

Having thus effectually, and to his own satis- 
faction, fixed the child's attention on the morbid 
and over-sensitive workings of her own heart, the 
good, and truly kind-hearted man dismissed her 



with a fatherly benediction. He had been alarmed 
at her simple and natural way of entering the 
Kingdom. It was not theologically sound to make 
short cuts to salvation. The child went into the 
conference full of peace and joy, and she came 
out full of distress and misgivings, but the good 
Doctor liad done his duty as he saw it. 

It was a theological age, and in the Beecher 
family theology was the supreme interest. It filla 
their letters as it filled their lives. Not only was 
the age theological, hut transitional, and charac- 
terized by intense intellectual activity, accom- 
panied by emotional excitement. The winds of 
doctrine were let loose, blowing first from thia 
quarter and then from that. Doctor Beecher spent 
his days in weathering theological cyclones, hut 
the worst of all arose in his own family, among 
his own children. Great as were his intellec- 
tual powers he was no match for his daughter 
Catherine and his son Edward, — the metaphysi- 
cal Titans who sprang from his own loins. It was 
almost in a tone of despair that this theological 
Samuel, who had hewn so many heretical Agags 
in pieces before the Lord, wrote concerning his 
own daughter: "Catherine's letter will disclose 
the awfully interesting state of her mind. . . . 



You perceive she is now handling edged tools 
with powerful grasp. ... I have at times been 
at mj wits' end to know what to do. ... I con- 
clude that nothing safe can be done, but to assert 
ability and obligation and guilt upon divine au- 
thority, thromng in at the same time as much 
collateral light from reason as the case admits 
of." Catherine was at this time breaking out of 
the prison-house of the traditional orthodoxy, and 
her brother Edward was in many ways in sym- 
pathy with her, though not as radical as she. 
Doctor Beecher was contending with might and 
main for the traditional Calvinism, and yet in his 
zeal for its defense he often took positions that 
surprised and alarmed his brother ministers, seri- 
ously disturbed their dogmatic Blumbers, and 
caused tbem grave doubts as to his orthodoxy. So 

" CaDnon to right of them. 
Cannon to left of them, . . . 
Volley 'd and thuniler'd." 

Harriet, keenly alive and morbidly sensitive to the 
spiritual atmosphere in which she was compelled 
to live, was driven nearly distracted by the strife 
of tongues and division of opinion among those to 
whom she looked for counsel and for guidance. 


The events of family history that led to this 
situation, so decisive in its influence on Harriet's 
mental development and subsequent literary ac- 
tivity, were as follows. When Harriet wag In her 
eleventh year her sister Catherine had become en- 
gaged to Professor Alexander Fisher of Yale Col- 
lege. He was a young man of brilliant talents, and 
specially noted for his mathematical genius. As an 
undergraduate at Yale he distinguished himself by 
original and valuable contributions to mathemati- 
cal astronomy. Immediately on graduation he was 
appointed a professor of mathematics, and sent 
abroad by his alma mater to devote some time to 
study and the purchase of books and mathematical 
instruments. The ship Alhion, on which he sailed, 
was wrecked on a reef off the coast of Ireland. 
Of the twenty -three cabin passengers only one 
reached the shore. He was a man o£ great phys- 
ical strength, and all night long clung to the 
jagged rocks at the foot of the cliff, against which 
the sea broke, till ropes were lowered down from 
above, and he was drawn up limp and exhausted. 
He often told of the calm bravery with which 
Professor Fisher met his end, 

Up to this time in her life Catherine bad been 
noted for the gayety of her spirits and the bril- 


liancy of her mind. Ad inimitable story-teller and 
a great mimic, it seemed her aim to keep every one 
laughing. Her versatile mind and ready wit en- 
abled her to pass brilliantly through her school 
days with comparatively little mental exertion, 
and before she was twenty-one she had become a 
teacher in a school for girls in New London, Con- 
necticut. It was about this time that she met 
Professor Fisher, and they soon became engaged. 
When the news of his death reached her, to the 
crushing of earthly hopes and plans was added an 
agony of apprehension for his soul. He had never 
been formally converted ; and hence, by the teach- 
ings of the times, his soul as well as his body was 
lost. She writes to her brother Edward : "It is not 
BO much ruined hopes of this life, it is dismay and 
apprehension for his Immortal spirit. Oh, Edward, 
where is he now ? Are the noble faculties of such 
a mind doomed to everlasting woe?" Anxiously, 
but in vain, she searched his letters and journals 
for something on which she might build a hope 
of his eternal welfare. " Mournful contemplations 
awakened when I learned more of the mental ex- 
ercises of him I mourned, whose destiny was for- 
ever fixed, alas, I know not where I I learned from 
his letters, and in other ways, as much as I could 


have learned from his diary. I found that, even 
from early childhood, he had ever been uncom- 
monly correct and conscientious, so that his par- 
ents and family could scarcely remember of his 
doing anything wrong, bo far as relates to outward 
conduct; and year after year, with persevering 
and unexampled effort, he sought to yield that 
homage of the heart to his Maker which was re- 
quired, but he could not ; like the friend who fol- 
lowed his steps he had no strength. ... It seemed 
to me that my lost friend had done all that unas- 
sisted human strength could do ; and often the 
dreadful thought came to me that all was in vain, 
and that he was wailing that he ever had been 
born in that dark world where hope never comes, 
and tliat I waa following his steps to that dreadful 

So she struggled on in the grasp of that New 
England Calvinism which her own father preached. 
Once she wrote to him, " I feel as Job did, that I 
could curse the day in which I was born. I wonder 
that Christians who realize the worth of immortal 
souls should be willing to give life to immortal 
minds to be placed in such a dreadful world." 
The letters which Doctor Beecher wrote to her at 
this time were considered a very able defense of 



New England Calviuism, but tbey did not satisfy 
her. It may be doubted if they even satisfied him, 
or if he from this time ever rested with the same 
serenity of mind on the traditional foundations. 
It was an epoch in the history of the Beecher 
family, and in the history of the New England 
theology. It was in this event of family history that 
both Edward Beeeher's " Conflict of Ages " and 
Mrs, Stowe's " Minister's Wooing " found their 
peculiar inspiration. It is certain that, without 
this tragedy, neither of these works, so influential 
in determining the current of religious thought in 
America, would have been written. 

Misa Beecher passed the two years following 
the death of Professor Fisher at Franklin, Massa- 
chusetts, at the home of his parents, where she 
listened to the fearless and pitiless Calvinism of 
Doctor Nathaniel Emmons. Her mind was too 
strong and buoyant to be overwhelmed and crushed 
by an experience that would have driven a weaker 
and less resolute nature to insanity. Not finding 
herself able to love a God whom she had been 
taught to look upon, to use her own language, " as 
a perfectly happy being unmoved by my sorrows 
or my tears, and looking upon me only with dislike 
and aversion," and gifted naturally with a capacity 


for close metaphysical analysis and a robust feai^ 
lessDess in following her premises to logical cod- 
elusions, she arrived at results which, if not always 
of permanent value, were certainly Btartling and 

The conventional New England Calvinism gave 
her no satisfactory solution for her difHculties. 
She was tormented with doubts. " What has the 
Son of God done which the meanest and most self- 
ish creature upon earth would not have done?" 
she asked herself. " After making such a wretched 
race and placing them in such disastrous circum- 
stances, somehow, without any sorrow or trouble, 
Jesus Christ had a human nature that suffered and 
died. If something else besides ourselves will do 
all the suffering, who would not save millions of 
wretehed beings, and receive all the honor and 
gratitude without any of the trouble?" Yet when 
such thoughts passed through her mind she felt 
that it was " all pride, rebelHon, and sin." So she 
struggled on, sometimes floundering deep in the 
mire of doubt, and then lifted out of it by her 
constitutionally buoyant spirits. 

It was in this condition of mind that she came 
to Hartford in the winter of 1824 and opened 
her Bchool. In the practical ezperieoce of teaching 


she found at last the solution of ber trcubles. 
TurniDg aside from doctrinal difficulties and theo- 
logical quagmires, she determined " to find happi- 
ness in living to do good." She says : " It was right 
to pray and read the Bible, and so I prayed and read 
the Bible. It was right to try to save others, and so 
I tried to save them. In all these years I never 
had any fear of punishment or hope of reward." 

Without ever baling heard of pragmatism, she 
became a kind of pragmatist. She continues : 
" After two or three years I commenced giving 
instruction in mental philosophy, and at the same 
time began a regular course of lectures and in- 
structions from the Bible and was inucb occupied 
with plans for governing my school, and in devis- 
ing means to lead my pupils to become obedient, 
amiable, and pious." These " means " resulted in 
a code of principles for the government of her 
school which were nothing more nor less than 
carefully formulated common sense with plenty of 
the "milk of human kindness" thrown in. These 
principles she carefully compared with the gov- 
ernment of God, and came to the conclusion that 
He in his infinitely mighty and complex task of 
governing the universe was applying the same 
fondamental principles as she in the relatively 



infiDitesimal and simple task of governing her 
school. This was her solution, and this the view 
of the divine nature that was for so many years 
preached by her brother Henry Ward, and set 
forth in the writings of her sister Harriet. 

Harriet and Henry Ward took this position 
with their hearts, and held it with their heads. 
They ever felt their way with their hearts and fol- 
lowed with their intellects. The reverse was true 
of Edward and Catherine. They were the great 
metaphysicians of the family. Doctor Beecher 
presented just the inconsistent mingling of the 
two kinds of mental process which one might ex- 
pect in the father of such children. It was said of 
him that he was the father of more brains than 
any other man in America. It might with equal 
truth have been said that he was the father of 
more heart than any other man in America. The 
view of God as manifested in Jesus Christ, which 
came to Catherine Beecher as the solution of her 
difficulties by long mental stru^le, was essentially 
the same that came to Harriet by intuition as a 
child of thirteen in the old meeting-house at Litch- 
field. It was truly religious, non -theological, and 
practical. But because it was non-theological they 
were not to be permitted to rest in it peacefully. 



In March, 1826, Doctor Beecher, having re- 
signed his pastorate in Litchfield, accepted a call to 
the Hanover Street Church in Boston. In making 
this change he was actuated partly by personal mo- 
tives, his salary in Litchfield being inadequate to 
the support of his large family, and partly by the 
great strategic importance of the Boston church 
in the war against Unitariaiiism, In Boston his 
preaching, which has been called " logic on fire," 
became more aggressively theological than it had 
ever been before. He felt that God had placed 
him there to fight and crush a soul-destroying 
heresy. The stake was nothing so paltry as power 
and empire, or even human lives. It was the im- 
mortal souls of men. Now, although Mrs. Stowe's 
loyal aoul would never have acknowledged that 
her father's preaching acted unfavorably on her 
mental development, such was unmistakably the 
case. The atmosphere of mental excitement and 
confiict in which her father lived and preached at 
this time drove her already ovei^stimulated mind 
to the point of distraction. Too much mental 
strain and too little exercise had brought her to 
her seventeenth year without the strength which 
should have been the heritage of her robust 


In February, 1827, her sister Catherine writes 
to her father : " I have received some letters from 
Harriet to-<laj which make me feel uneasy. She 
says, ' I don't know that I am fit for anything and 
I have thought that I could wish to die young, 
and let the remembrance of me and my faults 
perish in the grave rather than live, as I fear I do, 
a trouble to every one. You don't know how per- 
fectly wretched I often feel ; so useless, so weak, 
so destitute of all energy. Mamma often tells me 
that I am a strange, inconsistent being. Some- 
times I could not sleep and have groaned and 
cried till midnight, while in the day-time I have 
tried to appear cheerful, and have succeeded so 
well that Papa has reproved me for laughing so 
much. I was so absent sometimes that I made 
strange mistakes, and then they all laughed at me, 
and I laughed too, though I felt I should go dia- 
tracted. I wrote rules, made out a regular system 
for dividing my time; but my feelings vary so 
much that it is almost impossible for me to be 
regular.' " Catherine also writes to her brother 
Edward that she thinks it the beat thing for Har- 
riet to return to Hartford where she can talk freely 
with her. "I can get her books," continues Cath- 
erine, "and Catherine Cogswell and Georgiana 



May, and her frieDds here can do more for her 
than any one in Boston, for they love her and she 
loves them very much. . . . Harriet will have 
young society here all the time, which she cannot 
have at home, and I think cheerful and amusing 
friends will do much for her. I can do better In 
preparing her to teach drawing than any one else, 
for I know best what is needed." 

The result was that Harriet returned to Hart- 
ford where she passed a mouth or so and then in 
the spring went with her frieud Georgiana May 
to visit Nutptains, in Guilford, which, as we have 
already learned, was dear to her from childhood. 
The August following her visit to Guilford she 
writes to her brother Edward in a strain that re- 
veals a state of mind bordering on religious meir 
ancholy, but at the same time shows that she is 
returning to mental health and cheerfulness. 
" Many of my objections you did remove that 
afternoon we spent together. After that I was not 
as unhappy as T had been. I felt, nevertheless, 
that my views were very indistinct and contradic- 
tory, and feared that if you left me thus, I might 
return to the same dark desolate state in which I 
had been all summer. I felt that my immortal in- 
terest for both worlds was depending on the turn 


jay feelings might take. In my disappointment 
and distress I called upon God, and it seemed as 
if I -vblb heard. I felt that He could supply the loss 
of all earthly love. All misery and darkness were 
over. I felt as if restored, never more to fall. Such 
sober certainty of waking bliss had long been a 
stranger to me. But even then I had doubts as to 
whether these feelings were right, because I felt 
love to God alone without that ardent love to my 
fellow creatures that Christians have often felt. 
... I cannot say what it is makes me reluctant 
to speak of my feehngs. It coats me an effort to 
express feeling of any kind, but more particularly 
to speak of my private religious feelings. If any 
one questions me my first impulse is to conceal all 
I can. Aa for expression of affection towards 
my brothers and sisters, and companions and 
friends, the stronger the affection the less inclina- 
tion I have to express it. Yet sometimes I think 
myself the most frank, communicative, and open 
of all beings, and at other times the most reserved. 
If you can resolve all my caprices into general 
principles you will do more than I can. Your 
speaking so much philosophically has a tendency 
to repress confidence. We never wish to have our 
feelings analyzed down, and every little nothing 



that we say brought to the test o£ mathematical 

" It appears to me that If I could only adopt the 
views o£ God you preseuted to my mind they 
would exert a strong and beneficial influence over 
my character. But I am afraid to accept them for 
several reasons. First, it seems to be taking from 
the majesty and dignity of the divine character to 
suppose that his happiness can be at all affected 
by the conduct of his sinful, erring creatures. Sec- 
ondly, it seems to me that such views of God would 
have an effect on our own minds in lessening that 
reverence and fear which is ooe of the greatest 
motives to us for action. For, although to a gener- 
ous mind the thought of the love of God would be 
a sufficient incentive to action, there are times o£ 
coldness when that love is not felt, and then there 
remains no sort of stimulus. I find as I adopt 
these sentiments I feel less fear of God, and, in 
view of sin, I feel only a sensation of grief which 
is more easily dispelled and forgotten than that I 
formerly felt." This letter shows how she was 
driven hither and thither by the powerful and 
somewhat contradictory influences brought to bear 
upon her mind by her father, her brother Edward, 
and her sister Catherine. 



' She is naturally drawn to the winning and rest- 
ful conception of God as like Jesus Christ which 
both her brother Edward and her sister Catherine 
unite in presenting to her, but at the same time 
she shows how the iron of her father's Calvinism 
has passed into her soul. It may make her very 
unhappy and depressed, but still she cannot let it 
go immediately. For dull, lethargic souls Calvinism 
may be a most excellent tonic under given condi- 
tions, but on her artistic and sensitive nature it 
acted Hke a subtle poison. It appealed to her rea- 
son and left her heart unsatisfied, — nay, even 
wounded and bleeding. She is drawn hither and 
thither by conflicting tendencies within herself. 
Again she writes to Edward and unconsciously 
paraphrasing a saying of F^nelon, remarks: "It 
is only to the most perfect Being in the universe 
that imperfection can look and hope for patience. 
You do not know how harsh and forbidding every- 
thing seems compared with his character! All 
through the day in my intercourse with others, 
everything seems to have a tendency to destroy the 
calmness of mind gained by communion with Him. 
One flatters me, another is angry with me, another 
is unjust to me. 

" You speak of your predilection for literature 



having been a snare to you. I have fouQtl it so my- 
self. I can scarcely think without tears and indig- 
nation, that all that is beautiful, lovely, and poetic, 
has been laid on other altars. Oh, will there never 
be a poet with a heart enlarged and purified by 
the Holy Spirit, who shall throw all the graces of 
harmony, all the enchantments of feeling, pathos, 
and poetry, around sentiments worthy of them ? 
... It matters little what service he has for me 
... I do not mean to live in vain. He has given 
me talents and I will lay them at his feet well 
satisfied if He will accept them." 

This rhapsodical, overstrained state of mind was 
highly characteristic of this period of her He. The 
high tension was naturally followed by seasons of 
depression and gloom. 

During the winter of 1829 she is in Hartford 
again assisting her sister Catherine in the school. 
She writes to her brother Edward, " Little things 
have great power over me, and if I meet with the 
least thing that crosses my feelings, I am often 
rendered unhappy for days and weeks. I wish I 
could bring myself to feel perfectly indifferent to 
the opinions of others. I believe that there never 
was a person more dependent on the good and evil 
opinions of those around than I am ! " This despair 


is inevitable to one earnestly seeking the truth as 
she was, araid conflicting couDsels. She is now eigh- 
teen, but still morbidly introspective, sensitive, and 
overwrought. She apparently lives largely in her 
emotions. In closing one of her letters she says, 
" This desire to be loved Forms, I fear, the great 
motive for all my actions." Again she writes to her 
brother Edward, "I have been carefully reading the 
book of Job, and I do not find in it the views of God 
you have presented to me. God seems to have 
stripped a dependent creature of all that renders life 
desirable, and then to have answered his complaints 
from the whirlwind ; and, instead of showing mercy 
and pity, to have overwhelmed him by a display 
of his justice. From the view of God that I re- 
ceived from you, I should have expected that a 
being that sympathizes with his guilty, afflicted 
creatures would not have spoken thus. Yet, after 
all, I do believe that God is such a being as you 
represent him to be, and in the New Testament I 
find in the character of Jesus Christ a revelation 
of God as merciful and compassionate ; in fact, just 
such a God as I need ! " This was the vision of 
God that came to her at the time of her conversion. 
It was tlie confusing and perturbing influence of 
her father's Calvinistic theology that had dimmed 


that gracious vision. Out of the prisou-house of 
Giant Despair she had heen delivered by the teach- 
ings of her sister Catherine and her brother Ed- 

But again in the same letter we have a passage that 
shows that her feet are still meshed in the net of 
Calvinistic theology. She writes : *' My mind is 
often perplexed and such thoughts arise in it that 
I cannot pray, and I become bewildered. The won- 
der to me is, how all ministers and all CbriatiaDB 
can feel themselves so inexcusably sinful, when it 
seems to me that we all come into the world in such 
a way that it would be miraculous if we did not 
sin! Mr. Hawes always says in his prayers, ' We 
have nothing to oSer in extenuation of any of our 
sins,' and I always think when he says it that we 
have everything to offer in extenuation. 

" The case seems to me exactly as if I had been 
brought into the world with such a thirst for ardent 
spirits that there was just a possihihty, but no hope 
that I should resist, and then my eternal happiness 
made to depend on my being temperate. Some- 
times when I try to confess my sins I feel that I 
am more to be pitied than blamed, for I have never 
known the time when I have not had a temptation 
within me so strong that it was certain that I should 



not overcome it. This thought shocks me, but it 
comes with such force, and so appealing!;, to all 
my comciousiiess, that it stifles all sense of sin." 

It was such reflections and arguments as these 
that had aroused Doctor Beecher to despair over 
his daughter Catherine's spiritual condition. The 
fact was, he. belonged to one age and his children 
to another. Yet the brave old man lived to sym- 
pathize with them. 

Harriet at last learned to give up her introspec- 
tion and morbid sensitiveness, and to live more 
healthily and humanly. At the age of twenty-one 
she was able to write thus to her friend Georgiaua 
May: "After the disquisitiou ou myself above 
cited you will be able to understand the wondei^ 
ful changes through which Ego et me ipse has 

"The amount of the matter has been, as this 
ioner world of mine has become worn out and un- 
tenable, I have at last concluded to come out of 

it and live in the eternal one, and, as F 

S once advised me, give up the pernicious 

habit of meditation to the first Methodist minister 
who would take it, and try to mix in society some- 
what as other persons would. 

"' Horas non numero non nisi serenae.' Uncle 



Sam, who sits by me, has just been reading the 
above motto, the inscription on a sun-dial in Ven- 
ice. It strikes me as having a distant relationship 
to what I was going to say. I have come to a 
firm resolution to count no hours but unclouded 
ones, and let all others slip out of my memory and 
reckoning as quickly as possible. 

" I am trying to cultivate a spirit of general kind- 
liness towards everybody. Instead of shrinking 
into a comer to notice how other people behave, 
I am holding out my hand to the right and to the 
left, and forming casual and incidental acquaint- 
ance with all who will be acquainted with me. In 
this way I find society full of interest and pleasure, 
— a pleasure that pleaseth me more because it is 
not old and worn out. From these friendships I 
expect little, and therefore generally receive more 
than I expect From past friendships I have ex- 
pected everything, and must of necessity have been 
disappointed. The kind words and looks that I call 
forth by looking and smiling are not much in them- 
selves ; but they form a very pretty flower-border 
to the way of life. They embellish the day or the 
hour as it passes, and when they fade they only do 
just as I expected they woidd. This kind of plea- 
sure in acquaintance is new to me. I never tried it 


before. When I used to meet persons tlie first in- 
quiry was, ' Have they such and such a character, 
or have they anything that might be of use or 
harm to me?'" 

In this new hfe she was able to write to her 
brother Edward, " I have never been so happy as 
this summer. I began it in more suffering than 
I ever before have felt, but there is One whom 1 
daily thank for all that suffering, since I hope 
that it has brought me at last to rest entirely in 
Him." So she learned to suffer and to love. To 
suffer and to love and at last to rest. After five 
years of struggling she returns to where she 
started when converted as a child of thirteen. 
Love became her gospel, the Alpha and Omega of 
her existence, love for her God, for her friends, and 
finally for humanity. The three words, " God is 
love," summed up her theology. Her love of hu- 
manity was not the vague charitable emotion which 
the phrase usually denotes. It was as real, as vital, 
and as impelling as the love for her friend which 
she thus expressed in closing this letter, — 

" Oh, my dear G , it is scarcely well to love 

friends thus . . . those that I love; and oh, how 
much that word means. I feel sadly about them. 
They may change ; they must die ; they are sep- 



arated from me, and I ask myself why should I 
wisb to love with all the pains and penalties of 
such conditions? I check myself when expressing 
feelings like this, so much has been said of it by 
the sentimental, who talk what they could not 
have felt. But it is so deeply, sincerely so in me, 
that sometimes it will overflow. Well, there is a 
heaven — a heaven, — a world of love, and love 
after all is the life blood, the existence, the all in 
all of mind." 



In January, 1831, Doctor Beecher, in the height 
of his Boston ministry in point of popularity and 
influence, began a series o£ sermons on the Roman 
Catholic Church, in which he sounded the alarm 
as to the supposed designs of the Papacy on the 
liberties of our nation. At this time he was con- 
sidering a call to become president of the newly 
established Lane Theological Seminary at Walnut 
Hilla, near Cincinnati, Ohio. The leading motive 
in determining him to accept this appointment 
was the desire to hold the great West for Protest- 
antism. He was thrilled by the greatness of the 
enterprise. His whole family sympathized with 
him, and entered heartily into his plans. They 
felt that he waa called to a great mission in which 
they all had a share. Catherine immediately de- 
termined to establish a school in Cincinnati to raise 
up teachers for the West. 

In a letter to Miss May, Harriet, who was at 
this time about twenty years old, writes minutely 



and at len^Ii of their plans : " We mean to turn 
over the West by means of model schools in this 
its capital (Cincinnati). We mean to have a young 
ladies' school o£ about fifty or sixty, a primary 
school of little girls to the same amount, and 
then a primary school for boys. We have come 
to the conclusion that the work of teaching will 
never be rightly done till it comes into female 

" This is especially true with regard to boya. To 
govern boys by moral influence requires tact, and 
talent, and versatility ; it requires also the same 
division of labor that female education does. But 
men of tact, versatility, talent, and piety, will not 
devote their lives to teaching. They must be min- 
isters, and missionaries, and all that, and while 
there is such a thrilling call for action in this way, 
every man who is merely teaching feels aa if he 
were a Hercules with a distaff ready to spring at 
the first trumpet that calls him away. As for di- 
vision of labor, men must have salaries that can 
support wife and family, and, of course, a revenue 
would be required to support a requisite number 
of teachers if they could be found. 

" Then, if men have more knowledge they have 
less talent in communicating it, nor have they the 



patience, the long-suffering, and the gentleness 
necessary to superintend the formation of char- 
acter. We intend to make these principles under- 
stood, and ourselves to set the example of what 
females can do in this way. You see that first-rate 
talent is necessary for all that we mean to do, es- 
pecially for the last, because here we must face 
down the prejudices of society, and we must have 
exemplary success to be believed. We want origi- 
nal planning minds, and you do not realize how 
few there are among females, and how few we can 
command o£ those that exist." Catherine had vis- 
ited Cincinnati with her father before the removal 
was made, and had written to Harriet, " The folks 
are very anxious to have a school on our plan set 
on foot here. We can have fine rooms in the city 
college building, which is now unoccupied, and 
everybody is ready to lend a helping hand." 

The sense of having a mission in the world was 
a ruling characteristic of the Beechers which Har- 
riet shared to an unusual degree. It was only a 
strong sense of humor that saved them from fa- 
naticism. Harriet took a very serious view of the 
migration of the family to the West, and believed 
most devoutly that it was in obedience to a divine 
call, and yet she could write thus from Fhiladel- 


ptia on the journey West : "I saw a notice in the 
Philadelphiayi about father, setting forth how 
'this distinguished brother with his large family, 
having torn themselves from tbe endearing scenes 
of their home,' etc., ' were going like Jacob,' etc., 
— very scriptural and appropriate flourish. It is 
too much after the manner of men, as Paul says, 
* speaking as a fool.' " This joyous, kindly humor 
is a strongly marked characteristic of the Beecher 
family. Mrs. Stowe often said that one of the 
most vivid impressions of her father's family as it 
was in her childhood was that of " a great house- 
hold inspired by a spirit of cheerfulness and hilar- 
ity." Cheerfulness and hilarity is the characteristic 
Beecher atmospliere. The letter in which Mrs. 
Stowe pictures the events of the journey westward 
is overflowing with fun. 

We have first a vivid picture of the sojourn in 
New York City ; of Doctor Beecher rushing about 
in high spirits, soliciting funds for the new insti- 
tution, preaching, dipping into books, and con- 
sulting authorities for his oration, " going around 
here, there, and everywhere ; begging, borrowing, 
and spoiling the Egyptians, delighted with past 
success, and confident for the future." Harriet, 
however, finds New York too exciting and *' scat- 



teriug," and begins to long for " the waters of 

They take the boat from New York and arrive 
in Philadelphia late on Saturday evening of a dull, 
drizzling day. Poor Aunt Esther Beecher and 
Mrs. Beecher are in despair over strayed trunks, 
for the recapture of which George Beecher, one 
of the sons, has been left behind. In the whole 
caravan not a clean dress or cap to put on! Part 
of the family are entertained at the house of Doc- 
tor Beecher's old friend, the Rev. Dr. Skinner, and 
Harriet with Catherine, Isabella, and James goes 
to the house of a Mrs. Elmes, — " rich, hospitable 
folks, who act the part of Gains in apostolic 
times." The trunks arrive in a day or so, and 
Doctor Beecher, after seeing tliem safely landed 
in Doctor Skinner's entry, swings his hat around 
his head with a joyful, "Hurrah." 

The next day they traveled about thirty miles 
in a private conveyance to Dowingtou. The driver 
was obliging, the roads good, and the scenery fine. 
All were in high spirits and gave vent to their 
joy in psalms and hymns. George had provided a 
goodly supply of tracts which they tossed to the 
way-farers whom they met. Harriet declared that 
he was "peppering the land with moral and spir- 



itual influences." As Harriet writes, they are com- 
fortably seated in the front parlor of a little coun- 
try inn, as much at home as if still in Boston. 
Doctor Beecher is reading. Thomas and Isabella 
are writing in their daily journals. Catherine is 
writing to her sister, Mrs. Thomas Perkins, and 
Harriet to her friend, Georgiana May. She says, 
"Among the multitude of present friends my 
heart still makes occasional visits to absent ones, 
— visits full of cause for gratitude to Him who 
gives us friends. I have thought of you often to- 
day, my Georgiana. We stopped this noon at a 
substantial Pennsylvania tavern, and among the 
flowers in the garden was a late monthly honey- 
suckle, like the one in North Guilford. I made a 
spring for it ; but George secured the finest hunch, 
which he wore in bis button-hole the rest of the 

"This afternoon as we were traveling, we struck 
up and sang 'Jubilee.' It put me in mind of the 
time when we used to ride along the rough North 
Guilford roads, and make the air vocal as we went. 
Pleasant times, those ! Those were blue skies, and 
that was a beautiful lake with pine trees that hung 
over it. But those we shall look upon 'na mair!' 

" Well, my dear, there is a land where we shall 


Dotlove and leave. Those skiesahall never cease to 
shine, the waters of life we shall never be called 
upon to leave." 

Sunday finds them in Harrisburg, sixty -two 
miles from Wheeling, where they were to take the 
boat for Cincinnati. On arriving in Wheehngthe 
Dews of cholera in Cincinnati leads them to wait 
for eight days and then go on by private stage. 
Then, again, at Granville they spend part of a 
week and assist at revival meetings. 

Arrived at Walnut Hills, Harriet, in the first 
blush of her enthusiasm, writes to Georgiana May 
this glowing description of the new home: "How 
I wish you could see Walnut Hdls! It is about 
two miles from tlie city, and the road to it is as 
picturesque as you can imagine a road to be, without 
'springs that run among the hills.' Every possible 
variety of hillandvaleofbeautifulslope, and undu- 
lations of land set off by velvet richness of turf, 
and broken upbygrovesandforestsof every outline 
of fohage, make the scene Arcadian. You might 
ride over the same road a dozen times a day, un- 
tired, for the constant variation of view caused by 
ascending and descending hill relieves you from 
all tedium. Much of the wooding is beech of a 
noble growth. The straight, beautiful shafts of 



these trees as one looks up the cool green recesses 
of the woods seem as though they might form very 
proper columns for a Dryad temple." 

Miss Catherine Beecher thus pictures the site 
of the seminary: "The Seminary is located on a 
farm of one hundred and twenty-five acres of fine 
land, with groves of superb trees around it. . . . 
I have become somewhat acquainted with those 
ladies we shall have the most to do with, and find 
them intelligent New England sort of folks. In- 
deed, Cincinnati is a New England city in all its 
habits, and its inhabitants are more than half from 
New England. 

"The second church, which is the best in the 
City, will give father a unanimous call to be their 
minister, with the understanding that he will give 
them what time he can spare from the Seminary." 

Many years afterwards Mrs. Stowe, writing of 
her hfe in Cincinnati at this time, says : " Doctor 
Beecher's house on Walnut Hills was in many 
respects peculiarly pleasant. It was a two-story 
brick edifice of moderate dimensions, fronting the 
West with a long L running back into the prime- 
val forest, or grove, as it was familiarly called, 
which here came up to the very door. Immense 
trees, beech, black oak, and others, spread their 



protecting arms over the back yard, afEordiDg in 
summer an almost impenetrable shade. 

'* An airy veranda was built in the angle formed 
by the L along the entire inner surface of the 
house, from which during the fierce gales of au- 
tumn and winter we used to watch the tossing of 
the spectral branches and listen to the roaring of 
wind through the forest." 

". . . During the first year of Doctor Beecber's 
Walnut Hills life the care of the family was shared 
by Mrs. Beecher and Aunt Esther, though, as the 
health of the former declined, the burden fell more 
and more upon the latter. The family was large, 
comprising, including servants, thirteen in all, be- 
sides occasional visitors. 

" The house was full. There was a continual 
high tide of life and animation. The old carryall 
was continually vibrating between home and the 
city, and the excitement of going and coming 
rendered anything like stagnation an impossibility. 
... It was an exuberant and glorious life while 
it lasted. The atmosphere of his household was 
replete with moral oxygen, — full charged with in- 
tellectual electricity. Nowhere else have I felt any- 
thing resembling or equaling it. It was a kind 
of moral heaven, the purity, vivacity, and inspira- 




tion of which only those can appreciate who have 
felt it." 

In 1832 while visiting her brother William in 
Newport, Rhode Island, Harriet had begun an 
elementary geography. This little hook, her first 
published work, was completed during the winter 
of 1833, and published by Corey, Fairbank & 
Webster of Cincinnati. Shortly after its publica- 
tion she writes to Miss May, " Bishop Purcell vis- 
ited our school to-day, and expressed himself as 
greatly pleased that we had opened such an one 
here. He spoke of my poor little geography and 
thanked me for the unprejudiced manner in which 
I had handled the Catholic question in it. I was 
of course flattered that he should have known 
anything about the book." 

When we remember that Doctor Beecher's great 
motive in going to Cincinnati was to oppose the 
influence of the Roman Catholic Church in every 
way possible, and that he frequently attacked it 
in the pulpit and in the press, this incident reflects 
great credit, not only on the wisdom and tolerance 
of Archbishop Purcell, but on that of Harriet 
Beecher as well. When the father, whom the 
daughter revered, honestly regarded the Catholic 
Church as a great evil, and a peril to our free 



institutions, it required no little courage and inde- 
pendence of thought in the daughter to so handle 
the Catholic question as to win words of hearty 
appreciation from one of the highest ecctesiastica 
of that communion. That the good bishop TiBited 
the school and made such kind comments on its 
mission showed a broad, wise, and tolerant spirit 
which must have tended to confirm in Harriet's 
mind what she had often heard her Uncle Samuel 
gay in the old Litchfield days about the Roman 
Catholic prelates, whom he carried on his ships 
between Spain and America, being as learned and 
as devoted to the good of men as any Protestants 
to be found in America. 

With all her enthusiasm and ideality, Harriet 
nevertheless felt the wear and tear of the routine 
work of the schoolroom. She writes to Miss May 
during the first year of her school hfe in Cincin- 
nati: "Since writing the above my whole time 
has been taken up in the labor of our new school, 
or wasted in the fatigue and lassitude following 
such labor. . . . 

" Now, Georgiana, let me copy for your delec- 
tation a list of matters that I have jotted down 
for consideration at a teachers' meeting to be 
held to-morrow night. It runneth as follows. Just 



hear! 'About quills and paper ou the floor; 
forming classes ; drinking in the entry (cold 
water, mind you) ; giving leave to speak ; recess 
bell,' etc., ' You are tired, I see,' said John Gilpin, 
so am I ! and I spare you. 

" I have just been bearing a class of little girls 
recite, and telling them a fairy story that I had 
to spin out as it went along beginning with, 
' Once upon a time there was,' etc., in the good 
old-fashioned way of stories." 

To conceive great things is to smolie enchanted 
cigarettes, hut to execute is drudgery. Harriet 
learned to know such drudgery in full measure. 
Her ill-health was largely due to unregulated and 
unrestrained feeling. She lived overmuch in her 
emotions. Nothing like drudgery to tame the 
feelings ! About this time she writes to Miss 
May, " To-day is Sunday, and I am staying at 
home because I think it is time to take some 
efBcient means to dissipate the illness and bad 
feelings of various kinds that have for some time 
been growing upon me. At present there is and 
can be very Httle system and regularity about me. 
About half of my time I am scarcely alive, and 
a great part of the rest, the slave and sport of 
morbid feeling and unreasonable prejudice. I 


have everything but good health. . . . How good 
it vrould be for me to be put in a place that breaks 
up and precludes thought. Thought, intense, emo- 
tional thought, has been my disease. How much 
good it would do me to be where I could not but 
be thoughtless. . . . 

'^ Recently I have been reading the hfe of 
Madame de Stael and ' Corinne,' I have felt an 
intense sympathy with many parts of that book, 
with many parts of her character. But in America 
feeliugs vehement and absorbing like hers become 
still more deep, morbid, and impassioned by the 
constant habits of self -government which the 
rigid forms of our society demand. They are re- 
pressed and they burn inwardly till they burn the 
very soul, leaving only dust and ashes. It seems 
to me that the intensity with which my mind has 
thought and felt on every subject presented to it 
has had this eSect. It has withered and exhausted 
it, and though young I have no sympathy with 
the feelings of youth. All that is enthusiastic, all 
that is impassioned in admiration of nature, of 
writing, of character, in devotional thought and 
emotion, or in emotions of affection, I have felt 
with vehement and absorbing intensity, — -felt 
till my mind is exhausted and seems to he sinking 



into deadness. Half of my time I am glad to re- 
main in a listless vacancy ; to busy myself with 
trifles since thought is pain and emotion is pain." 
The sense of humor was for Mrs. Stowe indeed a 
saviDg grace. She could not have lived without 
it. Her nature so intense and emotional would, to 
use her own figure, have burned itself to ashes. 
Her letters at this time are full of playfulness. 
For example, she writes to her sister Mrs. Perkins 
in Hartford : " By the by, Mary, speaking of the 
temptations of cities, I have much solicitude on 
Jamie's account lest he should form improper in- 
timacies, for yesterday or the day before we saw 
him parading by the house with his arm over the 
neck of a great hog, apparently on the most inti- 
mate terms possible ; the other day he actually 
got on tbe back of one and rode some distance. 
So much for allowing these animals to promenade 
the streets, a particular in which Mrs. Cincinnati 
has imitated the domestic arrangement of some 
of her elder sisters, and a very disgusting one it 
is ! " Of the same quiet vein of humor is the de- 
scription of the family physician. " Our family 
physician is one Dr. Drake, a man of a good deal 
of science, theory, and reputed skill, but a sort of 
general mark for the opposition of aU the medical 



cloth of the city. He is a tall, rectangular, per- 
pendicular sort of a body, stiff as a poker, and 
enunciates his prescriptions much as if he were 
giving a discourse on the doctrine of election. 
The other evening he was detained from visiting 
Kate, and sent a very polite, ceremonious note 
containing a prescription, with Dr. D.'s compli- 
ments to Miss Beecher, requesting that she would 
take the inclosed with a little molasses at nine 
o'clock precisely." These descriptions of the life 
about her would hardly seem to come from the 
young woman who had written, "About half my 
time I am scarcely alive." 

It was during her first year in Cincinnati that 
Harriet, in company with a Miss Button, one of 
the teachers in the school, made a visit to a Ken- 
tucky slave plantation. Years afterward, on read- 
ing "Uncle Tom's Cabin," Miss Button commented 
with amazement that, although during this visit 
Harriet had seemed too dreamy and abstracted to 
notice what was passmg about her, nevertheless 
scenes, incidents, and persons, met with during 
this brief visit, were graphically reproduced and 
woven into the texture of her story. 

About this time a wealthy and cultivated family 
came from Louisiana to Ohio, and settled near 



Cincinnati. They brought with them a number of 
skves whom they set at liberty, and among them 
was a quaint little Jim Crow of a negro girl who 
was the original of "Topey." It was in attempt- 
ing to give this wild little savage some religious 
instruction, in a little mission Sunday-school, that 
Mrs. Stowe got her material for the celebrated 
dialogue between Miss Ophelia and Topsy. 

" Miss Ophelia, ' Have you ever heard anything 
about God, Topsy ? ' 

" The child looked bewildered but grinned as 

"*Do you know who made you?* 

" * Nobody as I knows on,' said the child with 
a short laugh. 

" The idea appeared to amuse her considerably; 
for her eyes twinkled, and she added : — 

" ' I 'spect I grow'd, nobody never made me ! ' " 

Harriet's two uncles, Captain Samuel Foote and 
Mr. John Foote, also lived in Cincinnati at this 
time. Captain Samuel Foote's house was on a height 
in the upper part of the city, and commanded a 
fine view of the whole lower town. It was a centre 
for persons of artistic and Uterary tastes. Here 
often met the "Semi-Colon Club," among the 
membership of which were names afterwards as 


promineot in state aud national affairs as those 
of Salmon P. Chase; Mrs. Peters, founder of the 
Philadelphia School of Desig;n ; Mrs. Caroline Lee 
Hentz; C. P. Crancb, the poet; Worthington 
Whittredge, the artist; General Edward King, 
Miss Catherine Beecher, Professor Calvin E. 
Stowe, Judge James Hall, editor of the Western 
Magazine, and many others. 

At the meetings of this club the members read 
papers and stories, or discussed interesting topics 
previously announced. In a letter to Miss May, 
Harriet Beecher gives au amusing description of 
her part in these meetings : " I am vondering 
as to what 1 shall do next. I have been writing a 
piece to be read next Monday evening at Uncle 
Sam's soiree (the Semi-Colon). It is a letter pur- 
porting to be from Dr. Johnson. I have been 
stilting about in his style so long that it is a 
relief to me to come down to the jog of common 
English. Now, I think of it, I will just give you 
a history of my campaign in this circle. 

" My first piece was a letter from Bishop Butler, 
written in his outrageous style of parenthesis and 
fogification. My second, a satirical essay on the 
modern uses of languages. This I shall send to 
you as some of the gentlemen, it seems, took a 


fancy to it, anil requested leave to put it in the 
Western Magazine. It is ascribed to Catherine, 
or I don't know that I should let it go, I have no 
notion of appearing in propria persona. 

" The next piece was a satire on certain mem- 
bers who were getting very much into the way of 
joking on the worn-out subjects of matrimony and 
old maid and old bachelorism. I therefore wrote a 
set of legislative enactments purporting to be from 
the ladies of the society forbidding all such allu- 
sions in the future. It made some sport at the time. 
I try not to be personal, and to be courteous even 
in satire. 

"But I have written a piece this week that is 
making me some disquiet. I did not Uke it that 
there was so little that was serious and rational 
about the reading. So I conceived the design of 
writing a set of letters and throwing them in as 
being the letters of a friend. 

" I wrote a letter this week for the first of the 
set, — easy, not very sprightly, — describing an 
imaginary situation, a house in the country, a 
gentleman and lady, Mr. and Mrs. Howard, as 
being pious, literary, and agreeable. I threw into 
the letter a number of little particulars and inci- 
dental allusions to give it the air of having been 


really a letter. I meant thus to give myself an 
opportunity for the introduction of different Buh- 
jects and the discussion of different characters 
in future letters. 

*' I meant to write on a great number of sub- 
jects in the future. Cousin Elizabeth only was in 
the secret ; Uncle Samuel and Sarah Eliot were 
not to know. 

" Yeflterdaymorninglfinishedmyletter, smoked 
it to make it look yellow, tore it to make it look 
old, directed it and scratched out the direction, 
postmarked it with red ink, sealed it and broke 
the seal, all this to give credibility to the fact of 
its being a real letter. Then I inclosed it in an en- 
velope, stating that it was a part of a set that 
had fallen into my hands. This envelope was 
written in a scrawny, scrawly gentleman's band. 

" I put it into the office In the morning, directed 
it to 'Mrs. Samuel E. Foote,' and then sent word 
to Sis that it was coming, so that she might be 
ready to enact the part. 

"Well, the deception took. Uncle Sam exam- 
ined it and pronounced, ex cathedra, that it must 
have been a real letter. Mr. Greene (the gentle- 
man who reads) declared that it must have come 
from Mrs. Hall, and elucidated the theory by 



spelling out the names and dates that I had 
had erased, vhich, of course, he accommodated to 
his own tastes. But then, what makes me feel 
uneasy is that Elizabeth, after reading it, did not 
seem to he exactly satisfied. She thought it had 
too much sentiment, too much particularity of in- 
cident, — she did not exactly know what. She was 
afraid it would be criticised unmercifully. Now, 
Elizabeth has a tact and quickness of perception 
that I trust to, and her remarks have made me 
uneasy enough. I am unused to being criticised, 
and don't know how I shall bear it." 

It was about this time that Judge Hall offered 
a prize of fifty dollars for the best short story 
that should be sent in to the Western Magazine 
within a given period. The prize was awarded 
to Harriet Beecher for a story entitled " Uncle 
Lot," which was afterwards incorporated in the 
" Mayflower," published by Harper & Brothers in 
1843. It was at this time that Harriet Beecher 
was laying the foundation of her fame as a writer. 
In a letter to Mrs. FoUen, written immediately 
after the publication of " Uncle Tom's Cabin," 
she gives the following account of the way she 
came to be a writer : " During long years of 
struggling with poverty and sickness, and a hot, 


debilitating climate, my children grew up around 
me. The unraery and the kitchen were my prin- 
cipal fields of labor. Some of my friends, pitying 
my trials, copied and sent a number of little 
sketches from my pen to a number of liberally 
paying Annuals, with my name. With the first 
money that I earned in this way I bought a feather- 
bed ! For as I had married into poverty and with- 
out a dowry, and as my husband had only a large 
library of books and a great deal of learuing, the 
bed and pillows were thought the most profitable 

"After this I thought I had discovered the 
philosopher's stone. So when a new carpet or 
mattress was going to be needed, or when at the 
close of the year it began to be evident that my 
family accounts, like poor Dora's, 'would n't add 
up,' then 1 used to say to my faithful friend and 
factotum Anna, who shared all my joys and sor- 
rows, ' Now, if you will keep the babies, and 
attend to the things in the house for one day, I '11 
write a piece, and then we shall be out of the 

" So I became an author, — very modest at first, 
I do assure you, and remonstrating very seriously 
with friends who had thought it best to put my 



name to the pieces by way of getting up a reputa- 
tion ; and if jou see a wood-cut of me, with an im- 
moderately long no&e, on the cover of all the U. S. 
Almanacs, I wish you to take notice that I have 
been forced into it contrary to my natural modesty 
by the imperative solicitations of my dear five 
thousand friends, and the public generally." 

So it appears that writing was with Mrs. Stowe 
before marriage a diversion, but after marriage 
a stern necessity. 

Miss Catherine Beecher wrote this graphic ac- 
count of her efforts in stirring her sister up to 
literary activity after her marriage: "During a 
visit to her [Mrs. Stowe], I had an opportunity 
one day of witnessing the combined exercise of 
her literary and domestic genius in a style that to 
me was quite amusing. 

"'Come, Harriet,' said I, as I found her tending 
one baby and watching two others just able to 
walk, ' where is that piece for the Souvenir which 
I promised the editor I would get from you and 
send him on next week? You have only this one 
day left to finish it, and have it I must.' 

"•And how will you get it, sister of mine?' said 
Harriet. ' You will have at least to wait till I get 
house-cleaning over and baby's teeth through.* 


" * Aa to house-cleaning, you can defer it one 
day longer; and aa to baby's teeth there is no end 
to them as I can see. No, to-day that story must 
be ended. There Frederick has been sitting bj 
Ellen and saying all thoae pretty things for more 
than a month now, and she has been turning and 
bluahing till I am sure it is time to go to her 

" ' Come, it would not take you three hours at the 
rate you can write to finish the courtship, mar- 
riage, catastrophe, ecJaircissenient and all ; and 
this three hours of your brains will earn enough 
to pay for all the sewing your fingers could do for 
a year to come. Two dollars a page, my dear, and 
you can write a page in fifteen minutes ! Come, 
then, my lady housekeeper, economy is a cardinal 
virtue ; consider the economy of the thing.' 

" 'But, my dear, here is a baby iu my arms, and 
two little pussies by my side, and there is a great 
baking down in the kitchen, and there is a green 
girl for help, besides preparations to be made for 
house-cleaning next week. It is really out of the 
question, you see.' 

"* I see no such thing. I do not know what gen- 
ius ia given for if it is not to help a woman out of 
a scrape. Come set your wita to work and let me 



have my way, and you shall have all the work 
done, and finish the atory too.' 

"'Well, but kitchen affairs?' 

'"Weean manage them too. You know that you 
can write anywhere, and anyhow. Just take your 
seat at the kitchen table with your writing weap- 
ons, and while you superintend Mina, fill up the 
odd snatches o£ time with the labors oi your 

" I carried my point. In ten minutes she was 
seated ; a table with flour, rolling-pin, ginger, and 
lard on one side ; a dresser with eggs, pork, and 
beans and various cooking utensils on the other, 
near her an oven beating, and beside her a dark- 
skinned nymph waiting for orders. 

" ' Here, Harriet,' said I, ' you can write on this 
atlas in your lap ; no matter how the writing looks, 
I will copy it.' 

" ' Well, well,' she said, with a resigned sort of an 
amused look. ' Mina, you may do what I told you, 
while I write a few minutes, till it is time to mould 
up the bread. Where is the inkstand?' 

" * Here it is, on top of the tea-kettle, close by,' 
said I. 

"At this Mina giggled, and we both laughed 
to see her merriment at our literary proceedings. 


*' I began to overhaul the portfolio to find the 
right sheet. * Here it is,' said 1, ' here is Frederick 
sitting by Ellen glancing at ber brilliant face, and 
saying something about "guardian angel," and 
all that — you remember? ' 

" 'Yes, yes,' she said, falling into a muse as she 
attempted to recover the thread of ber story. 

"'Ma'am, shall I put tbe pork on the top of the 
beans ? ' asked Mina. 

"'Come, come,' said Harriet, laughing. 'You see 
how it is. Mina is a new hand and cannot do any- 
thing without me to direct her. We must give up 
the writing for to-day.' 

" ' No, no, let us have another trial. You can dic- 
tate as easily as you can write. Come, I can set 
the baby in this clothes basket and give him some 
mischief or another to keep him quiet; you shall dic- 
tate and I will write. Now, this is the place where 
you left off : you were describing the scene between 
Ellen and her lover : tbe last sentence was, " Borne 
down by the tide of agony she leaned her head on 
her bands, the tears streamed through her fingers, 
and her whole frame shook with convulsive sobs." 
What next?' 

"' Mina, pour a little milk into this pearlashl' 
said Harriet. 



"'Come/ said I, '"The tears streamed through 
her fingers, and her whole frame shook with con- 
vulsive sobs." What next?' 

" Harriet paused, and looked musingly out of 
the window as she turned her mind to her story. 
' You may write now,' said she, and she dictated 
as follows : — 

" ' Her lover wept with her, uor dared again to 
touch the point so sacredly guarded. — Mina, roll 
that crust a little thinner. — He spoke in soothing 

*" — Mina poke the coals in the oven,' 

*' ' Here,' said I, ' let me direct Mina about these 
matters and write a while yourself.' 

" Harriet took the pen and patiently set herself 
to work. For a while my culinary knowledge and 
skill were proof to all Mina's investigating in- 
quiries, and they did not fail till I saw two pages 

" ' You have done bravely,' said I, as I read over 
the manuscript ; ' now you must direct Mina a while. 
Meantime dictate, and I will write.' 

'* Never was there a more docile literary lady than 
my sister. Without a word of objection she fol- 
lowed my request. 

" 'I am ready to write,' said I. 'The last sen- 


tence was, " What is tbia life to ooe who has suf- 
fered as I have?" What nest?' 

"'Shall I put in the brown, or the white bread 
first?' asked Mina. 

" ' The brown first,' said Harriet. 

" ' " What is this life to one who has suffered as 
I have?" ' said I. 

" Harriet brushed the flour off her apron, and 
sat down for a moment in a muse. Then she dic- 
tated as follows: — 

"'Under the breaking of my heart I have borne 
up. I have borne up under all that tries a woman, 
— but this thought, — oh, Henry!' 

"'Ma'am, shall I put ginger in this pumpkin?^' 
queried Mina. 

" ' No, you may let that alone just now,' rephed 
Harriet. She then proceeded : — 

"'I know my duty to my children. I see the 
hour must come. You must take them, Henry ; they 
are my last earthly comfort.' 

" ' Ma'am, what shall I do with these eggshells, 
and all this truck here?' interrupted Mina. 

" 'Put them in the pail by you,' answered Har- 

*' ' " They are my last earthly comfort," ' said I. 
*What next?' 



" She continued to dictate, — 

"'You must take them away. It may he — per- 
haps it must be — that I shall soon follow, but the 
breaking heart of awifestill pleads, "alittle longer, 
a little longer." ' 

" ' How much longer must the ganger-bread stay 
in?' asked Mina. 

"'Five minutes,' said Harriet. 

" ' " A little longer, a little longer," ' I repeated 
in a dolorous tone, and we hurst out into a laugh. 

" Thus we went on, cooking, writing, nursing, 
and laughing, till I finally accomplished my object. 
The piece was finished and copied, and the next 
day sent to the editor." 

No wonder Mrs. Stowe describes her writing as 
" rowing against wind and tide ! " 

During the summer of 1834 the young writer 
made her first visit to New England since leaving 
there for the West two years before. The occasion 
was the graduation o£ her brother, Henry Ward, 
from Amherst College. She covered the earlier 
part of the trip by stage to Toledo, and thence 
bj steamer to Buffalo. It was on this journey that 
she saw Niagara for the first time, and in a letter 
to Mrs. Samuel Foote she thus pictures her sensa- 
tions : " I did not once think whether it was high 

or low ; whether it roared or (lid n't roar ; whether it 
equaled my expectations or not. My mind whirled 
off it seemed to me into a new and straoge world. 
It seemed unearthly, Hke the strange dim images 
iu the book of Revelation. 

" I thought of the great white throne; the rain- 
bow around it ; the throne in sight like unto an 
emerald ; and 0, that beautiful water rising like 
moonlight, falling as the soul sinks when it dies, 
to rise refined, spiritualized, and pure. That rain- 
bow breaking out, trembUng, fading, and again 
coming like a beautiful spirit walking the waters. 

" Oh, it is loveher than it is great ; it Is like the 
nind that made it, great, but so veiled in beauty 
that we gaze without terror. I felt as if I could 
have gone over with the waters ; it would be so 
beautiful a death; there would be no fear in it. 

" I felt the very rock tremble under me with a 
sort of joy. I was so maddened that I could have 
gone, too, if it had gone." 



Hahbibt Beecher's journey to the East was 
saddened by the news of the death of her intimate 
friend, Mrs. Stowe, wife of Professor Calvin Ellis 
Stowe. Mrs. Stowe was a daughter of the Rev. Ben- 
net Tyler, at one time the president of Dartmouth 
College, then Doctor Payson's successor in Portr 
land, Maine, and finally president of East Windsor 
Theological Seminary, in Connecticut. She was 
beautiful, talented, and had a wonderful voice, and 
all this, added to unusual dignity and sweetness of 
character, had made her universally loved. In a 
letter written to her sister Mary, Harriet had thus 
described Mrs. Stowe : '* Let me introduce you to 
Mrs. Stowe, — a delicate, pretty little woman, with 
hazel eyes, auburn hair, fair complexion, fine color, 
a pretty little mouth, fine teeth, and a most inter- 
esting timidity and simplicity of manner ; I fell in 
love with her directly." 

His loss drove Professor Stowe nearly insane, 
and Harriet on her return to Cincinnati became 


his comforter. In about two years tliis friendship 
ripened into love, and they became engaged. Har- 
riet seized the last moments before the wedding 
to write to Miss May. 

CiKCiNK ATI, Jan. 6, 1836. 

Well, my dear G., about half an hour more, and 
your old friend, companion, schoolmate, sister, etc., 
will cease to be Hattie Beecher and change to no- 
body knows who. My dear, you are engaged, and 
pledged in a year or two to encounter a similar 
fate, and do you wish to know how you will feel? 
Well, my dear, I have been dreading the time, and 
lying awake all last week wondering how I should 
live through this overwhelming crisis, and lo I it 
has come and I feel nothing at all. The wedding 
is to be altogether domestic, nobody present but 
my own brothers and sisters, and my old colleague, 
Mary Dutton ; and as there is a sufficiency of the 
ministry we have not even to call in the foreign 
aid of a minister. Sister Katy is not here, so she 
will not witness my departure from her care and 
guidance to that of another. None of my numerous 
friends and acquaintances who have taken such a 
deep interest in making the connection for me even 
know the day, and it will all be done and over be- 
fore they know anything about it. 


Well, it is a mercy to have this entire apathy 
come over one at this time. I should he crazy to 
feel as I did yesterday, or indeed to feel anything 
at all. But I inwardly vowed that my last feel- 
ings and reflections on this subject should be 
yours, and as I have not got any it is just as well 
to tell you that. Well, here comes Mr. Stowe, 
so farewell, and so for the last time I subscribe 

Your own 

Hattib E. Bbecheb. 

The letter was not posted, and she later added : 
"Three weeks have passed since writing the 
above, and my husband and I are now seated by 
oar own fireside, as domestic as any pair of tame 
fowl you ever saw ; he writing to his mother, and 
I to you. 

" Two days after our marriage we took a wed- 
ding excursion so called, though we would have 
most gladly been excused this conformity to ordi- 
nary custom, had not necessity required Mr. Stowe 
to visit Columbus, and I had too much adhesive- 
ness not to go too. Ohio roads at this season are 
no joke, I can tell you, though we were, on the 
whole, wonderfully taken care of, and our expe- 


ditdon included as many pleasures as an expedi* 
tion at this time of the year ever could. 

" And now, my dear, perliaps the wonder to you, 
as to me, is, how this momentous crisis in the life 
of such a whisp of nerve as myself has been trans- 
acted so quietly. My dear, it is a wonder to my- 
self. I am tranquil, quiet, and happy. I look only 
on the present and leave the future to Him who 
has hitherto been so kind to me. 

" * Take no thought for the morrow ' is my 
motto, and my comfort is to rest on Him in whose 
house there are many mansions provided when 
these fleeting earthly ones shall pass away." 

Largely through the influence of his very warm 
friend, General Harrison, Professor Stowe had 
been appointed a commissioner by the State of 
Ohio to investigate and report on the public 
school systems of Europe. To this commission was 
soon added another. The faculty and friends of 
Lane Seminary found this an excellent opportu- 
nity to make many sorely needed additions to the 
seminary library, and intrusted him with funds 
for the purpose. Professor Stowe, since his ar- 
rival in Ohio, had been untiring in his labors for 
popular education. It was largely through his in- 
flaence that "The College of Teachers" was 



founded in Cincinnati in 1833, the object of which 
was to popularize the common schools by iucreas- 
ing their teaching efBciencj, and so to increase 
the demand for education among the people. He 
was ably seconded in his efforts by such prominent 
citizens as General Harrison, Smith Grimk^, Arch- 
bishop Purcell, A. H. McGufEy, Doctor Beecher, 
Lydia Sigourney, and others. Mr. Stowe sailed 
from New York on the ship Montreal, June 8, 
1836, just five months after his marriage. 

During her husband's absence Mrs. Stowe con- 
tinued to live at her father's house, and employed 
herself in writing short stories, articles, and es- 
says which appeared from time to time in the West- 
ern Monthly Magazine,tixe New York Evangel- 
ist, and other publications. She also assisted her 
brother Henry Ward in editing the Joumaly a 
small daily paper published in Cincinnati. In the 
letter to Mrs. FoUen, already referred to, she 
gives this account of her early married life : " I 
was married when I was twenty-five years of age 
to a man rich in Greek and Hebrew, Latin and 
Arabic, and, alas, rich in nothing else. When I 
went to housekeeping, my entire stock of China 
for parlor and kitchen was bought for eleven dol- 
lars. That lasted very well for two years till my 


brother was married, and brought bis bride to 
visit U3. I then found, on review, tbat I bad 
neither plates nor tea-cups to set a table for my 
father's family ; whereupon I thought it best to 
reinforce the establishment by getting me a tea- 
set tbat cost ten dollars more, and this, I be- 
lieve, formed my whole stock in trade for many 

" But then I was abundantly enriched with 
wealth of another sort. I had two little, curly- 
headed twin daughters to begin with, and my 
stock in this line has gradually increased till I 
have been the mother of seveu children, the most 
beautiful and the most loved of whom lies buned 
near my Cincinnati residence. 

"I lived two miles from the city of Cincinnati, 
in the country, and domestic service, not always 
to be found you know in the city, is next to an 
impossibihty to obtain in the country, even by 
those who are willing to give the highest wages; 
so what was to be expected for poor me, who had 
very little of this world's goods to offer ? 

"Had it not been for my inseparable friend, 
Anna, a noble-hearted English girl, who landed 
on our shores in destitution and sorrow, and clave 
to me as Ruth to Naomi, I had never lived through 




all the trials which this uncertainty and want of 
domestic service imposed upon us both." 

While Professor Stowe was abroad his wife 
kept him informed of the very signifioaDt events 
that took place in Cincinnati during the summer 
and fall of the year 1836. The burning question 
of negro slavery had begun to be agitated ia Cin- 
cinnati, and I^ne Theological Seminary came to 
be looked upon as a hot-bed of abolitionism. 

The Abolition movement was confined to the 
students, however, and was led by Mr. Theodore 
D. Weld, a man of remarkable decision and en- 
ergy of character. He was unusually eloquent, a 
strong, logical reasoner, and his personal influ- 
ence was even greater than his eloquence, though 
that enabled him to hold crowded audiences spell- 
bound for many hours together. He had earned 
money for his education by lecturing through the 
Southern States, and what he then saw of slavery 
made him, from the depths of his soul, its bitter 
enemy. He had succeeded in converting a num- 
ber of slave-holders to his views. Among them 
was Mr. James G. Birney, of Hnntsville, Alabama, 
who not only liberated his own slaves, but in con- 
nection with Dr. GamaHel Bailey of Cincinnati, 
founded and conducted in that city an AbolitioD 


paper called the Pkilantkrojmt. This was 
paper which was suppressed, and its office wrecked 
by a mob, as recounted in Mrs. Stowe's letter 
which follows : " Yesterday evening I spent scrib- 
bling for Henry's newspaper, the Journal. It 
was in this wise: 'Birney's printing press has 
been mobbed, and many of the respectable citi- 
zens are inclined to wink at the outrage in con- 
sideratioD of its moving in the line of their pre- 

" I wrote a conversational sketch, in which 
I rather satirized this inconsistent spirit, and 
brought out the evil results of patronizing any 
violation of private rights. It was in a light, 
sketchy vein, and designed to draw attention to 
a long editorial of Henry's in which he consid- 
ered the subject fully and seriously. His piece is, 
I think, a powerful one ; indeed, he does write 
very strongly. lam quite proud of his editorials; 
they are well studied, earnest, and dignified. I 
think he will make a first-rate writer. Both of 
our piecea have gone to press to-day, with Charles* 
article on music, and we have had not a little di- 
version about our family newspaper. 

" I thought when I was writing last night, that 
I was like a good wife defending one of your prin- 




ciples in your absence, and wanted you to see how 
manfully I talked about it. Henry has also taken 
up and examined the question of the Semmole 
Indians and done it very nobly. 

"The excitement about Birney continues to in- 
crease. The keeper of the FranbUn Hotel was as- 
sailed by a document subscribed to by many of 
his boarders demanding that Birney should be 
turned out of doors. He chose to negative the 
demand, and twelve of his boarders immediately 
left. ... A meeting has been convoked by means 
of a hand-bill, in which some of the most respect- 
able men of the city are invited by name to come 
together and consider whether tliey will allow Mr. 
Birney to continue his paper in the city. Mr. 
Greene says that, to bis utter surprise, many of 
the most respectable and influential citizens gave 
out that they should go. 

"He was one of the number they invited, but 
he told those who came to him that he would have 
nothing to do with disorderly public meetings, or 
mobs in any shape, and that be was entirely op- 
posed to the whole thing. 

*' I presume they will have a hot meeting if they 
have any at all. I wish father were at home to 
preach a sermon to his church, for many of the 

 preach a sermo 


members do not frown on these things as thej 

"Later: The meeting was lield, . . . The mob 
madness is certainly upon this city when men o£ 
sense and standing will pass resolutions approving 
in so many words of things done contrary to law, 
as one of the resolutions of this meeting did. It 
quoted the demolition of the tea in Boston harbor 
as being authority and precedent. 

" A large body, perhaps the majority, of citizens 
disapprove, but I fear there will not be public dis- 
avowal. . . . The editor of the Gazette, in a very 
dignified and judicious manner, has condemned 
the whole thing, and Henry has opposed, but 
otherwise the papers have either been silent or in 
favor of the mobs. We shall see what the result 
will be in a few days. 

" For my i)art I can easily see how such pro- 
ceedings may make converts to abohtionism, for 
akeady my sympathies are strongly enlisted for 
Mr. Bimey, and I hope he will stand his ground 
and assert his rights. 

" The office is fire-proof and inclosed by high 
walls. I wish he would man it with armed men 
and see what can be done. If I were a man, I 
would go for one, and take good care of at least 



one window. Henry sits opposite to me writing a 
most valiant editorial, and tells me to tell you he 
is waxing mighty in battle." 

One day during this period Mrs. Stowe found 
Henry in the kitchen busily engaged in making 
lead bullets for his pistols. 

" What are you making those for, Henry ? " she 

"To kill men with, Hattie!" he replied. Many 
years later in telling this incident to her son, Mrs. 
Stowe said, "I never saw Henry look so terrible! 
I did not like it, for I feared he was growing 

"Were you never afraid, mother?" asked her 

"No, I don't remember being afraid exactly, — 
I was excited, indignant, and thoroughly roused." 

" I suppose that there was danger both then and 
afterwards," she added, " but we were protected 
by the distance of Lane Seminary from the city, 
and the Providential depth and adhesiveness of 
the Cincinnati mud in those days." 

In her next letter to her husband, she says : " I 
told you in my last that the mob broke into Bir- 
ney'fi press, where, however, the mischief done 
was but slight. The object appeared to be prin- 


cipally to terrify. Immediately tbere followed a 
general excitement in ^vhicb even good men in 
their panic and prejudice about abolitionism foi^ 
got that mobs were worse evils than that, talked 
against Birney, and winked at the outrage. . . . 
Meanwhile, the turbulent spirits went beyond this 
and talked of revolution and of righting things 
without law that could not be righted by it, . . , 
A meeting was convoked at lower Market St. to 
decide whether they would tolerate the publication 
of an Abolition paper, and to this meeting all the 
most respectable citizens were by name sum- 

"There were four classes in the city then: 
Those who meant to go as revolutionists, and 
support the mob ; those who meant to put down 
Birney but rather hoped to do it without a mob ; 
those who felt ashamed to go, foreseeing the 
probable consequences, and yet did not decidedly 
frown upon it ; those who sternly and decidedly 
reprehended it." 

In the next paragraph we learn that Salmon 
P. Chase was prominent in this last class. 

She continues: "All the papers in the city 
with the exception of Hammond's and Henry's 
were either silent or openly mobocratic. As might 



have been expected, Birnej refused to leave, and 
that night the mob tore down his press, scattered 
the types, dragged the whole to the river and 
threw it in, and then came back to demolish the 

". . . The mayor was a silent spectator of theee 
proceedings, and was heard to say, ' Well, lads, 
you have done well, so far ; go home now before 
you disgrace yourselves ' ; but the ' lads ' spent 
the rest of the night, and a greater part of the 
nest day, Sunday, in pulling down the houses of 
inoffensive and respectable blacks. The Gazette 
office was threatened, the Journal office was to 
go next; Lane Seminary and the water works 
were also mentioned as probable points to be at- 
tacked by the mob. 

" By Tuesday morning the city was pretty well 
alarmed. A regular corps of volunteers was organ- 
ized, who for three nights patrolled the streets 
with fire-arma, and with legal warrant from the 
mayor, who by this time was glad to give it, to 
put down the mob even by bloodshed. 

"For a day or two we did not know but there 
would actually be war to the knife, as was 
threatened by the mob, and we really saw Henry- 
depart with his pistols with daily alarm, only we 


were all too full of patriotism not to have sent 
every brother we had rather than not have had 
the principles of freedom and order defended. 

" But here the tide turned. The mob, unsup- 
ported bj a now frightened community, slunk 
into their dena, and were still, . . ." 

In speaking of the events of this crucial time 
in her life Mrs. Stowe once said to her son : " I 
saw for the first time clearly that the institution 
of slavery was incapable of defence, and that it 
■was for that reason that its supporters were com- 
pelled to resort to mob-violence. I saw that it 
was clearly incompatible with our free institutiona 
and was confident that it was doomed, and that 
it would go, but how or when I could not picture 
to myself. That summer and fall opened my eyes 
to the real nature of slavery as they had never 
been opened before." 

In September, 1836, while her husband was 
still in Europe, Mrs. Stowe gave birth to twin 
daughters, Eliza and Isabella as she named them, 
but when Professor Stowe landed in New York in 
Januaty, 1837, after a two months' passage by 
sailing ship, be insisted that they should be 
called Eliza Tyler and Harriet Beecher. 

In the summer of 1837 Mrs. Stowe's health 



forced her to put aside household cares, and 
accordingly she made a long visit at the house of 
her brother, the Rev, William Beecher, in Put- 
nam, Ohio. From Putnam she writes: " The good 
people here, you know, are about half Abolition- 
ists, A lady who takes a leading part in the 
female society in this place, called yesterday and 
brought Catherine the proceedings of the Female 
Anti-Slavery Convention. 

" I should think them about as ultra as to mea- 
sures as anything that has been attempted, though 
I am glad to see a better spirit than marks such 
proceedings generally. 

" To-day I read some in Mr. Birney's Philan- 
thropist. Abolition being the fashion here it is 
natural to look at its papers. It does seem to me 
there needs to be an intermediate society. If not, 
as light increases, all the excesses of the AbohtioD 
party will not prevent humane and conscientiouB 
men from joining it." 

The attitude of Mrs. Stowe and her husband 
at this time towards the Abolition party was very 
similar to the position of thousands of thought- 
ful people to-day with regard to the Socialist 
party. While deploring its excesses and unwisdom 
in many particulars, they know it stands for great 


and radical reforniB for which there ia a crying 

At the close of the letter Mrs. Stowe adda : 
"Pray what is there in Cincinnati to satisfy one 
whose mind is awakened on this subject (slavery)? 
No one can have the system of slavery brought 
before him without an irrepressible desire to do 
Bomethiog, and what is there to be done ? " 

Little did she then dream that she was " to 
do something" which would be as potent as aoy 
other one thing in "cutting the Gordian knot" of 
this giant problem. At this time her husband wrote 
her, "We all of course feci proper indignation at 
the doings of the last General Assembly, and shall 
treat them with merited contempt. This alliance 
between the Old School Presbyterians and the 
slave-holders will make more Abolitionists than 
anything that has been done yet." 

Great events hung like storm clouds on the 
horizon of the year 18U8. In May of that year 
the powerful Presbyterian Church of the United 
States was rent asunder, tlie nominal cause being 
differences in theological opinion, the underlying 
cause slavery. Doctor Beecher and his sons were 
conspicuous leaders in this great secession. At this 
tinie a Lane student writes to Mrs. Stowe from 



Philadelpbia aa follows : " Your father and brother 
distinguished themselves In the Convention on 
Monday and Tuesday. I did not hear them — did 
not reach Philadelphia till yesterday evening. 

" The Assembly Is by no means the most exciting 
matter at present to the citizens. The heavens at 
this moment are lighted up by the flames of the 
Abolition or Liberty Hall in Sixth Street. The 
mob have set it on fire. Itwas dedicated two weeks 
ago, and cost forty tbousaud dollars. The Anti- 
Slavery Society are holding a convention in it. Miss 
Grimke,or rather Mrs. Weld,' spoke there (she was 
married on Tuesday). The mob broke the windows. 
Dr. Parrish told them not to hold night -meet- 
ings; but they would. The ladies walk arm iu arm 
with the blacks. I was there this afternoon : the 
women were holding a convention. The streets 
were thronged by the mob watching the door. 

" So long as the Abolitionists kept away from 
the negroes the street was still as the grave, — the 
mob only looked on, — -but when they saw a huge 
negro darken the door with a fair Quaker girl 
hanging on his arm, they screamed and swore ven- 
geance. The Mayor and Sheriff were on the ground. 
The fire raged with great violence. The fire engines 

t The wife of Theodore D. Weld. 


refused to play upon the building. . . . TLe bell 
of the State House is tolling again — there are 
cries offirel . .. The heavens are lighted up I The 
African Hall on Thirteenth St. is on fire. The mob 
is cutting the hose that no water may reach it. . . . 
That the Convention have been imprudent there 
is no doubt ; but that the rabble in the midst of a 
powerful and enlightened community should he 
permitted to trample on all law is shameful." 

History wan making fast about the humble 
household in Cincinnati. In January of this event- 
ful year Mrs. Stowe's third child, Henry Ellis, was 
born. The following June she writes to Miss May : 

" Only think how long it is since I have written 
to you, and how changed I am since then — the 
mother of three children ! Well, if I have not kept 
the reckoning of old times, let this last circum- 
stance prove my apology, for I have been hand, 
heart, and head full since I saw you. 

" Now to-day, for example : I will tell you what I 
had in my mind from dawn till dewy eve. In the 
first place I waked about half after four and 
thought, 'Bless me, how light it is ! I must get out 
of bed and rap to wake Mina up, for breakfast must 
be ready at six o'clock this morning. So out of 
bed I jump and seize the tongs and pound, pound, 



pound, over poor Mina'a sleepy head, charitably 
allowing her about half an hour to get waked up 
in, — that being the quantum of time it takes me, 
or used to. Well, then baby wakes, qua, qua, qua, 
and I give him his breakfast, dozing meanwhile 
and soliloquizing as follows : ' Now I must not for- 
get to tell about the starch and dried apples ' — 
doze — ' ah ! um dear me ! why does n't Mina get 
up ? ' 'I don't hear her ' — doze — *a um I I won- 
der if Mina has soap enough ! I think there were 
two bars left on Saturday ' — doze again — I wake 
again, ' Dear me ! broad daylight, I must get up 
and go down and see if Mina is getting breakfast.' 
Up I jump and up wakes baby, ' Now little boy be 
good, and let mother dress for she is in a hurry.' 
I get my frock half on, and baby by that time haa 
kicked himself down off his pillow, and is crying 
and fisting the bedclothes in great order. I stop 
with one sleeve off and one on to settle matters 
with him. Having planted him bolt upright and 
gone all up and down the chamber bare-footed to 
get blankets and pillows to prop him up, I finish 
putting my frock on and hurry down to satisfy 
myself by actual observation that breakfast is in 
progress. Then back I come into the nursery, 
where, remembering that it is washing day, and 


that there is a great deal of work to be done, I set 
myself to sweeping and dusting, and setting to 
rights where there are three little mischiefs always 
pulling down as fast as one can set up. 

"Then there are Miss H and Miss E , 

concerning whom Mary will furnish you with all 
suitable particulars, who are chattering, hallooing, 
or singing at the tops of their voices, as may suit 
theii various states of mind, while the nurse is 
getting their breakfast ready. 

"ThiB meal being cleared away and Mr. Stowe 
dispatched to the market with various memoranda 
of provisions, etc., and the baby being washedand 
dressed, I begin to think what next must be done. 
I start to cut out some little dresses, have just 
calculated the length, and got one breadth torn 
off when Master Henry makes a doleful hp, and 
falls to crying with might and main. I catch 
him up and turning around, see one of his sisters 
flourishing the things out of my work-box in fine 
style. . . . 

" But let this sufBce, for of such details as these 
are all my days made up. Indeed my dear I am a 
mere drudge, with few ideas beyond babies and 
housekeeping. As for thoughts, reflections, and 
sentiments, good lack ! good lack I 



" I suppose I am a dolefully uninteresting person 
at present, but I hope I shall grow young again 
one of these days, for it seems to me that matters 
cannot always stand exactly as they do now, 

" Well, Georgy, this marriage is— yes, I will 
speak well of it, after all ; for when I can stop 
and think long enough to discriminate my head 
from my heels, I must say I think myself a fortu- 
nate woman both in husband and children. My 
children I would not change for all the ease, plea- 
sure, and leisure I could have without them. They 
are money on interest whose value will be con- 
stantly increasing." 

In May, 1840, a second son was bom, and 
named Frederick William, in memory of the sturdy 
Prussian King, for whom Professor Stowe cher- 
ished an unbounded admiration. In December of 
the same year Mrs. Stowe writes to Miss May 
that for a year she has written nothing except an 
occasional business letter. For months she could 
not bear the least light and was confined to her bed 
with severe neuralgic pain in face and eyes. Yet 
she persistently looks on the bright side of it all 
and reflects that, although she has been ill six 
months out of twelve, she has had Anna the best 
of nurses and a good home to be sick in, her chil- 


dren have thriveo, and all things considered, her 
troubles have been only sufficient to keep her from 
loving this eaith too well. 

In 1843 she visits her sister Mary in Hartford, 
Connecticut, and while there, writes to her hus- 
band, confiding to him some of her cherished litr 
erary schemes. To this tetter he replies with 
enthusiasm: "My dear, you must be a Uterary 
woman. It is so written in the book of fate. Make 
all your calculations accordingly. Get a good stock 
of health and brush up your mind. Drop the E out 
of your name. It only encumbers it, and interferes 
with the flow and euphony. 

" Write yourself fully and always Harriet 
Beecher Stowe, which is a name euphonious, flow- 
ing, and full of meaning. Then my word for it, 
your husband will lift up his head in the gate and 
all your children will rise up and call you blessed." 

To this she replies: " On the whole, my dear, 
if I choose to be a literary lady, I have, I think, 
as good a chance of making profit by it as any one 
I know of. But with all this I have my doubts as 
to whether I shall be able to do so. 

" Our children are just coming to the age when 
everything depends on my efforts. They are deli- 
cate in health, and nervous and excitable, and 



need a mother's whole atteotioD. Can I lawfully 
divide my attention by literary efforts? 

" There is one thing I must suggest. If I am to 
write I must have a room to myself that shall he 
mj room. ... I intend to have a regular part of 
each day devoted to the children, and then I shall 
take them in there," 

In his reply to this letter Professor Stowe contin- 
ues : " You have it in your power by means of this 
little magazine, the Soucenir [a new magazine to 
which Mrs. Stowe was the leading contributor], to 
form the mind of the West for the coming genera- 
tion. It is just as I told you in my last letter. God 
has written it in his book that you must be a liter- 
ary woman, and who are we that we should con- 
tend against God ? You must therefore make all 
your calculations to spend the rest of your life 
with your pen." 

The following winter was one of sickness and 
gloom. Typhoid fever raged among the students 
of the seminary, and the house of the president 
and those of the professors were turned into hos- 
pitals. In July, 1843, a few weeks before the 
birth of her third daughter, Georgiana May, Mrs. 
Stowe was overwhelmed by a crushing blow that 
fell like a thunder-holt out of a clear sky. Her 


brother, Rev. George Beeeher, accidentally shot 
himself ia his own garden. Of his funeral she 
writes : '' And so it is at last ; there must come a 
time when all the most heart-broken, idolizing love 
can give us is a coffin and a grave. After all, the 
deepest and most powerful argument for the re* 1 
ligion of Christ is its power in times like this." 

After three years filled with all imaginable 
troubles of poverty, sickness, and death, she writes 
in March, 1846 : " For all that I have bad trouble 
I can think of nothing but the greatness and rich- 
ness of God's mercy to me in giving me such 
friends, and in always caring for us in every 
strait. There has been no day this winter when I 
have not bad abundant reason to see this. Some 
friend has always stepped in to cheer and help bo 
that I have wanted for nothing. My husband has 
developed wonderfully as a housefather and nurse. 
You would laugh to see him in his spectacles 
gravely marching the little troop in their night- 
gowns up to bed, tagging after them, as he says, 
'like an old hen after a flock of ducks.' 

" The money for my jouruey to the East has 
been sent in a wonderful manner. All this shows 
the c&re of our Father, and encourages me to re- 
joice and to hope in Him." This letter is an apt 


iUostration of her never failing faculty for being 
strengthened instead of cruahed by trials. The 
purpose of Mrs. Stowe's visit to the East was to 
 try hydropathic treatment at Dr. Wessellhofrs 
Water Cure at Brattleboro, Vermont, Her allusion 
to the way funds were piovided is explained in 
this letter received from her husband a few days 
after her departure: "I was greatly comforted 
by your brief letter from Pittsbuj^. When I re- 
turned from the steamer the morning you left, I 
found in the post-office a letter from Mrs. G. W. 
Bull of New York, inclosing fifty dollars on 
account of sickness in my family. There was 
another inclosing fifty dollars more from a Mrs. 
Devereaux of Raleigh, North Carolina, besides 
some smaller sums from others. My heart went 
out to God in aspiration and gratitude. None of 
the donors 80 far as I know have I ever seen or 
heard of before." 

When her water cure treatment is drawing to a 
close. Professor Stowe writes to her : *' And now, 
ray dear wife, I want you to come home as quick 
as you can. The fact is, I cannot live without you, 
and if we were not so prodigious poor, I would 
come for you at once. There is no woman like 
you in this wide world. Who else has so much 


talent with ao little aelf-conceit; so much reputa- 
tion with 90 little affectatiou ; so much literature 
with so little nonseuae ; so much euterpme with 
BO little extravagance ; so much tongue with so 
little scold ; so mucli sweetness with so little soft- 
ness; BO much o£ BO many things and so little of 
BO many other thingB." In reply Mrs. Stowe writes : 
"I told Belle that I did not know till I came away 
how much I was dependent upon you for iuforma' 
tion. There are a thousand favorite subjects on 
which I could talk with you better than with any 
one else. If you were not already my dearly loved 
husband, I should certainly fall in love with you." 
Unlike " the prophet in his own land," Mrs. Stowe 
was most emphatically appreciated in her own 
household long before the world knew her. 

Just before her return from Brattleboro, Mrs. 
Stowe writes to her husband: "In returning to 
my family, from whom I have been so long sepa- 
rated, I am impressed with a new and solemn 
feeling of responsibility. It appears to me that I 
am not probably destined for long life; at all 
events, the feeling is strongly impressed upon my 
mind that a work is put into my hands which I 
muBt be earnest to finish shortly. It is nothing 
great or brilliant in the world's eye ; it lies in one 



Bmall family circle, of which I am called to he the 
central point." This letter was written only six 
years before the puhhcation of "Uncle Tom's 

For six months after her return from this Water 
Cure her eyes were so affected that she could write 
very Uttle. Her health improved, however, after 
the birth of her third son, Samuel Charles, id 
January, 1848. 

Finally, the Professor breaks down and has in 
turn to seek health at Brattleboro. While he is 
there Mrs. Stowe writes to her friend that she is 
so crushed with cares as to be drained of all ca- 
pacity for "thought, feeling, memory, or emo- 
tion." In conclusion she adds with a return to 
something of her old playfulness : " Well, Georgy, 
I am thirty-seven years old ! I am glad of it. I 
like to grow old and have six children, and cares 
endless. I wish you could see me with my flock 
all around me. They sum up my cares, and were 
they gone I should ask myself, ' What now re- 
mains to be done ? ' They are my work over 
which I fear and tremble." 

In 1849, while Professor Stowe was still in 
Brattleboro and Mrs. Stowe and the faithful 
Anna were struggling with the "cares endless" 


and the six children in Cincinnati, a terrible 
scourge of cholera descended upon the city. The 
disease was malignant and virulent. People fell 
dead in the streets. Coffins containing the bodies 
of the victims were often stacked up before the 
houses waiting for any sort of a vehicle to take 
them to a place of burial. The children enjoyed 
the excitement, and ran into the house continually 
with pew bulletins as to the number of coffins 
borne past the house in the last half hour and 
other equally exhilarating particulars. Large heaps 
of coal burned day and night on the cross streets 
and in the public squares, and the air had a deadly 
oppressiveness that seemed to weigh like lead on 
brain and heart. The death roll rose to one hun- 
dred and sixteen in one day. And still all were 
well in the Stowe household, and the Death Angel 
had passed by the door. Then one hundred and 
twenty deaths in a day became no unusual record. 
People got accustomed to the situation. When 
neighbors met on the street they made themselves 
agreeable by reciting the number of deaths in 
this or that house. Cholera dietetics, cholera medi- 
cines, chloride of lime, and funerals became the 
staple of daily conversation. Serious and reli- 
gious persons threw in such moral and spiritual 



reflections as seemed appropriate to the occa- 

Then little Samuel Charles and Henry were both 
taken sick. The little dog, Daisy, whom they all 
loved, and who loved them all, was taken with 
the dread disease, and died in frightful spasms in 
half an hour. Little Charley followed, Mrs. Stowe 
writes to her husband in Brattleboro : "At last it is 
over, and our dear little one is gone from us. He 
is now among the blessed. My Charley, my beauti- 
ful, loving, gladsome baby, so loving, so sweet, so 
full of life and strength — now lies shrouded pale 
and cold in the room below. ... I write as if there 
■were no sorrow like my sorrow, yet there has been 
in this city, as in the land of Egypt, scarce a house 
without its dead. This heart-break, this anguish, 
has been everywhere, and where it will end God 
only knows." 

This was the grief of which she later said : " In 
those depths of sorrow which seemed to me im- 
measurable, it was my only prayer to God that 
such anguish might not be suffered in vain. . . . 
I felt that I could never be consoled for it, unless 
this crushing of my own heart might enable me to 
work out some great good to others." 



As a very little girl Mrs. Stowe had heard of the 
horrors of slavery from her aunt, Mary Hubbard, 
who had married a planter from the West Indies, 
and been unable to live on her husband's planta- 
tion because her health was undermined by the 
mental anguish that she suffered at the scenes of 
cruelty and wretchedness she was compelled to wit- 
ness. She returned to the United States, and made 
her home with the Beechers. Of her Mrs. Stowe 
writes: "What she saw and heard of slavery filled 
her with constant horror and loathing. I often 
heard her say that she frequently sat by her win- 
dow in the tropical night, when all was still, and 
wished that the island might sink in the ocean, 
with all its sin and misery, and that she might sink 
with it." The effect of such expressions on the 
mind of a sensitive child like Harriet Beecher may 
well be imagined. 

When she was about twenty years old she 
went to live iii Cincinnati, on the very borders of 



a slave State, and frequently visited Kentucky 
slave plantations, wbere she saw negro slavery in 
that mild and patriarchal form in which she pic- 
tures it in the opening chapters of '* Uncle Tom's 
Cabin." At the time the Beechers were living in 
Cincinnati, her brother Charles was driven nearly 
distracted by trying to appropriate to himself his 
father's Calvinistic theology, and the study of 
Kdwards on the Will. Filled with fatalism and 
despair, he gave up all hope of ever being able to 
preach, left Cincinnati, and took a position as clerk 
in a wholesale commission bouse in New Orleans 
that did business with the Hed River cotton plan- 
tations. It was from him that Mrs. Stowe obtained 
the character of Legree. No character in the whole 
book was drawn more exactly from life. Charles 
Beecher and a young Englishman who was his 
traveling companion, while on a Mississippi steam- 
boat going from New Orleans to St. Louis, actually 
witnessed the scene where the Legree of real life 
showed his fist and boasted that it was "hard as 
iron knocking down niggers, and that he didn't 
bother with sick niggers, but worked his in with 
the crop." 

The scene in " Uncle Tom's Cabin " in which the 
Senator takes Eliza into his carriage, after her wild 


flight over the Ohio River on the floating ice, and 
carries her on a dark and stormy Dight to a place 
of safety, is a description of an event that took 
place in Mrs. Stowe's own Cincinnati household. 

She had in her family as a servant a young 
woman whose little boy was the original uf the 
"little Harry" of the story. One day she came to 
Mrs. Stowe in great distress, and told her that her 
old master was in the city looking for her, and 
might at any moment appear and drag her hack 
to slavery. That very night, dark and stormy 
though it was, Professor Stowe and Henry Ward 
Beecher, who was at that time a student in lane 
Seminary, took the woman and her child in the 
family carriage over just such roads as are de- 
scribed in the book, and brought them to the lonely 
farmhouse of a man named Van Sant, who ran 
one of the stations of the underground railroad. 
As they drove up to the house, Van Sant came 
out with a lighted candle in his hand, shielding 
the light from his eyes with his immense palm. 

Professor Stowe sang out: "Are you the man 
who will shelter a poor woman and her child from 

"I rather think I am," answered the big, honest 




" I thought 90," exclaimed Professor Stowe, help- 
ing the woman out of the carriage. So character 
after character, and sceue after scene, in " Uncle 
Tom's Cabin " might be traced to the actual events 
and persons that inspired them years before the 
faintest notion of writing such a book had ever 
entered Mrs. Stowe's mind. 

It was early in the month of May of the year 
1850 that Mrs. Stowe, on her way to Brunswick, 
Maine, reached the house of her brother, the Rev. 
Edward Beecher, in Boston. She was weary and 
physically exhausted with the long journey which 
she had been compelled to make alone with the 
whole charge of children, accounts, and baggage, 
pushing her way through hurrying crowds, look- 
ing out for trunks, and bargaining with express- 
men and hackmen. Yet in Boston there was no 
rest for her. She had to buy furniture and house- 
hold supplies and have them packed and ready for 
shipping by the Bath steamer, which she herself 
was to take the following week, as on the whole 
the easiest and cheapest way to reach Brunswick- 
She had to save in every imaginable way, and to 
keep a strict account of all money expended. As 
a result she was able to write her husband, who was 
ill in Cincinnati, that the whole expense of the 


journey from Cincinnati to Brunswick would be 
only a trifle more than seventy-six dollars. 

She found her brotlier Edward and his wife 
greatly agitated over the Fugitive Slave Bill, 
which was at the time being debated in Congress. 
This law not only gave the slave-holder of the 
South the right to seek out and drag back into 
slavery any colored person that he claimed as bis 
property, but commanded the people of the free 
States to assist in this pitiless business. Doctor 
Edward Beecherbad been the intimate friend and 
supporter of Lovejoy, who bad not long before 
been murdered by a pro-slavery mob for publishing 
an Anti-Slavery paper. The most frequent topic 
of conversation while Mrs. Stowe was in Boston 
was this proposed law, and as the result her soul 
was all on fire with indignation and grief over 
what she felt to be a new enormity and wrong 
about to be inflicted by the slave power on an 
innocent and defenseless race. 

On the eve of her departure for Brunswick she 
wrote to her old friend of Hartford school days, 
Greorgiana May, now Mrs. Sykes : " I am wearied 
and worn out with seeing to bedsteads, tables, 
chairs, mattresses, and with thinking about ship- 
ping my goodsj and making out accounts, and I 



have my trunk yet to pack to go od board the 
Bath steamer this evening. 

" I beg you to look up Brunswick on the map; 
it is about half a day's ride in the cars from Bos- 
ton. I expect to reach there by the way of Bath 
by to-morrow forenoon. There I have a house en- 
gaged and kind friends who offer every hospitable 
assistance. Come, therefore, to see me, and we will 
have a loog talk in the pine woods, and knit up 
the whole history from the place where we left it." 

On her arrival in Brunswick, Mrs. Stowe was 
treated to an instructive if depressing lesson in 
New England weather. She says : " After a week 
of most incessaiit northeast storm, most discourag- 
ing and forlorn to the children, the sim has at 
length come out. . . . There is a fair wind blow- 
ing, and every prospect, therefore, that our goods 
will arrive from Boston, and that we shall be in 
our own house by next week." 

In a letter written the following December to 
her sister-in-law, Mrs. George Beecher, we have in 
her own words a graphic and amusing picture of 
that first spring and summer in Brunswick: — 

" Is it really true that snow is on the ground 
and Christmas coming, and I have not written unto 
thee, most dear sister? No, I don't believe it! I 


haven't been so naughty — it's all a mistake. Yes, 
written I muat have, — and written I have, too, — 
in the night watches as I lay ou my bed — such 
beautiful letters — I wish you had only gotten 
them; but by day it has been hurry, hurry, and 
drive, drive, drive ! or else the calm of the uck- 
room, ever since last spring. 

"... 1 put off writing when your letter first came 
because I meant to write you a long letter, — a 
full and complete one ; and so the days slipped bj, 
and became weeks, and then my little Charley 

" Sarah, when I look back, I wonder at my- 
self, not that I forgot anything that I should re- 
member, but that I have remembered anything. 
From the time that I left Cincinnati with my 
children to come forth to a country that I 
knew not of, almost to the present time, it has 
seemed that I could scarcely breathe, I was so 
pressed with care. My head dizzy with the whirl 
of railroads and steamboats ; then ten days' so- 
journ in Boston, and a constant toil and hurry 
in buying my furniture and equipments ; and then 
landing in Brunswick in the midst of a drizzly, 
inexorable northeast storm, and beginning the 

< HerteTeutbaadlastchUd.Cbu'les Edvard.boraJul; 8, 1850. 







work of getting in order a deserted, dreary, damp 
old house. AH day long, running from one thing 
to another, as for example thus : — 

'"Mrs. Stowe, how shall I make this lounge, 
and what shall I cover the back with first ? ' 

"Mrs. Stowe. 'With the coarse cotton in the 

*' Woman. ' Mrs. Stowe, there isn't any more 
soap to clean the windows. Where shall I get 
soap ? ' 

" Mrs. Stowe. * Here, Hattie, run up to the 
store and get two bars.' 

" ' There is a man below wants to see Mrs. Stowe 
about the cistern.' 

'* ' Before you go down, Mrs. Stowe, show mo 
how to cover this round end of the lounge.' 

" ' There 's a man up from the station, and he 
says that there is a box that has come for Mrs. 
Stowe, and it's coming up to the house ; wiU you 
come down and see about it? ' 

" ' Mrs. Stowe, don't go till you have shown 
the man how to nail the carpet in the corner. 
He 's nailed it all crooked ; what shall he do ? 
The black thread is all used up ; what shall I do 
about putting gimp on the back of that sofa ? 
Mrs. Stowe, there is aman come with a lot of pails 


aDd tinware from Furbifili ; will you aettle the bill 

'"Mrs. Stowe, here is a letter just come from 
Boston incloaing that bill of lading; the man wants 
to know what he shall do with the goods. If you 
will tell me what to say, I will answer the letter 
for you.' 

" ' Mrs. Stowe, the meat-man is at the door. 
Had n't we better get a little beef-steak or some- 
thing for dinner ? ' 

'"Shall Hattie go to Boardman's for some 
more black thread ? ' 

" * Mrs. Stowe, this cushion is an inch too wide 
for the frame; what shall we do now? ' 

" ' Mrs. Stowe, where are the screws of the 
black-walnut bedstead? ' 

" * Here 's a man has brought in those hills for 
freight ; will you settle them now ? ' 

" ' Mrs. Stowe, I don't understand using this 
great needle. I can't make it go through the 
cushion ; it sticks in the cotton.' 

" Then comes a letter from my husband, saying 
that he is sick abed, and all hut dead ; don't ever 
expect to see his family again ; wants to know how 
I shall manage in case I am left a widow ; knows 
that we shall get into debt and never get out ; 



wonders at my courage ; thinks that I am very 
sanguine ; warns me to be prudent, as there won't 
be much to live on in case of his death, etc., etc., 
etc. I read the letter, and poke it into the atOTe, 
and proceed. . . . 

" Some of my adventures were quite funny ; as, 
for example, I had in mj kitchen elect no sink, 
cistern, or any other water privileges, so I bought 
at the cotton factory two of the great hogsheads 
that they bring oil in, which here in Brunswick 
are often used for cisterns, and had them brought 
up ia triumph to my yard, and was congratulating 
myself on my energy, when, lo and behold ! it 
was discovered that there was no cellar door ex- 
cept the one in the kitchen, which was truly a 
straight and narrow way down a long flight of 
stairs. Hereupon, as saith John Bunyan, ' I fell 
into a muse ' — how to get my cisterns into my 
cellar. In the days of chivalry I might have 
got me a knight to make me a breach through 
the foundation walls; but that was not to be 
thought of now, and my oil hogsheads standing 
disconsolately In the yard seemed to reflect no 
great credit on my foresight. In this strait, I fell 
upon a real honest Yankee cooper, whom I be- 
sought, for the reputation of liis craft and mine. 


to take my hogsheads in pieces, and carry them 
down m staves, and set them up again, which the 
worthy man actually accomplished in one fair sum- 
mer forenoon, to the great astonishment of us 
Yankees. When my man came to put up the 
pump, he stared very hard to see my hogsheads 
thus translated and standing as innocently and 
quietly as could be in the cellar. Then I told him 
in a very quiet and mild way how I got them taken 
to pieces and put together again, just as if I had 
been always in the habit of doing such things. 

*' Professor Smith came down and looked very 
hard at them, and then said, * Well, nothing can 
beat a willful woman ! ' 

" In all my moving and fussing Mr. Titcomb 
has been my right-hand man. This same John 
Titcomb, my very good friend, is a character pecul- 
iar to Yankeedom. He is part owner and land- 
lord of the house I rent, and connected by birth 
with all the best families in town, — a man of real 
intelligence and good education, a great reader, 
and quite a tliiuker. . . . Whenever a screw was 
loose, a nail to be driven, a lock to be mended, 
a pane of glass to be set, — and these cases were 
manifold, — he was always ou hand. My sink, 
however, was no fancy job, and I believe that 



nothing but a very particular friendship would have 
moved him to undertake it. , . . How many times 
I have entered his shop, and seated myself in one 
of the old rocking-chairs, and first talked of the 
news of the day, the railroad, the last proceedings 
in Congress, the probahilities about the millen- 
nium, and thus brought the conversation by little 
and little round to my sink ; because, till the sink 
was done, the pump could not be put up, and 
we could n't have any rain water. Sometimes 
my courage quite failed me to introduce the sub- 
ject, and I would talk of everything else, turn 
and get out of the shop, and then come back, 
as if a thought bad just struck my mind, and 
say: — 

"'Mr. Titcomb, about that sink?' 

'"Yes, ma'am; I was thinking about going 
down street this afternooD to look out stuff for 

" ' Yes, sir, if you would be good enough to get 
it done as soon as possible; we are in great need 
of it.' 

"'I think there's no hurry. I believe we are 
going to have a dry time now, so that you could 
not catch any water, and you won't need the pump 
at present.' 


"These negotiations extended from the first of 
June to the first of July, and at last my sink was 
completed, as also was a new house-spout, eoncem- 
ing which I had divers communings with Deacon 
Dunning of the Baptist Church. 

" Also, during this time, good Mrs. Mitchell and 
myself made two sofas, or louuges, a barrel-chair, 
divers bedspreads, pillow-cases, pillows, bolsters, 
mattresses; we painted rooms; we revarnished fur- 
niture; we — what didn't we do? 

"Then came Mr. Stowe, and then came the 
eighth of July, and my little Charley. I was really 
glad for an excuse to lie in bed, for I was full tired, 
I can assure you. Well, I was what folks call very 
comfortable for two weeks, when my nurse had to 

.ve me. 

"During this time I have employed my leisure 
hours in making up my engagements with news- 
paper editors. I have written more than anybody 
or I myself would have thought to be possible. I 
have taught an hour a day in our school, and I 
have read two hours every evening to the children. 
The children study English history in school, and 
I am reading Scott's historical novels with them 
in their order. To-night I finish ' The Abbot,' and 
shall begin ' Kenilworth ' next week. Yet I am con- 




Btantlj pursued and hauuted by the idea that I 
don't do anything. 

"Since I began this note, I have been called off 
at least a dozen times : once for the fish-man, to 
buy a codfish ; once to see a roan who had brought 
me some barrels of apples; once to see a book agent; 
then to Mrs. Upbam's to see about a drawing I 
promised to make for her ; then to nurse the baby ; 
then into the kitchen to make a chowder for din- 
ner; and now I am at it again, for nothing but 
deadly determination enables me ever to write ; it 
is rowing against wind and tide." 

While all this was going on in Brunswick, her 
brother's family in Boston were consumed with 
righteous indignation over the workings of the 
Fugitive Slave Law. 

Mrs. Stowe received letter after letter from Mrs. 
Edward Beecher and other friends, picturing the 
heartrending scenes which were the inevitable re- 
sults of the enforcement of this inhuman law. Cities 
were betteradapted than the country to the work of 
capturing escaped slaves, and Boston, called the 
" Cradle of Liberty," opened her doors to slave-hun- 
ters. The sorrow and anguish caused was indescrib- 
able. Famihes were broken up. Some of the hunted 
ones hid in garrets and cellars. Others fled to the 


wharves and embarking in ships, sailed for Europe. 
Others tried to make their way to Canada. One poor 
fellow who had long been supporting his family well 
as a crockery merchant, when he got word that his 
master was in the city seeking him, set out in mid- 
winter to walk to Canada, as he dared not take a 
public conveyance, and froze both his feet on the 
journey. They had to be amputated. 

Mrs. Edward Beecher, writiug of this period to 
Mrs. Stowe's youngest son, says: — 

"I had been nourishing an Anti-Slavery spirit 
since Lovejoy was murdered for publishing in his 
paper articles against slavery and intemperance, 
when our home was in Illinois. These terrible 
things that were going on in Boston were well 
calculated to rouse up this spirit. What can I do? 
I thought. Not much myself, but I know one who 
can. So I wrote several letters to your mother, 
telling her of the various heartrending events 
caused by the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave 
Law, I remember distinctly saying in one of them : 
'Now, Hattie, if 1 could use a pen as you can, I 
would write something that would make this whole 
nation feel what an accursed thing slavery is!'" 

A daughter of Mrs. Stowe well remembered her 
whole life long the scene in the httle parlor in Bruits- 


wick when this letter was received and read. Mrs. 
Stowe read it aloud to tlie assembled family, and 
■when she came to the words, " I would write aome- 
thiog that would uiake this whole nation feel what 
an accursed thing slavery is," rising from her chair, 
and crushing the letter in her band, she exclaimed, 
with an egression on her face that stamped itself 
permanently on the miuds of her children : — 

*' God helping me, I will write something. I will 
if I live." 

This purpose, though then definitely formed, 
could not be immediately carried out. In a letter 
written in the month of December, 1850, she re- 
fers to the matter In a way that shows how it 
weighed upou her mind : — 

"Tell sister Katy that I thank her for her let- 
ter, and will answer it. As long as the haby sleeps 
with me nights, I can't do much at anything; hut 
I will do it at last. I will write that thing if I 

"What are folks in general saying about the 
slave law, and the stand taken by Boston ministers 
in general, except Edward? 

"To me it is incredible, amazing, mournful! I 
feel that I should be willing to sink with it, were 
all this sin and misery to sink in the sea. ... I 


wish father would come on to Boston and preach 
on the Fugitive Slave Law, as he once preached 
on the slave trade, when 1 was a little girl in Litch- 
field. I sohhed aloud in one pew, and Mrs. Judge 
Reeve in another. I wish some Martin Luther would 
arise to set this community right." 

At this time Mrs. Stowe was not an Abolition- 
ist, nor did she ever become one after the Garri- 
Bonian type. She remembered hearing her father 
say about Garrison and Wendell Phillips that they 
were like men that would burn their houses down 
to get rid of the rats. She was virtually in sympa- 
thy with her father on the subject of slavery, and 
had unlimited confidence in his judgment. What 
Doctor Beecher thought of the Abolitionists, he 
expressed with a vigor and clarity that left no 
doubt as to his position. He said: — 

"I regard the whole Abolition movement, under 
its most influential leaders, with its distinctive max- 
ims and modes of feeling, and also the whole tem- 
per, principles, and action of the South in justifica- 
tion of slavery, as a singular instance of infatuation 
permitted by Heaven for purposes of national re- 
tribution. God never raised up such men as Gar- 
rison and others like him as the ministers of his 
mercy for purposes of peaceful reform, but only 


as the fit and fearful ministers of his vengeance 
upon a people incorrigibly wicked." 

These words were written in 1838, and show how 
true was the prophetic sense of Lyman Beeeher. 
Garrison was at this time preaching secession and 
praying for the dissolution of the Union, and call- 
ing the Constitution of the United States a " Cove- 
nant with Death and an Agreement with Hell." 
No true Abolitionist should vote or have anything 
to do with the Government as then constituted. 
In this sense, neither Mrs. Stowe nor her husband 
were Abolitionists. Mrs. Stowe wished to be more 
than fair to the South. She intended to be gener- 
ous. She made two of Uncle Tom's three masters 
men of good character, amiable, kind, and gener- 
ous. She tried to show that the fault was not with 
the Southern people, but with the system. A friend 
of hers, who had many friends in the South, wrote 
to her : " Your book is going to be the great 
pacificator; it will unite North and South." Mrs. 
Stowe did not expect that the Abolitionists would 
be satisfied with the story, but she confidently ex- 
pected that it would be favorably received in the 
South. Great was her surprise, then, when from 
the whole South arose a storm of abuse, while the 
Abolitionists received her with open arms. Mr. 


Garrison wrote : " I measure the value of Abolition 
literature by the abuse it brings- Since ' Uncle 
Tom's Cabin ' has been published, all the defend- 
ers of slavery have let me alone and are spending 
their strength in abusing you." 

It was in the winter of 1850 that she wrote to ber 
husband, who was in Cincinnati, giving a picture 
of her life in the old, wind-swept castle of a house 
in Brunswick. 

" Sunday night I rather watched than slept. 
The wind howled, and the house rocked, just as 
our old Litchfield house used to do. ... I am 
projecting a sketch for the Era on the capacity 
of bberated blacks to take care of themselves. 
Can't you find out for me how much Willie Wat- 
son has paid for the liberation of his friends? Get 
any items of that kind that you can pick up in 
Cincinnati. . . . 

** When I have a headache, and feel sick, as I 
do to-day, there is actually not a place in the house 
where I can lie down and take a nap without being 
disturbed. Overhead is the schoolroom ; next door 
is the dining-room, and the girls practice there two 
hours a day on the piano. If I lock my door and 
lie down, some one is sure to be rattling the latch 
before two minutes have passed. , . . 



"There is no doubt in my mind that our ex- 
penses this year will come two hundred dollars, if 
not three, beyond our salary. We shall be able to 
come through notwithstanding; but 1 don't want 
to feel obliged to work as bard every year as I 
have this. I can earn four hundred dollars a year 
by writing ; but I don't want to feel that I must, 
when weary with teaching the children,andtendiDg 
the baby, and buying provisions, and mending 
dresses, and darning stockings, sit down and write 
a piece for some paper." 

Again she writes : — 

" Ever since we left Cincinnati to come here, 
the good hand of God haa been visibly guiding 
our way. Through what difficulties have wo been 
brought ! Though we knew not where means were 
to come from, yet means have been furnished at 
every step of the way, and in every time of need. 
I was just in some discouragement with regard to 
my writing, thinking that the editor of the Era 
was overstocked with contributors and would not 
want my services another year, and, lo, he sends 
me one hundred dollars, and ever so many good 
words with it. Our income this year will be seven- 
teen hundred dollars in all, and I hope to bring 
our expenses wittiln thirteen hundred." At the 


time she wrote these words she had no idea or 
conception of writing such a serial story as " Uncle 
Tom's Cahin." It is true that she was determined 
to write something to make the whole nation feel 
that slavery was an "accursed thing," but what 
she was to write had not, in the dimmest outline, 
as yet formed itself in her mind. 

About the last of January, 1850, she went to 
Boston to visit her brother Edward, and there she 
met, for the first time, the Rev. Josiah Henson. 
She beard his story of his escape from slavery. 
He remembered seeing his own father lying on 
the ground, bruised, bloody, and dying from the 
blows of a white overseer, because, mere slave and 
"nigger" that he was, he had pretended that the 
mother of his children was his wife, and had tried 
to defend her from an indecent assault that this 
same overseer had attempted on her person. What 
struck her most forcibly in Henson's story was the 
Bweet Christian spirit of the man, as manifested 
even when he spoke of injuries calculated to rouse 
a human being to a frenzy of vindictive revenge- 

Shortly after this visit to Boston, Mrs. Stowe 
was seated in her pew in the college church at 
Brunswick during the communion service. She 



T^as alone with her children, her husband having 
gone awaj to deliver a course of lectures. Sud- 
denly, like the unrolling o£ a picture scroll, the 
scene of the death of Uncle Tom seemed to pass 
before her. At the same time, the words of Jesus 
were sounding in her ears : " Inasmuch as ye have 
done it unto one of the least of these my hretb- 
ren, ye have done it unto me." It seemed as if 
the crucified, but now risen and glorified Christ, 
were speaking to her through the poor black man, 
cut and bleeding under the blows of the slave 
whip. She was affected so strongly that she could 
scarcely keep from weeping aloud. 

That Sunday afternoon she went to her room, 
locked the door, and wrote out, substantially as it 
appears in the published editions, the chapter 
called " The Death of Uncle Tom." As sufficient 
paper was not at hand, she wrote a large part of 
it in pencil on some brown paper in which gro- 
ceries had been delivered. It seemed to her as if 
what she wrote was blown through her mind as 
with the rushing of a mighty wind. In the even- 
ing she gathered her little family about her and 
read them what she had written. Her two little 
boys of ten and twelve hurst into tears, sobbing 
out, " Oh, mama, slavery is the most cruel thing 


in the world ! " This was the beginniog of " Uncle 
Tom's Cabin." She was not apparently conscious 
of what she had done, nor did she immediately 
consider making use of the fragment she had 

In an introduction to " Uncle Tom's Cabin," 
written late in life, Mrs. Stowe refers to the inci- 
dent of Eliza's flight over the ice as the first 
" salient point " in the story. She also refers to 
the incident as though she had learned o£ it for 
the first time in the pages of an Anti-Slavery 
magazine. As a matter of fact, it was an actual 
occurrence during her residence in Ohio. She 
had known and had often talked with the very 
man who helped Eliza up the bank of the river. 
This was years before she had ever thought of 
writing such a book as " Uncle Tom's Cabin." 
No one is entirely reliable as a witness to events 
long past. Furthermore, in Mrs. Stowe's case, the 
great burden of so many overtaxed years had by 
this time made her memory more treacherous than 
she or her family realized. Professor Stowe, who 
was still living at the time, called attention to 
these and other inaccuracies, but for some reason 
not known they were never corrected. 

At the time this occurred Mrs. Stowe's mind 


was apparently so absorbed by pressiag domestic 
duties tbat what she had written was laid one 
side and for the time forgotteo. She did not even 
show it to her husband, on his return from his 
lecture trip. One day she found him dissolved in 
tears over the bits of brown paper on which 
she had written the first words of " Uncle Tom's 
Cabin." Largely at his suggestion, she determined 
to write a serial story, the climax of which was 
to be the death of Uncle Tom. Some weeks 
slipped by before she wrote the first instalment 
of the proposed novel. In the mean time she 
written to Gamaliel Bailey, editor of the National 
Era, an Abolition paper published in Washings 
ton, District of Columbia, that she contemplated a 
serial story under the title, " Uncle Tom's Cabin, 
or Life Among the Lowly," and asking if it would 
be acceptable to the Era. 

Neither Mrs. Stowe nor her husband had the 
remotest idea of the unique power and interest of 
the story that was being written. Nor, indeed, 
did it dawn upon either of them until after the 
publication of the first edition in book form. 
Professor Stowe was a very emotional man, and 
was accustomed to water his wife's literary efforts 
hberally with his tears ; so the fact that he 


had wept over the bits of brown paper bad for 
them DO unusual portent. As to pecuniary gain, 
he often expressed the hope that she would make 
monej enough by the story to buy a new silk 

It was a jolly, rollicking household in Bruns- 
wick, and Mrs. Stowe was herself full of fun. It 
was during the writing of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" 
that there occurred the following incident charac- 
teristic of the family Ufa. Professor Stowe was at 
heart one of the most genial of men ; but, being 
of an exceedingly nervous temperament, he was 
liable to go oif at half cock on the slightest pro- 
vocation, and become for the time being unplea- 
santly peppery. One day he bought a dozen eggs 
to set under a brooding hen, with a view to pro- 
ducing an unusually fine lot of chickens. With- 
out disclosing his purpose be hid the eggs, as he 
thought securely, in the wood-shed. One of the 
children discovered them, and bore them in tri- 
umph into the house. Mrs. Stowe was on the 
point of sending to the store for eggs, and look- 
ing upon this discovery as providential, took 
them and had them cooked. Upon returning from 
one of his lectures, the Professor felt himself 
the most abused of men when he sought his eggs 



and found them not, and vented his wrath upon 
his innocent household in a form at once dramatic 
and picturesque. Then off he went to another 
lecture, ia a forbidding frame of mind. 

" Pa 'a mad ! " observed one of the children. 

" I tell you what we '11 do, children ; when he 
comes back to dinner, we will make him laugh 
and he '11 get all over it," said Mrs. Stowe, with 
a roguish twinkle in her eye. The Professor re- 
turned, and found the dinner on the table, ready 
and waiting, but not one of the family visible. 
While speculating on this unusual state of aSairs, 
he beard a very human imitation of the cackling 
of hens proceeding from the wood-shed. It made 
up in vigor what it lacked in genuineness. On in- 
vestigation, he found his wife and all the children, 
and even Rover, the dog, perched on a beam, 
after the manner peculiar to hens. He hurst into 
laughter, and they all trooped into the house and 
had a very jolly time at dinner. 

" Uncle Tom's Cabin " began as a serial in the 
National Era, June 5, 1851, and in July of the 
same year Mrs. Stowe wrote as follows to Fred- 
erick Douglass : " You may perhaps have noticed 
in your editorial readings a series of articles that 
I am furnishing for the Era, under the title 


of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the 


" In the courae of my story the scene will fall 
upon a cotton plantation. I am very desirous, 
therefore, to gain information from one who has 
been an actual laborer on one, and it occurred to 
me that in the circle of your acquaintance there 
might be one who would be able to communicate 
to me such information as I desire. I have before 
me an able paper written by a Southern planter, 
in which the details and vtodus ojierandi are 
given from his point of sight. I am anxious to 
have something more from another standpoint. I 
wish to make a picture that shall be graphic and 
true to nature in its details. Such a person as 
Henry Bibb, if in the country, might give me just 
the kind of information I desire. You may pos- 
sibly know of some other person. I will subjoin 
to this letter a list of questions, which in that case 
you will do me a favor by inclosing to the indi- 
vidual, with the request that he will at earliest 
convenience answer them. . , ." 

Then, after a vigorous defense of churches and 
ministers whom Douglass had assailed, she con- 
tinues: — 

" I am a minister's daughter, and a minister's 



wife, and I have had slx brothers in the ministry 
(ooe is in Heaven) ; I certainly ought to know 
something; of the feelings of ministers on this snb- 

"I waa a child in 1820, when the Missouri 
question was agitated, and one of the strongest 
and deepest impressions on my mind was that 
made by my father's sermons and prayers, and the 
anguish of his soul for the poor slave at that time. 
I remember his preaching drawing tears down the 
hardest faces of the old farmers of his congrega- 

" I remember his prayers, morning and evenings 
in the family for ' poor, oppressed, bleeding Af- 
rica,' that the time of her deliverance might come ; 
prayers offered with strong crying and tears, 
prayers that indelibly impressed my heart, and 
made me, what I am, the enemy of all slavery. . . . 

" Every brother I have has been in his sphere 
a leading Anti-Slavery man. One of them, Edward, 
was to the last the bosom friend and counselor of 
Lovejoy. As for myself and my husband, we have 
for the last seventeen years lived on the border of 
a slave state, and we have never shrunk from the 
fugitives, and we have helped them with all we 
had to give. I have received the children of lib- 


erated slaves into a family school, and taught them 
with my own children. . . ." 

In a letter written to Mrs. Follen in February, 
1853, after the publication of " Uncle Tom's 
Cabin," Mrs. Stowe throws additional light on the 
way in which that Cabin was built out of the sor- 
rows and experiences of her own life. Speaking 
of her life in Cincinnati, she writes : — 

" A number of poor families settled in our vicin- 
ity, from whom we could occasionally obtain do- 
mestic service. About a dozen families of liberated 
slaves were among the number, and they became 
my favorite resort in cases of emergency. If any 
one wants to see a black face look handsome, let 
them be left, as I have been, in feeble health, in 
oppressive weather, with a sick baby in arms, and 
two or three other little ones in the nursery, and 
not a servant in the whole house to do a single 
turn. Then, if they could see my good old Aunt 
Frankie coming with her honest, bluff, black face, 
her long strong arms, her chest as big and stout 
as a barrel, and her hilarious, hearty laugh, per- 
fectly delighted to take one's washing, and do it 
at a fair price, they would appreciate the beauty 
of black people. My cook, Eliza Buck, was a reg- 
ular epitome of slave life in herself, — fat, gentle. 



easy, loving, and lovable, always calling my very 
modest house and door-yard ' The Place,' as i£ it 
had been a plantation with seven hundred hands 
on it. She had lived through the whole sad story 
of a Virginia- raised slave's life. In her youth she 
must have been a very handsome mulatto girl. 
Her voice was sweet, and her manners refined and 
agreeable. She was raised in a good family as a 
nurse and seamstress. When the family became 
embarrassed, she was suddenly sold on to a plan- 
tation in Louisiana. She has often told me how, 
without any warning, she was suddenly forced 
into a carriage, and saw her little mistress scream- 
ing and stretching her arms from a window toward 
her as she was driven away. She has told me of 
scenes on the Louisiana plantation, and she has 
often been out at night by stealth, ministering to 
poor slaves who had been mangled and lacerated 
by the lash. Then she was sold into Kentucky, 
and her last master was the father of all her chil- 
dren. On this point she always maintained a deli- 
cacy and reserve that seemed to me remarkable. 
She always called him her husband, and it was not 
till after she had lived with me some years that I 
discovered the real nature of the connection. I 
shall never forget how sorry I felt for her, nor my 


feelings at her humble apology, ' You know, Mrs. 
Stowe, slave womeu caiinot help themselves.' She 
had two very pretty quadroon daughters, with 
her hair and eyes, — interesting children, whom I 
instructed in the family school with my own chil- 
dren. Time would fail to tell you all that I learned 
incidentally of the slave system in the history of 
various slaves who came into my family, and of 
the underground railway, which, I may say, ran 
through our house." 

Later in this same letter she connects intimately 
the writing of "Uncle Tom's Cahin" with her 
own griefs and bereavements. " I have been the 
mother of seven children, the most beautiful and 
most loved of whom lies buried near my Cincin- 
nati residence. It was at his dying bed and 
at his grave that I learned what a poor slave 
mother may feel when her child is torn away 
from her. In these depths of sorrow, which 
seemed to me immeasurable, it was my only 
prayer to God that such anguish might not be 
suffered in vain. There were circumstances about 
his death of such peculiar bitterness, of what 
seemed almost cruel suffering, that I felt that I 
could never be consoled for it, unless this crush- 
ing of my own heart might enable me to work 



oat some great good to others. I allude to this 
here, for I have often felt that much that is in 
that book, * UdcIb Tom's Cabin,' had its root in 
the awful scenes and bitter sorrows of that sum- 
mer. It has left DOW, I trust, no trace on my mind 
except a deep compassion for tlie sorrowful, espe- 
cially for mothers who are separated from their 

Such is Mrs. Stowe's own account of where and 
how she gained tlie material and the inspiration 
for writing " Uncle Tom's Cabin." The book 
came as the ripe fruit of ber whole life experience 
up to the time when she wrote the first words on 
the rough pieces of brown paper. 

It was written mostly in Brunswick, Maine. 
Some of the chapters were written in Boston, 
while she was visiting her brother, Edward Beecher, 
and part of the concluding chapter in Andover. 
Begun as a serial in the National Era, June 5, 
lS51,andannounced to run for but three months, 
it was not completed till April 1, 1852, and was 
published in book form March 20 of the same 

John P. Jewett, a young publisher of Boston, 
made overtures for the publication of " Uncle 
Tom's Cabin " in book form long before it was 


finished as a serial in the National Era. The con- 
tract was finally signed March Vi, 1852. Not long 
before this, Mr. Jewett wrote Mrs. Stowe, express- 
ing the fear that she was making the story too 
long for one volume. He reminded her that the 
subject was unpopular, and that, while one short 
volume might possibly sell, two volumes might 
prove a fatal obstacle to the success of the book. 
Mrs. Stowe replied that she did not make the story, 
that the story made itself, and that she could not 
stop till it was done. 

Mr. Jewett offered her either ten per cent on all 
sales, or half profits with half the risk in case the 
venture proved unprofitable. Professor and Mrs, 
Stowe had for their business adviser Mr. Philip 
Greeley, who had formerly been Collector of the 
Port of Boston and was then a member of Con- 
gress. On this matter, without reading the story, 
he strongly advised them to accept the ten per 
cent on all sales, and to take no risk whatever in 
the enterprise. He reasoned that the subject was 
very unpopular, and that a book written by a 
woman could not be expected to have a very large 
sale in any case. Doctor Stowe took the first copy 
of the first edition to the railroad station and put 
it into Mr. Greeley's haods just as he was leaving 



for Washington. Greeley was a sedate and self- 
contained man, — a characteristically unemotional 
New Englaoder. Afterward he wrote to Professor 
Stowe that he began the hook shortly after the 
train pulled out of the station, and that as he read 
he began to cry. He was humiliated. He bad never 
before shed tears over a novel, still less over the 
work of a woman. Yet after he had begun it, he 
could not stop reading, nor could he keep the tears 
back as he read. Consequently, ou reaching Spring- 
field, he left the train and went to a hotel, took a 
room, and sat up till he finished the book in the 
early hours of the morning. 



OifB apparently trivial incident in Mrs. Stowe's 
life ploughed itself so deeply into her memory 
that it left an enduring impression. It was at the 
time when she, with her five little children, was 
making her way alone from Cincinnati to Bruns- 
vick, bargaining with hackmen and baggage men, 
amid the confusion of hurrying crowds and the 
rush and roar of steamboats and trains. Uncon- 
scionably early one morning she found herself at 
a railroad station where she must wait three weary 
hours for the next train. She sat on her baggage, 
her children grouped about her, looking, according 
to her own testimony, extremely shabby and dis- 
consolate. In this attitude she was discovered by 
a brisk and self-important little station agent, who 
evidently regarded her with suspicion as an un- 
desirable citizen, and questioned her with extreme 
asperity o£ manner as to where she came from and 
where she was going. When she had answered 
quietly and briefly, the peremptory little function- 


axy strode away and left her 'with an uDreasoiiable 
but keen consciousness o£ her own insignificance. 
This was Harriet Beecher Stowe two years before 
the writing of " Uncle Tom's Cabin." That this 
brisk httle watch-dog of respectability felt called 
upon to bark at her struck her sense of humor, 
and she often told of it with a twinkle in her eye. 
George Eliot has somewhere remarked that even 
the great Sir Isaac Newton surveying his counte- 
nance in the convex lense of a highly polished 
door knob would have been compelled to rest sat- 
isfied " with the facial angles of a bumpkin," hut 
Harriet Beecher Stowe was not inchned to seek 
consolations of this nature at the expense of the 
brisk little station agent. On the contrary, the 
Apostle Paul himself could not have had a keener 
sense of his own weakness according to the flesh 
than had Mrs. Stowe. " So you want to know 
something about what sort of a woman I am ! " 
she writes Mrs. Follen immediately after the pub- 
lication of " Uncle Tom's Cabin." " Well, if this is 
any object, you shall have statistics free of charge. 
To begin, then, I am a little bit of a woman, — • 
somewhat more than forty, just as thin and dry as 
a pinch of snuS ; never very much to look at in 
my best days, and looking like a used-up article 


now." This was the Harriet Beeober Stowe that 
the aggressive little station master found sitting 
on her luggage with her five children about her 
in the dim and misty dawn of an April morning 
in the year 1850. 

Two years later this little woman "just as thin 
and dry as a pinch of snuff " had written a story 
called "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Looking back on that 
time more than thirty years afterwards, she writes : 
" * Uncle Tom's Cabin ' was published March 20, 
1852. The despondency of the author as to whether 
anybody would read or attend to her appeal was 
soon dispelled. Ten thousand copies were sold in 
a few days, and over three hundred thousand within 
a year, and eight power presses running day and 
night were barely able to keep pace with the de- 
mand for it. It was read everywhere, apparently, 
and by everybody, and she soon began to hear 
echoes of sympathy from all over the land. The 
indignation, the pity, the distress, that had long 
weighed upon her soul seemed to pass off from her 
and into the readers of the book." 

It was like the kindling of a mighty confiagrar 
tion, the sky was all aglow with the resistless tide 
of emotion that swept all before it and even 
crossed the broad ocean, till it seemed as if the 







^ ^^-^ 

.1 - 




whole world scarcely thought or talked of any- 
thing else. Theu, multitudes began to ask who 
had done this thing? Who had set the world on 
fire? And, lo, there stood outlined against the 
great light *' a little bit of a woman . . . just 
as thin and dry as a piuch of snuff." 

That was Harriet Beecher Stowe. lake the 
noise of mighty winds, like the rushing of the 
waters, there arose from the earth a tumult of 
human voices. There was the voice of weeping, 
and the cry of those who said, " Can nothing 
be done to banish this accursed thing from off 
the face of the earth?" Then followed the out- 
burst of rage, hatred, and defiance. The hells 
were stirred to their very depths, and belched 
obscenity and profanity. 

There came to Mrs. Stowe letters " so curiously 
compounded of blasphemy, cruelty, and obscenity 
that their like could only be expressed by John 
Bunyan's account of the speech of ApoUyon: 
'He spake as a dragon.' " 

Let us hear again what Mrs. Stowe herself 
said: — 

" For a time, after it [' Uncle Tom's Cabin '] 
was issued, it seemed to go by acclamation. From 
quarters most unexpected, from all political parties, 


came a moet unbroken chorus of approbation. I 
was very much surprised, for I knew the explosive 
nature of the subject. It was not till the sale had 
run to over a hundred thousand copies that re* 
action began, and the reaction was led oS by the 
London Times. Instantly, as by a preconcerted 
signal, all papers of a certain class began to abuse ; 
and some who had at first issued articles entirely 
commendatory now issued others equally depre- 
ciatory. Religious papers, notably the New York 
Obseroer, came out and denounced the book as 
anti-Christian, anti-evangelical, resorting even to 
personal slander of the author as a means of di- 
verting attention from the work. 

"My book ... is as much under an interdict 
in some parts of the South as the Bible in Italy. 
It is notallowed in the book-stores, and the greater 
part of the people hear of it and me only through 
grossly caricatured representations in the papers, 
with garbled extracts from the book. 

" A cousin residing in Georgia this winter says 
that the prejudice against me is so strong that she 
dares not have my name appear on the outside of 
her letters, and that very amiable and excellent 
people have asked her if such as I could be received 
into reputable society at the North. 



'* The storm of feeling that the book raises id 
Italy, Germany, and France is all good, though 
truly 'tis painful for us Americans to bear." 

Within a year the obscure little woman had be- 
come a figure of international importance. Not 
only had her boob been universally read, but it had 
been taken so seriously as to become a great po- 
litical and moral force in the world. 

How was she herself affected by this dazzlingly 
sudden transition from the quiet obscurity iQ 
which she had hitherto passed her days to this pro- 
digious fame ? One might almost say that she was 
not affected at all ! As Mrs. Fields has most truly 
said in the " Life and Letters " : " The sense that 
a great work had been accomplished through her 
only made her, if possible, less self-conscious." No 
one who knew Mrs. Stowe will deny that she pos- 
sessed the artistic temperament, but she was not 
preeminently an artist. She never looked at things 
solely from the testhetic point of view. In the 
daughter of Lyman Beecher, the artist was dom- 
inated by the preacher and reformer. Hence, 
" Uncle Tom's Cabin " was to her a sermon hurled 
against a great moral evil. Never once does she 
display the artist's quiet satisfaction in a work of 
art done for art's sake. No! far from it! She 


is determmed that the world shall be convinced 
that ahe baa apoken the truth. 

With this aim in view, she sets herself immedi- 
ately to write the "Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin"! 
In those lirst months after the publication of the 
book she is too much in earnest to think of her- 
self at all, any more than old Lyman Beecber 
tbougbt of himself when, with tears in his eyea 
and three or more pairs of spectacles on top of 
his head, he urged sinners to repentance. While 
at work on the " Key " she writes to Mrs. Follen : 
" I am now writing a work which will contain 
perhaps an equal amount of matter with ' Uncle 
Tom's Cabin.' It will contain all the facts and docu- 
ments on which that story was founded, an im- 
mense body of facta, reports of trials, legal doc- 
uments, and testimony of people now living South, 
which will more than confirm every statement in 
' Uncle Tom's Cabin.' 

*' I must confess that till I began the examina- 
tion of facts to write this book, much as I thought 
I knew before, I had not begun to measure the 
depths of the abyas. 

" The law records of courts and judicial proceed- 
inga are so incredible aa to fill me with amazement 
whenever I think of them. It seems to me that the 



book cannot but be felt, and, coming upon the 
seoBibility awakened by the other, do something. 

" I suffer exquisitely in writing these things. It 
may be truly said, I write them with my heart's 
blood. Many times in writing ' Uncle Tom's Cabin ' 
I thought my health would fail utterly ; but I 
prayed earnestly that God would help me till I got 
through, and atiU I am pressed beyond measure 
and beyond strength. . . . 

"It seems so odd and dreamlike that so many 
persons desire to see me, and now I cannot help 
thinking that they will think when they do, ' that 
God hath chosen the weak things of the world.' " 

As her renown flowed in upon her from without, 
it was constantly met by that deeper and stronger 
tide which welled up from the deeps of her own 
soul. Professor Stowe had at this time accepted 
a chair at the Andover Theological Seminary in 
Massachusetts. She writes to him from Andover, 
speaking of the home that they are to have there. 

" It seems almost too good to be true, that we 
are to have such a house, in such a beautiful place, 
and to live here among all these agreeable people, 
where everybody seems to love you so much, and 
think 80 much of you. 

" I am almost afraid to accept it, and should 


not, did I not see the Hand that gives it all, and 
know that it is both Brm and true. 

" He knows if it is beat for ua, and His blessing 
addeth no sorrow therewith. I cannot describe to 
you the constaQt under-current of love and joj 
and peace ever flowing through my Boul. I am so 
happy — so blessed ! " 

It was this undercurrent of love, joy, and peace 
that, about this time, found expreBsion in that 
hymn by which Mrs. Stowe is perhaps as favor- 
ably known as by anything she wrote : — 

Still, Btill, with Thee when pur])le ntoniing brenketh, 
When tliu bird waketli, Btid ihu hIioiIows flee, 

Fairer tliun morning, lovelier than the daylight, 
Dawtis the sweet consciousneax I am with Thee. 

One month after the publication of " Uncle 
Tom's Cabin " she writes to her husband : " It is 
not fame nor praise that contents me. I seem 
never to have needed love so much as now. I long 
to hear you say how much you love me." 

There could he no truer picture of her inner life 
than she herself has given in that reatful liymn : — 

Wlion wintU »ra raging o'er the upper ocean, 
And billows wild contend with angry roar, 

T is said far down beneath the wild conunotion, 
That peaceful stillnesH reignetli e' 


So this woman, whose name was on every toDgue, 
whose words were beiug translated into nearly 
every language and read in every land, lived in 
the midst of it all, hid as in a pavilion from the 
strife of tongues. So above and beyond it all was 
she, that it seemed but trivial to her who realized 
so intensely how "God's greatness flows about 
our incompleteness, and about our restlessness 
his rest." 

The work on the "Key" completed, Professor 
and Mrs. Stowe accepted the invitation o£ the 
friends of the cause of emancipation in England to 
visit that country as their guest. When they landed 
at Liverpool, Mrs. Stowe was astonished to find a 
crowd waiting at the pier, — so little had it ever 
dawned upon her that she was a person of impor- 
tance. " I had an early opportunity of making 
an acquaintance with my English brethren ; for, 
much to my astonishment, I found quite a crowd 
on the wharf, and we walked up to our carriage 
through a long lane of people, bowing, and look- 
ing very glad to see us." She left Liverpool " with 
a heart a little tremulous and excited by the vibra- 
tion of an atmosphere of universal sympathy and 
kindness." At Lockerbie, it is with a strange kind 
of thrill " she hears her name inquired for in the 


Scottish accent. Men, women, and children are 
gathered, and hand after hand is presented with the 
hearty greeting : ' Ye 're welcome to Scotland.' " 
OE the many kindnesses offered her that she 
could not accept or return, she says: "For all 
these kindnesses what could I give in return? 
There was scarce time for even a grateful thought 
on each. People have often said to me that it must 
have beeu an exceeding bore. For my part, I 
could not think of regarding it so. It only op- 
pressed me with an unutterable sadness." She writes 
of her ™it to the Edinburgh Cathedral : " As I 
saw the way to the cathedral blocked up by a 
throng of people that had come out to see me, I 
coidd not help saying, ' What went ye out for to 
see : a reed shaken with the wind ? ' In fact, I was 
so worn out that I could hardly walk through the 
building. The next morning I was so ill as to need 
a physician." Everywhere her life is a constant 
fight with physical exhaustion. She consoles her- 
self with the reflection : " Everybody seems to 
understand how good-for-nothing I am ; and yet, 
with all this consideration, I have been obliged to 
beep my room and bed for a good part of the time. 
Of the multitudes that have called, I have seen 
scarcely any." She reflects in this connection, — 


'What 1 

r it would 

; a coDTemence in sigbt-seeing 
be if one could bare a relay of bodies, as of 
clothes, and slip from one into the other." 

Nothing pleased her so much as the sympathy 
and appreciation everywhere shown by the work- 
ing people. She speaks with genuine pleasure of 
putting her hand " into the great prairie of a 
palm " of one of the Duke of Argyle's farmers 
who had read " Uncle Tom's Cabin," and walked 
many miles to shake the hand of the author. She 
writes of the journey through Scotland : " We 
rode through several villages after this, and were 
met everywhere with a warm welcome. What 
pleased me was that it was not mainly from the 
literary, or the rich, or the great, but the plain, 
common people. The butcher came out of hia 
stall, and the baker from his shop, the miller 
dusty with flour, the blooming, comely young 
mother, with her baby in her arms, all smiling 
and bowing, with that hearty, intelligent, friendly 
look, as if they knew we should be glad to see 
them." To her the conventional was trivial and 
unimportant. She reached out instinctively to 
grasp those organic elements of human nature 
that are common to cultivated and uncultivated, 
rich and poor alike. It was the chord of the uni- 


veraal human which she had struck so powerfully 
in " Uncie Tom's Cabin " that was ringing in the 
hearts of these simple, sturdy people when they 
instinctively greeted her as their friend. She had 
appealed to humanity, and humanity was respond- 
ing to the call. Only sheer exhaustion forced her 
to decline invitations from the workingmen of 
Dundee and Glasgow to attend receptions given 
in her honor. After one such public reception, 
where she was long and lustily cheered, her re- 
flection is : " Alter all, I consider that these 
cheers and this applause are Scotland's voice to 
America, a recognition of the brotherhood of the 

Of her multitudinous eogagementB on this tour, 
which she had ingenuously looked forward to as 
a vacation, she writes: "As to all engagements, I 
am in a state of happy acquiescence, having re- 
signed myself as a very tame Hon into the hands 
of my keepers. Whenever the time comes for me 
to try to do anything, I try to behave myself as 
well as 1 cau, which, as Dr. Young says, is all that 
an angel could do under the same circumstances." 
To find herself in the company of very distin- 
guifihed people excites her sense of humor, and 
she laughs to herself: "Oh, isn't this funny, to 



Bee poor little me with all the great ones of the 
earth?" She writes to her hushand from London 
about a concert at Stafford House: "The next 
day from my last letter came off Miss Greenfield's 
concert, of which I send a card. Vou see in what 
company they have jmt your poor little wife! 
Funny — Is n't it? Well, the Hons. and the 
Right Hons. all were there, and 1 sat by Lord 

The most notable event ia which Mrs. Stowe 
was the central figure during this her first visit 
to England was the reception given her by the 
Duke and Duchess of Sutherland at Stafford 
House, on the occasion when Lord Shaftesbury 
presented to her, in behalf of the women of Eng^ 
land, an address of welcome and appreciation. Of 
this Mrs. Stowe writes: "When the Duchess ap- 
peared, I thought she looked handsomer by day- 
light than in the evening. She received ua with 
the same warm and simple kindness which she 
had shown before. . . . Among the first that en- 
tered were the membera of the family, the Duke 
and Duchess of Argyle, Lord and Lady Blantyre, 
the Marquis and Marchioness of Stafford, and 
Lady Emma Campbell. Then followed Lord 
Shaftesbury with his beautiful lady, and her 


father and mother, Lord and Lady FalmerBton. 
Loi-d PalmerstoD is of middle height, with a keen 
dark eye and black hair streaked with gray. 
There is something peculiarly alert and viracious 
about all his movements; in short, \ns appearance 
perfectly answers to what we know of him from 
his public hfe. One has a strange, mythological 
feeling about the existence of people of whom 
one hears for many years without ever seeing 
them. While talking with Lord Palmerston I 
could but remember how often I had heard father 
and Mr. S. exulting over his foreign dispatches 
by our own fireside. There were present, also, 
Lord John Russell, Mr. Gladstone, and Lord 
Granville. The latter we all thought very strik- 
ingly resembled in his appearance the poet Long- 

"After lunch the whole party ascended to the 
picture-gallery, passing on our way the grand 
staircase and hall, said to be the most magnificent 
in Europe. The company now began to assemble 
and throng the gallery, and very soon the vast 
room was crowded. Among the throng I remem- 
ber many presentations, but of course must have 
forgotten many more. Archbishop Whately was 
there, with Mrs. and Miss Wbately; Macaulay, 


with two of his sisters; Milman, the poet and 
histui-ian ; the Bishop of Oxford, Chevalier Bun- 
sen and lady, and many more. 

" When all the company were together, Lord 
Shaftesbury read a very short, kind, and consider- 
ate address in behalf of the women of England, 
expressive of their cordial welcome. 

" This Stafford House meeting, in any view of 
it, is a most remarkable fact. Kind and gratifying as 
its arrangements have been to me, I am far from 
appropriating it to myself individually as a personal 
honor. I rather regard it as the most public ex- 
pression possible of the feelings of the women of 
England on one of the most important questions 
of our day, that of individual liberty considered in 
its religious bearings." 

What would thelittlestation agent have thought 
could he have seen the erstwhile victim of hia offi- 
cial contempt in these surroundings ? When the 
reports of this Stafford House meeting reached 
America, Calhoun remarked that its chief signifi- 
cance lay in the fact that it would make abolition- 
ism fashionable. A despised movement made fash- 
ionable by a little Yankee woman "just as thin 
and dry as a pinch of snuff." 

After a partial rest in Paris, where she escaped 


publicity through some strategy, she went into 
Switzerland, where her presence became generally 
known in spite of precautions and she was hailed 
everywhere as "Madame Besshare." It was Scot- 
land over again. All had read her book, and their 
enthusiasm seemed boundless. " Oh, Madame, do 
write another 1 Remember, our winter nights here 
are very long I " entreated the peasants in an Al- 
pine village. 

She Bnally returns to England, whence she 
writes as she leaves for home : " Thus, almost sadly, 
as a child might leave its home, I left the shores of 
kind, strong old England — the mother of us all." 

She returns to America to he plunged into the 
thick of the Kansas and Nebraska struggle. She 
could think of nothing hut slavery, and planned 
a story to be elaborated out of the material gath- 
ered in fashioning the " Key" for " Uncle Tom's 
Cabiu." In her own words, the purpose of " Dred" 
is " to show the general effect of slavery on so- 
ciety ; the various social disadvantages that it 
brings, even to its more favored advocates ; the 
shiftlessness and misery, and backward tendency 
of all the economic arrangements of slave states; 
the retrograding of good families into poverty ; 
the deterioration of land ; the worst demoralization 


of all classes, from the aristocratic tyrannical planter 
to the oppressed and poor white, which is the re- 
sult of the introduction of slave labor." In " Dred " 
the didactic purpose is even more pronounced than 
in " Uncle Tom." Yet the book made a profound 
sensation in its day. Crossing again to England 
to secure a copyright, Mrs. Stowe wrote to her 
husband at Andover : " ' Dred' is selling over here 
wonderfully. Low says that, with all the means at 
his command, he has not been able to meet the 
demand. He sold fifty thouEiand in two weeks, and 
probably will sell as many more." And later she 
adds : " One hundred thousand copies of ' Dred * 
Bold in four weeks ! After that, who cares what 
critics say ? . . . It goes everywhere, is read 
everywhere, and Mr. Low says that he puts the 
hundred and twenty-fifth thousand to press confi- 
dently. The fact that many good judges like it 
better than ' Uncle Tom ' is success enough ! " 

A little later she wrote from Paris : ** It is won- 
derful that people here do not seem to get over 
* Uncle Tom ' a bit. The impression seems fresh 
as if just published. How often have they said, 
' That book has revived the gospel among the poor 
of France ; it has done more than all the books 
we have published put together. It has gone among 


les ouvriers, among the poor of Faubourg St. An- 
toine, and nobody knows how many have been led 
to Christ by it.' Is not this blessed, my dear hus- 
band? la it not worth all the suffering of writ- 
ing it?" 

Mrs. Stowe returned from this second trip to 
Europe to meet the supreme sorrow of her life, — 
the death of her eldest son, Henry Stowe. One 
beautiful summer day in the year 1857, while 
swimming in the Connecticut River near Hanover, 
New Hampshire, where he was a student in Dart- 
mouth College, he was seized with a cramp. He 
threw his arms about a classmate who tried to 
save him, and both sank together. As they rose 
to the surface, the friend cried out, "You're 
drowning me, Henry ! " Immediately he relaxed 
his grasp, and sank to rise no more. 

His mother was away on a visit when a telegram 
summoned her home. His classmates had just ar- 
rived with his body. As she looked upon his strong, 
peaceful young face, it was impossible for her to 
realize that her voice, which had ever had such 
power over him, could never now recall him. As 
she wrote to the Duchess of Sutherland, whom she 
and Henry had visited together only a few months 
before : " There had always been such unioa,8uch 


peculiar tenderDess, between us. I had had such 
power always to call up answering feelings to my 

n, that it seemed impossible that he could be 
unmoved at my grief." No one had understood 
her as he had. No one had treated her with such 
constant and chivab-ous tenderness. Her strange 
lapses of memory often excited outbursts of nerv- 
ous irritability from other members of the family, 
but never from him. " A dreadful faintness of 
sorrow " came over her at times. As she went 
about the house, the pictures of which he was fond, 
the presents she had bought him, the photographs 
she was to show him, all pierced her heart. She 
writes that she would have been glad, " like the 
woman in the St. Bernard, to lie down with her 
arms around the wayside cross, and sleep away into 
a brighter scene." 

" Henry's fair, sweet face looks down upon me 
now and then from out a cloud, and I feel again 
all the bitterness of the eternal ' No ! ' which says 
that I must never, never in this life, see that face, 
and lean on that arm, bear that voice." 

She wrote from Hanover, where she was visiting 
shortly after Henry's death : " A poor, deaf old 
slave woman, who has still five children in bondage, 
came to comfort me. ' Bear up, dear soul,' she said ; 


*you must bear it, for the Lord loves ye.' . . . 
She went on to say : ' Sunday is a heavy day to 
me, 'cause I can't work, au' I can't hear preachin', 
an' can't read, so I can't keep my mind off my poor 
children. Some on 'em the blessed Master's got, 
and they's safe; but oh, tbe'er five I don't know 
where they are,' " 

"What are our mother sorrows to this?" ex- 
claims Mrs. Stowe. "I shall try to search out and 
redeem these children. . . . Every sorrow I have, 
every lesson on the sacredness of family love, 
makes me the more determined to resist to the last 
this dreadful evil that makes so many mothers so 
much deeper mourners than I ever can be." So 
even in this supreme sorrow she seeks added 
strength for her warfare against the infliction of 
unnecessary suffering upon others. 

On the completion of " The Minister's Wooing" 
in 1859 Professor and Mrs. Stowe returned to 
England for the third and last time. The whole 
family were abroad at this time except the young- 
est son Charley, then nine years old, to whom 
his father wrote the following graphic account o£ 
their experiences in England : " As it was court 
time ... we wanted to go and see the court, so 
went over to St. George's Hall, a most magnificent 


structure, that beats the Boston State House all 
hollow, and Sir Robert Gerauld himself (the high 
sheriff of Lancashire) met us, and said he would 
get us a good place. So he took us away round a 
narrow, crooked passage, and opened a little door, 
where we saw nothing but a great, crimson curtain, 
which he told us to put aside and go straight on ; 
and where do you think we all found ourselves? 
"Right on the platform with the judges in their 
big wigs and long robes, and facing the whole 
crowded court ! It was enough to frighten a body 
into fits, but we took it quietly as we could, and 
your mamma looked as meek as Moses in her little, 
battered straw hat and gray cloak, seeming to say, 
'I didn't come here o' purpose.' . . . Tuesday 
. . . we called at Stafford House, and enquired 
if the Duchess of Sutherland were there. A servant 
came out and said that the Duchess was in and 
woidd be very glad to see us ; so your Mamma, 
Georgie, and I went walking up the magnificent 
staircase in the entrance hall, and the great, noble, 
brilliant Duchess came sailing down the stairs to 
meet us, in her white morning gown, . . . took 
your mamma into her great bosom, and folded her 
up till the little Yankee woman looked like a small 
gray kitten half covered in a snowbank, and kissed 


and kissed her, and then she took up little Georgie 
and kissed her, and then she took my hand, and 
did n't kiss me. 

"Next day we went to the Duchess's villa, near 
Windsor Castle, and had a grand time riding round 
the park, sailing on the Thames, and eating the 
very best dinner that was ever set on a table." 

Professor and Mrs. Stowe's interest in things 
spiritual, keen as it had ever been, was greatly in- 
tensified by the death of their son, Henry. It took 
the form of a pathetic yet rational outreaching 
toward the future life, ^ a kind of calm but fervent 
protest against the eternal "No." In a letter writ- 
ten to her husband after he had returned home 
and she was in Italy, Mrs. Stowe says: "One thing 
I am convinced of, — that spiritualism is a reaction 
from the intense materialism of the present age. 
Luther, when he recognized a personal devil, was 
much nearer right. We ought to cuter fully, at 
least, into the spiritualism of the Bible. Circles 
and spiritual jugglery I regard as the lying signs 
and wonders, with all deceivableness of unrigbt- 
eouKness; but there is a real spiritual spiritualism 
which has fallen into disuse, and must be revived, 
and there are, doubtless, people who, from consti- 
tutional formation, can more readily receive the im- 


pressions of the surrounding spiritual world. Such 
were apostles, prophets, and workers of miracles." 

At this time Mrs. Stowe was not only acquainted 
with many of the emiueDt characters of Europe, 
but had among them a considerable number of real 
friends, of whom were the Ruskins, father and son, 
the Brownings, Mr. and Mrs. Lewes (George Eliot), 
Lady Byron, Mr. Low, her London pubUsber, the 
Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, the Duke and 
Duchess of Argyle, Lord Shaftesbury, Charles 
Kingaley, Lord Carlisle, who wrote tbe preface to 
the English edition of " Uncle Tom's Cabin," and 
Monsieur and Madame Belloc, he the Director of 
the French Academy of Design, and she tbe trans- 
lator of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" into French. 

In Mrs. Browning she found a particularly quick 
and ready response to her own feelings regarding 
things spiritual. In a letter written about a year 
after their friendship started, Mrs. Browning says : 
" Your letter, which would have given me pleasure 
if I had been in the midst of pleasures, came to 
me when little beside could have pleased. Dear 
friend, let me say it, I had had a great blow and 
loss in England, and you wrote things in that let- 
ter which seemed meant for me, meant to do me 
good, and which did me good, — the first good any 


letter or any talk did me; and it seems to me ai 
strange, as more than a coincidence, that your first 
■word since we parted in Rome last spring should 
have come to me In Rome, and bear so directly od 
an experience which yon did not know of. 

"... I don't know how people can keep up 
their prejudices against spiritualism with tears in 
their eyes, — how they are not, at least, thrown on 
the * wish that it might be true,' and the investiga- 
tion of the phenomena, by the abrupt shutting in 
their faces of the door of death, which shuts them 
out from the sight of their beloved. My tendency 
is to beat up against it like a crying child. 

" . . . It [' De Prof undis '] refers to the great- 
est afHiction of my life, — the only time when I 
felt despair, — written a year after or more. For- 
give all these reticences. My husband calls me 
'peculiar' in some things, — peculiarly ZficAe, per- 
haps. I can't articulate some names, or speak of 
certain afflictions; — no, not to him, — not after' 
all these years! It's a sort of dumbness of the 
soul. Blessed are those who can speak, I say. But 
don't you see from this how I must want 'spiritu* 
alism ' above most persons ? " 

In a letter to George Eliot, Mrs. Stowe thus 
speaks of spiritualism : " I am perfectly aware of 



the frivolity and worthleasoess of much of the re- 
vealinga purporting to come from spirits. In my 
view, the worth or worthlessneas of them has no- 
thing to do with the question of fact. 

" Do invisible spirits speak in any wise, — wise 
or foolish? — is the question k priori. I do not 
know of any reason why there should not be as 
many fooHsh virgins in the future state as in this. 
As I am a behever in the Bible and Christianity, 
I don't need these things as confirmations, and 
they are not likely to be a religion to me. I regard 
them simply as I do the phenomena of the Aurora 
Borealis, or Darwin's studies on natural selection, 
as curious studies into nature. Besides, I think 
some day we shall find a law by which all these 
facts will fall into their places. . . ." 

To this George Ehot replies : " . . . I desire on 
all subjects to keep an open mind . . . apart from 
personal contact with people who get money by 
public exhibitions as mediums, or with semi-idiots 

such as those who make a court for a Mrs. , 

or other feminine personages of that kind, I would 
not willingly place any barriers between my mind 
and any possible channel of truth affecting the 
human lot." At about this period George Eliot 
writes Mrs. Stowe a letter in which she touches 



npon her owq religious views in words which nov 
appear startliagly prophetic. She says : " . . . Both 
traveliDg abroad and staying at home among our 
English sights and sports, one must continually 
feel how slowly the centuries work toward the 
moral good of men, and that thought hes very 
close to what you say you wonder concerning my 
religious point of view. I believe that religion, too, 
has to be modified according to the dominant 
phases ; that a reUgion more perfect than any yet 
prevalent must express less care of personal con- 
solation, and the more deeply awing sense of re- 
sponsibility to man springing from sympathy with 
that which of all things is most certainly known 
to UB, — the difticulty of the human lot. Letters 
are necessarily narrow and fragmentary, and, when 
one writes on wide subjects, are likely to create 
more misunderstanding than illumination. But I 
have little anxiety in writing to you, dear friend 
and fellow laborer; for you have had longer ex- 
perience than I as a writer, and fuller experience 
as a woman, since you have borne children and 
known a mother's history from the beginning." 

On the eve of her return to America for the 
third and last time, Mrs. Stowe received from John 
Ruskin this outburst of whimsical and affectionate 




. . What a dreadful thing it is that 
people should have to go to America again, after 
coming to Europe ! It seems to me an iuversion 
of the order of nature. I think America is a sort of 
* United States of Probation ' out of which all wise 
people, being once delivered, and having obtained 
entrance into this better world, should never be ex- 
pected to return (sentence irremediably ungram- 
matical), particularly when they have been mak- 
ing themselves cruelly pleasant to friends here. . . . 
I 've no heart to write about anything in Europe 
to you now. When are you coming back again? 
Please send me a line as soon as you get safe over, 
to say you are all — wrong, but not lost in the 



Ik June, 1860, just aa Mrs. Stowe was on the 
eve of returning from Europe, she received the 
news of the death of ISIiss Annie Howard, the 
beautiful daughter of her intimate friend, Mrs. 
Tasker Howard. She had been almost as near and 
dear to Mrs. Stowe as an own daughter. To Mrs. 
Howard she writes : " Ah ! Susie, I who have 
walked in this dark valley now for three years, 
what can I say to you who are entering it? One 
thing I can say — be not afraid and confounded 
if you find no apparent religions support at first." 
Her own heart, sore and bleeding from the loss 
of her sou Henry, she had written to her husband : 
"Since I have been in Florence I have been 
distressed by unutterable yearnings after him 
[Henry], such sighlugs and outreachings, with a 
sense of utter darkness and separation." So she 
had moved in the midst of all the popularity and 
adulation that she received, with a hungry, aching 
heart. She wrote to her husband : *' I long for my 



husband, my children, my room, my yard and 
garden and the beautiful trees of Andover." 

The voyage home was as delightful as smooth 
seas and congenial company could make it. Hra. 
Stowe, Mr. and Mrs. Hawthorne, and Mr. and 
Mrs. James T. Fields made a rare assemblage of 
choice spirits. Hawthorne exclaimed one moon- 
light evening, " 0, that we might never get there ! " 
On the pier at East Boston, as the steamer docked, 
■were Professor Stowe and Charley, adorned with 
smiles and cobwebs, — the latter acquired by pok- 
ing their heads out of all sorts of unfrequented 
nooks and crannies in their efforts to get a first 
glimpse of the home-returning travelers. 

The political horizon at this time was dark and 
threatening, but no one dreamed of what was 
coming or realized that the storm of war was about 
to break upon the nation. In a conversation at 
this time held in the Stone Cabin at Andover be- 
tween Frederick Douglass, Mrs. Stowe, and an old 
colored woman, a kind of prophetess, called So- 
journer Truth, Douglass, in all the bitterness of 
his soul, jjainted the hopelessness of the situation. 
What Mrs. Stowe said on the more hopeful side 
was swept away like a dam of rushes before the 
flood of his eloquence. Sojourner finally rose up 


to her majcBtic height and cried out, " Frederick ! 
Frederick ! Is God dead ? " One evening, not long 
after, Professor Stowe and Doctor Lyman Beecher 
were talking over the situation which both ad- 
mitted to be very dark indeed. They were sitting 
in rocking-chairs on opposite sides of the fire- 
'place. " Well, Father Beecher," exclaimed Pro- 
fessor Stowe, " there is one comfort ! The Lord 
reigns ! " 

" Yes, Stowe," said the old man, making that 
characteristic gesture with hia right fore-finger so 
well known to all who had heard him preach, " and 
the devil tries to, yes, the devil tries to ! " 

Never was there a more impressive scene in that 
old stone house in Andover than that which fol- 
lowed the receipt of the news of the attack on 
Fort Sumter. Twenty or thirty sturdy old farm- 
ers came to talk matters over with Professor 
Stowe, who was full of fight and courage. There 
was to be war he thought, but it would be short 
and decisive, and the Union would be saved. 
Neither Professor nor Mrs. Stowe ever had the 
least sympathy with Garrison's idea of secession. 
They often said that the Northern States were 
equally culpable with the Southern for the exist- 
ence of slavery, and hence should not leave them 




alone to grapple unaided with dangers and dif- 
ficulties which they had so largely helped to bring 
upon them. Mrs. Stowe asserted that the agita- 
tion kept up by the Anti-Slavery party in the 
United States, augmented by the general anti- 
pathy of Europe to slavery, had made unbearable 
the position of the slave-holding aristocracy. They 
felt themselves under the ban of the civilized 
world. " Two courses only were open to them," 
Bays Mrs. Stowe, — "to abandon slave institutions, 
the source of their wealth and political power, 
or to assert them with such an overwhelming force 
as to compel the respect and assent of mankind. 
They chose the latter." 

She did not state, what was nevertheless the 
fact, that the strong sentiment in Europe againat 
slavery was largely the result of "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin." The above quotation is taken from her 
reply to the " Address from the Women of Eng- 
land," published in the Atlantic Monthly in Jan- 
uary, 1863. This address shows how clearly she 
grasped the situation. The thunder of the cannon 
in Charleston harbor spoke to her ears with no 
uncertain sound. The slave power had determined 
to sever a union they coidd no longer dominate. 
The address concludes: "The time of the Presi- 



dential canvasB that elected Mr. Lincoln was the 
crisis of this great hattle between slavery and 
freedom. The conflict had become narrowed down 
to the one point of the extension of slave terri- 
tory. If the slave-holders could get states enough 
they could control and rule ; if they were outnum- 
bered by free states, their institutions by the very 
law of their nature would die of suffocation. . . . 
A President was elected pledged to opposition to 
this one thing alone (the extension of slavery) — 
a man known to lie in favor of the Fugitive Slave 
Law, and other so-called compromises of the Con- 
stitution, but honest and faithful in his deter- 
mination on this one subject. That this was indeed 
the vital point was shown by the result. The 
moment Lincoln's election was ascertained, the 
slave-holders resolved to destroy the Union they 
could no longer control," 

Mrs. Stowe had herself contributed in a larger 
measure than she ever suspected to this situation. 
When Lincoln sent out his call for troops, thou- 
sands of young men responded whom " Uncle 
Tom's Cabin" had made the deadly enemies of 
slavery. One of the first to volunteer was her own 
son, the little boy who had cried out ten years 
before, when " Uncle Tom's Cabin " was read for 


the first time, " Oh, mama, slavery is the most 
cruel thing in the world ! " The little boy of eleven 
was now a young man of twenty-one. He was at 
the time a student of medicine, studying under 
Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes at the Harvard 
Medical School. Mrs. Stowe's son was full of the 
patriotic enthusiasm which filled the very air he 
breathed. He wished to enlist immediately. His 
mother wanted him to finish his studies and then 
enter the army as a surgeon. Dr. Holmes tried 
to persuade him to the same effect. One day when 
the three were arguing the matter in Dr. Holmes's 
study, throwing bis hat on the floor with a dra- 
matic gesture, the young man cried out hotly, "I 
should be ashamed to look my fellow men in the 
face if I did not enlist. People shall never say, 
' Harriet Beecher Stowe's son is a coward.' " 

There was no more resistance, and the next day 
he enlisted in Company A of the First Massachu- 
setts Infantry. The young man felt very strongly 
that a son of the author of " Uncle Tom's Cabin " 
should be in the very front of the physical conflict 
which that book had done so much to precipitate. 
Mrs. Stowe was to learn from personal experience 
what thousands of mothers were feeling through- 
out the land. Immediately after the first battle of 


Bull Rim a poor mother whose son had fallen in 
that action came a long distance to see Mrs. Stowe. 
*' O, Mrs. Stowe, God only knows what 1 suffer," 
she said, the tears streaming down her wrinkled 
face, " but I wanted to see you and tell you about 
it," she continued, as she tightened her grasp on 
the hand that held hers. Mrs. Stowe, the tears 
rolling down her own cheeks, turned on the poor 
woman a face in which it seemed as if the sorrows 
of the nation were pictured in all their tragic 
greatness and said, " Yes, you suffer, I suffer, we 
all suffer I " And she continued, " But we do not 
suffer alone. There is a Great Heart of Infinite 
Love that suffers with and for us ! " The simple- 
hearted woman went away greatly comforted. 
Probably there arose in Mrs. Stowe's mind at that 
moment those prophetic words which she after- 
wards wrote : " It was God's will that this nation 
— the North as well as tlie South — should deeply 
and terribly suffer for the sin of consenting to 
and encourt^ng the great oppressions of the 
South ; that the ill-gotten wealth, which had arisen 
from striking hands with oppression and robbery, 
should be paid back in the taxes of war ; that the 
blood of the poor slave, that had cried so many 
years from the ground in vain, should he answered 



bj the blood of the bods from the beat hearth- 
stones through all the free States ; that the slave 
mothers, whose tears nobody regarded, should have 
with them a great company of weepers, North and 
South, — Rachels weeping for their children and 
refusing to be comforted ; that the free States 
that refused to listen when they were told of lin- 
gering starvation, cold, privation, and barbarous 
cruelty, as perpetrated on the slave, should have 
lingering starvation, cold, hunger, and cruelty 
doing its work among their own sons, at the bands 
of these slave-masters, with whose sins oar nation 
had connived." 

On June 11, 1861, she wrote to her husband 
from Brooklyn, " Yesterday noon Henry [Ward 
Beecher] came in, saying that the Commonwealth, 
with the First Massachusetts Regiment on board, 
had just sailed by. 

" Immediately I was of course eager to get to 
Jersey City to see Fred. Sister Eimice said she 
would go with me, and in a few minutes she, Hattie, 
Sam Scoville, and I were in a carriage driving to- 
wards the Fulton Ferry, Upon reaching Jersey 
City we found that the boys were dining in the 
depot, an immense building with many tracks and 
platforms. It has a great cast-iron gallery just 



under the roof, apparently placed there with pro- 
phetic instinct of these times. There was a crowd 
of people pressing against the grated doors which 
were locked, but tliroiigh which we could see the 
soldiers. It was with great difficulty that we were 
at last permitted to go inside, and that object 
seemed to be greatly aided by a bit of printed 
satin that some man gave Mr. Scoville. 

" When we were in, a vast area of gray caps 
and blue overcoats was presented. The boys were 
eating, drinking, smoking, singing, and laughing. 
Company A was reported to be here, there, and 
everywhere. At last Sam spied Fred in the dis- 
tance and went leaping across the tracks towards 
him. Immediately afterwards a blue-overcoated 
figure bristling with knapsack, and haversack, 
and looking like au assortment of packages, came 
rushing towards us. 

" Fred was overjoyed you may be sure, and my 
first impulse was to wipe his face with mj hand- 
kerchief before I kissed him. He was in high 
spirits in spite of the weight of blue overcoat, 
knapsack, etc., etc., that he would have formerly 
declared intolerable for half an hour. 

" I gave him my handkerchief and Eunice gave 
him hers, with a sheer motherly instinct that is bo 


strong witbin her, and then v/e filled bis haversack 
with oranges. 

" We stayed with Fred about two hours, dur- 
ing which time the gallery was filled with people 
cheering and waving their handkerchiefs. Every 
now and then the band played inspiring airs in 
which the soldiers joined with hearty voices. While 
some of the companies sang others were being 
drilled, and all seemed to be having a general jol- 
lification. The meal that had been provided was 
plentiful, and consisted of coffee, lemonade, sand- 
wiches, etc. 

" On our way out we were introduced to the 
Rev. Mr. Cudworth, chaplain of the regiment. He 
is a fine-looking man, with black hair and eyes set 
off by a white havelock. He wore a sword, and 
Fred toucbing it asked, * Is this for use or orna- 
ment, sir ? ' 

" * Let me see you in danger,' answered the 
chaplain, 'and you'll find out.' 

" I said to him I supposed he had bad many en- 
trusted to bis kind offices, but I could not forbear 
adding one more to the number. He answered, 
' You may rest assured, Mrs. Stowe, I will do all 
in my power.' 

" We parted from Fred at the door. He said he 



felt lonesome eoough Saturday evening oo the 
Common in Boston, where everybodj was taking 
leave of somebody, and he seemed to be the only 
one without a friend, but that this interview made 
up for it all. 

" 1 saw also youDg Henry. Like Fred he is mys- 
teriously changed, and wears an expression of 
gravity and care. So our boys come to manhood 
in a day. Now I am watching anxiously for the 
evening paper to tell me that the regiment has 
reached Washington in safety." 

Then came the news of the first battle of Bull 
Run. Again there was a long line of fanners' 
wagons drawn up before the Stone Cabin whose 
owners wanted to talk matters over with the Pro- 
fessor and his wife. Then came two lively letters 
from Fred Stowe written on the battle-field. The 
first day he did not get ao opportunity to fire hiB 
gun at a real live"reb"all day, and the eun waa, 
as he phrased It, " thundering hot." The shells, 
as they whizzed through the air, reminded him of 
great bumble-bees. For his part he had been 
neither hurt nor scared, and fired bis gun only 
once, and that when he shot a young pig which 
they roasted on their bayonets and ate with great 


It 13 impossible for human beings to live aU the 
time on a strain like a how strung to its utmost 
tension. Not sombre gloom, but a cheerful excite- 
ment, pervaded the household in the old Stone 
Cabin at Andover most of the time during the 
War. Cheerfulness, hopefulness, and courage was 
indeed the atmosphere of Mrs. Stowe's life. She 
concluded a tittle speech at the celebration of her 
seventieth birthday with these words, " Let us 
never doubt. Everything that ought to happen is 
going to happen." This was her philosophy of 

During the darkest days of the Civil War, when 
disaster and defeat to our armies in the field 
coupled with rumors of possible foreign interven- 
tion to compel the Northern States to recognize 
the Coufederacy were filling the stoutest hearts 
with gloomy forebodings, Mrs. Stowe was talking 
one day with Dr. Holmes in Mr. James T. Fields's 
study in Boston. She was speaking with unusual 
animation of her confidence that all would come 
out right in the end, and Dr. Holmes and Mr. 
Fields were listening intently. As she paused for 
a moment, Dr. Holmes eagerly exclaimed, " 0, 
Mrs. Stowe, do go on! I do love to hear any one 
talk who believes so much more than I can ! " It 




was about this time that her younger son went to 
his mother's room to bid her good-night and found 
her reading her New Testament, a candle in one 
hand, and in the other an iron crucifix that al- 
ways hung over her bed. " What are you doing, 
mother ? " he exclaimed in surprise. She looked 
up and said impressively, " My dear child, I am 
seeking the strength to bear what God has given 
us to hear in these sad days 1 " 

" But why do you bold that crucifix in your 
hand ? " 

" Because it is a visible, tangible emblem of my 
Crucified Lord, and it helps me to cling to Him ! 
I want to feel that I hold fast to Him ! That I 
have a dear friend to whom I can cling as well fts 
a God to adore." The rest of the conversation waa 
past repeating, but left an ineffaceable impression 
on her son's mind. Once when this same bod 
rashly risked his life in skating over thin ice, his 
mother said to him as he was going to bed, " 0, 
Charley boy, you've kept the angels very busy 
to-day ! " For Mrs, Stowe there was no natural 
and supernatural any more than to the writers of 
the New Testament. To her the supernatural was 
the habitual. It lay about us like a cloud, a world 
we might not see. " Our dead," she wrote, " are 





jninistering angela: they teach us to love, they fill 
us with tenderness for all tliat can suffer." 

In November, 18G2, Mrs. Stowe, with many 
others, was invited to visit Washington, and at- 
tend a great Thanksgiving dinner which was to 
be provided for the thousands of fugitive slaves 
who had flocked to that city. This invitation she 
accepted the more gladly because her son's regi- 
ment was then encamped near the city. She wished 
also to have a talk with Mr. Lincoln. By a pro- 
clamation issued September 22, 1862, he had 
warned the states still in rebellion that unless they 
should return to their allegiance by January 1, 
1863, he would, purely as a matter of military 
necessity, declare the slaves within their borders 
free. Mrs. Stowe was anxious to learn from his 
own lips what was to be his policy in this matter. 

From Washington she writes to Professor Stowe 
in Andover: " Imagine a quiet little parlor with a 
bright coal fire, and the gaslight burning above 
the centre-table about which Hattie, Fred, and I 
are seated. Fred is as happy as happy can be with 
mother and sister once more. All day yesterday 
we spent in getting him. First we had to procure 
a permit to go to camp, then we went to the fort 
where the Colonel is, and then to another where 



the Brigadier-General is stationed. I was so afraid 
that thej would not let him come with us, and 
was never bappier than when at last he sprang 
into the carriage free to go with us for forty-eight 
hours. ' ! ' he exclaimed, in a sort of a rap- 
ture, ' this pays for a year and a Iialf of fighting 
and hard work ! ' 

*' We tried hard to get the five o'clock train 
out to Laurel where James' [James Beecher, her 
youngest brother] regiment is stationed, as we 
wanted to spend Sunday all together; but could 
not catch it, and so had to content ourselves with 
what we could have, I have managed to secure a 
room for Fred next ours, and feel as if 1 had my 
boy at home once more. He is looking very well, 
and has grown in thickness, and is as loving and 
affectionate as a boy can be. 

"I have jnst been writing a pathetic appeal to 
the Brigadier-General to let him stay with us for 
a week. I have also written to General Bucking- 
ham with regard to changing him from the in- 
fantry, in which there seems to be no prospect of 
anything but garrison duty, to the cavahy, which 
is full of constant activity. 

"General B. called on us last evening. He 
seemed to think that the prospect before us was* 


at best, of a long war. He was the officer deputed 
to carry the order to General McClellan relieving 
him of command of the army. He can-ied it to him 
in his tent about twelve o'clock at night. Bum- 
side was there. McClellan said it was very unex- 
pected, but immediately turned over the com- 
mand. I said I thought he ought to have expected 
it after disregarding the President's order. Gen- 
eral B. smiled, and said he supposed McClellan 
had done that so often before that he had no idea 
any notice would be taken of it this time." 

On Thanksgiving Day, 1862, Mrs. Stowe at- 
tended the great dinner given to the Freedmen in 
Washington. In her reply to the " Address from 
the Women of England" sent to her so many 
years before, she thus alludes to this occasion : 
*' This very day the writer of this [reply] has 
been present at a solemn religious festival in the 
national capital, given at the home of a portion of 
those fugitive slaves who have fled to our lines for 
protection, — who under the shadow of our flag 
find sympathy and succor. The national day of 
thanksgiving was there kept by over a thousand 
redeemed slaves, for whom Christian charity had 
spread an ample repast. Our sisters, we wisli you 
could have witnessed the scene. We wish you 


could have heard the prayer of a blind old negro, 
called among his followers John the Baptist, when 
in touching, broken EtighBh he poured forth his 
thanksgiving. We wish you could have heard the 
sound of that strange rhythmical chant, Tvhich is 
now forbidden to be sung on Southern plantations, 
the psalm of this modern exodus, — which com- 
bines the barbaric fire of the 'Marseillaise' with 
the religious fervor of the old Hebrew prophet : — 

' Oh, go down Moses, 
Way down into Egypt's land I 

TeU King Pharaoh 
To let my people go I 

Stand away dere, 

Stand away dere, 
And let my people go ! ' " 

What impressed Mrs. Stowe most strongly was 
that the burden of this old negro's prayer was for 
humility. His great fear for himself and his peo- 
ple seemed to be that, becoming filled with pride, 
they might forget the God who had saved them. 

Mrs. Stowe, in telUng of her interview with 
Lincoln at this time, dwelt particularly on the 
rustic pleasantry with which that great man re- 
ceived her. She was introduced into a cosy room 
where the President had been seated before an 
open fire, for the day was damp and chilly. It was 


Mr. Seward who introduced her, and Mr. Lincohi 
ro8e awkwardly from his chair, saying, "Why, 
Mrs. Stowe, right glad to see you ! " Then with a 
humorous twinkle in his eye, he said, " So you 're 
the little woman who wrote the book that made 
this great war ! Sit down, please," he added, as 
he seated himself once more before the fire, medi- 
tatively warming his immense hands over the 
smouldering embers by first extending the palms, 
and then turning his wrists so that the grateful 
warmth reached the backs of his hands. The first 
thing he said was, " I do love an open fire. I al- 
ways had one to home." Mrs. Stowe particularly 
remarked oo the expression "to home." "Mr. 
Lincoln," said Mrs. Stowe, "I want to ask you 
about your views on emancipation." It was on 
that subject that the conversation turned. Mrs. 
Stowe, like so many others at this time, had failed 
to grasp Lincoln's far - sighted statesmanship. 
" Mr. Lincoln has been too slow," she said, speak- 
ing of what she called his " Confiscation BUI." 
"He should have done it sooner, and with an im- 
pulse. . . ." Bismarck has said something to the 
effect that a statesman who should permit himself 
to be guided exclusively by abstract moral con- 
siderations in his public acts would be like a man 


taking a long pole in his mouth and trying to run 
through a thick woods on a dark night. Would 
it have heen for the hest interests of bumanit; to 
have had a John Brown or a Garrison in Lincoln's 
place in those critical moments of the Civil War? 

At this period Mrs. Stowe's interest in litera* 
ture was overwhelmed by the intensity with which 
she entered into the great struggle that was going 
on about her. She wrote to the Independent, " The 
agitations and mental excitements of the war 
have in the case of the writer, as in the case of 
many others, used up the time and strength that 
would have been devoted to authorship. 

" Who could write on stories that had a son to 
send to battle, with Washington beleaguered, and 
the whole country shaken as with an earthquake? " 

Notwithstanding all this, " Agnes of Sorrento" 
and "The Pearl of Orr's Island" were finished 
during the darkest days of the Civil War. Not 
long after writing thus to the Independent Mrs. 
Stowe received the following letter : — 

Gktttsbcrg, Pkkn., Satard^r, July II, 9.30 P. u. 

Mrs. H. B. Stowe : 

Deab Madam, — Among the thousands of 
wounded and dying men on this war-scarred field. 



I have jiiat met with your son, Captain Stowe. If 
you have not already heard from him, it may 
cheer your heart to know that he is in the hands 
of good kind friends. He was struck by a frag- 
ment of a shell which entered his right ear. He is 
quiet and cheerful, and longs to see some member 
of his family, and is, above all, anxious that they 
should hear from him as soon as possible. I as- 
sured him I would write at once, aud though I am 
wearied by a week's labor here among scenes of 
terrible suffering, I know, that to a mother's anx- 
ious heart, even a hasty scrawl about her boy will 
be more than welcome. 

May God bless aud sustain you in this troubled 
time 1 

Yours with sincere sympathy, 

J. M. Cromwell. 

A similar letter came to Rev. Charles Beecher 
of Georgetown, Massachusetts, and he, together 
with Professor Stowe, started immediately for the 
battle-field. At Springfield, Massachusetts, Profes- 
sor Stowe had all his money stolen, and returned 
to Andover in abject despair. In a few days, how- 
ever, young Captain Stowe was stretched in the 
sun on the veranda of the old stone house, while 


his cousin, Lieutenant Fred Beecher, literally shot 
to pieces, lay on a couch in his fatlier's home, flut- 
tering between life and death. So were the Btern 
realities of the war brought home to Mrs. Stowe 
and her family circle. 

Mrs. Stowe's most prominent public act during 
the Civil War was her reply to the " affectionate 
and Christian address to the women of America," 
which had been sent her immediately after the 
publication of " Uncle Tom's Cabin." It had been 
exhibited for the first time at the Boston Anti-Slav- 
ery Fair in 1853. It was in twenty-six stout folio 
volumes bound iu morocco, an Amerlcao eagle on 
the back of each, the address finely illuminated in 
vellum on the first page of the first volume, and 
contained nearly six thousand autograph signa- 
tQree of Englishwomen of every rank and class, 
from tlie foot of the throne to the back-kitchen 
areas. It was an appeal to the women of America 
to use their utmost efforts to do away with slavery 
and all its horrors, immediately and forever ! Con- 
sidering the state of public feeling at the time, this 
remarkable document was hardly an olive-branch. 
While unquestionably prompted by the highest 
motives, its wisdom and timeliness were more than 



For nearly ten years it had slumbered in its 
solid oak case, unanswered, when on the twenty- 
seventh day of November, 1862, Mrs. Stowe wrote 
her reply to which we have already frequently re- 
ferred. Mrs. Stowe's motive in this reply was to 
enlist the sympathies of the English public on the 
side of the Northern States. It was the same mo- 
tive that prompted her brother, Henry Ward 
Beecher, to undertake his mission to England. 
This purpose she herself explains in these few 
vigorous sentences : " It became important for the 
new Confederation to secure the assistance of for- 
eign powers, and infinite pains were then taken 
to blind and bewilder the mind of England as to 
tlie real issue of the conflict in America. 

" It has been often and earnestly asserted that 
slavery had nothing to do with this conflict; that 
it was a mere struggle for power ; that the only 
object was to restore the Union as it was, with all 
its abuses. It is to be admitted that expressions 
have proceeded from the national administration 
which naturally gave rise to misapprehension, and 
therefore we beg to speak to you on this subject 
more fully." 

Mrs. Stowe did not write this reply until she 
had had the personal interview with Mr. Lincoln 


already described, and had learned from the Presi- 
dent himself the policy of his administration re- 
garding slavery, — notably hia Uttle understood 
BorderState policy. Not till then did she break 
the silence she liad maintained for nearly ten 
years. She did not reply sooner because she felt 
that any reply that she might write would, in the 
existing state of public feeling, do far more harm 
than good. She waited until the time was ripe, 
and then struck effectively. "In the beginning of 
the struggle," she writes, " the voices that reached 
US across the water said, ' If we were only sure 
you were fighting for the abolition of slavery, we 
should not dare to say whither our sympathies for 
your cause might not carry us.' Such, as we heard, 
were the words of the honored and religious 
nobleman [Lord Shaftesbury] who drafted this 
very letter you signed, and sent us, and to which 
we are now replying. 

" When these words reached us, we said, * We 
can wait, our friends in England will soon see 
whither this conflict is tending.' A year and a 
half have passed, step after step has been taken for 
liberty ; chain after chain has fallen, till the march 
of our armies is choked and clogged by the glad 
flocking of emancipated slaves ; the day of final 


emancipation is set; the Border States begin to 
move in voluntary assent. [Here we see plainly 
traces of her interview with Lincoln. It was he 
who called her attention to the gradual change of 
sentiment in the Border States that had made the 
Emancipation Proclamation possible and expedi- 
ent.] Universal freedom for all dawns like the 
sun in the distant horizon, and still no voice from 
England. No voice ? Yes, we have heard on the 
high seas the voice of a war-steamer, built for a 
man-stealing Confederacy, with English gold, in 
an English dockyard, going out of an English 
harbor, manned by EngHsh sailors, with the full 
knowledge of English government officers, in de- 
fiance of the Queen's proclamation of neutrality ! 
So far has English sympathy overflowed ! We 
have heard of other steamers, iron-clad, designed 
to furnish to a slavery-defending Confederacy its 
only lack, — a navy for the high seas. We have 
heard that the British Evangelical Alliance re- 
fuses to express sympathy with the liberating 
party when requested to do so by the French 
Evangelical Alliance. We find in the English 
newspapers all those sad degrees in the downward 
sliding scale of defending and apologizing for 
slave-holders and slave-holding, with which we 

have so many years contended in our owo coun- 
try. We find the President's Froclamation of 
Emancipation spoken of in those papers only as 
an incitement to servile insurrection. Nay, more, 
— we find in your papers from thoughtful men 
the admission of the rapid decline of Anti-Slavery 
sentiments in England." 

This reply produced a profound sensation in 
England, and did much to prevent armed interven- 
tion in behalf of the Confederacy. John Bright 
wrote to Mrs. Stowe : " I read every word of it 
[the reply] with intense interest, and am quite 
sure that its eSect upon public opinion here has 
been marked and beneficial. It has covered some 
with shame, and it has compelled many to think, 
and it has stimulated not a few to act. Before this 
reaches you, you will have seen what large and 
earnest meetings have been held in all our towns 
in favor of Abolition, and the North. No town has 
a building large enough to contain those who 
come to listen, to applaud, and to vote in favor of 
freedom and the Union. The effect of this is evi- 
dent on our newspapers and on the tone of Par- 
liament, where now nobody says a word in favor 
of recognition or mediation, or any such thing." 
This letter, written on the 9th of March, 1863, 


before the battle of Gettysburg, shows that Mrs. 
Stowe's "reply" was one of the great influences 
that changed the seotimeot of the English people 
towards the Confederacy. 

On January 1, 1863, in the terms of his announce- 
ment previously made, Lincoln issued the Eman- 
cipation Proclamation. Mrs. Stowe was at a con- 
cert in the Music Hall when the news reached 
Boston and was announced from the stage to the 
immense audience. During the wild demonstra- 
tions of enthusiasm which followed some one in 
the audience called attention to Mrs. Stowe's pre- 
sence in the gallery. Instantly the multitude 
turned their faces up towards hers, waving their 
handkerchiefs and smiling. Her face all aglow 
with pleasure and excitement, she rose and bowed 
to right and left. It was a moment of triumph, — 
the crowning of a life's work- 
That Lincoln had been none too deliberate in 
issuing this proclamation was abundantly proved 
by the falling off in the Republican vote which 
'was its immediate though temporary effect. Of 
course it did not apply to slave states not in re- 
helUon, nor to those that had been conquered. 
The real work was to be accomplished by the con- 
stitutional amendment passed later. It virtually 


marked, however, the end of slavery in the United 
States, and so did away with the underlying cause 
of the Civil War. For no one can deny had there 
been no slavery there would have been no seces- 
sion and no war. 

It was during this dark period of the war that 
Mrs. Stowe moved from Andover to Hartford, 
Connecticut. In a grove of oaks on the bank of 
a little river she built a large and expensive house, 
far better planned for the climate of Florida than 
Connecticut. The spot had been one of her favoi^ 
ite resorts as a schoolgirl. Here she had dreamed 
away many a summer and autumn day with Georg- 
iana May or Catherine Cogswell. She had often 
whimsically assured these friends that here would 
she build a house when she was rich. She pur- 
chased the land with part of the proceeds of the 
first sale of " Uncle Tom's Cabin." The house 
was finished largely in the natural wood from the 
oaks and chestnuts cut on the place. The whole 
enterprise, an effort to realize a girlhood dream, 
took time, strength, and money far beyond her 
resources. It was a hungry octopus that nearly 
sucked the life blood out of the brave little 
woman. From Professor Stowe she could expect 
no aid, as he was the most helpless and unprac- 


tjcal of men ; and little sympathy, as the whole 
undertaking was contrary to his best judgment 
and repeated warnings. Gloomy prognostications 
of disaster were his only contributions to a solution 
of the difficult situation. In the mean time, as the 
spider spins its home out of its own vitals, so Mrs. 
Stowe spun her way out of her pecuniary troubles 
by the creations of her own brain. Then her son 
came home from the war with broken body and 
shattered will. What to do for him was a perplex- 
ing problem. Had it not been for the kind help- 
fulness of her sister Mary and her big-hearted 
husband, Mr. Thomas Perkins, a leading lawyer 
of Hartford, Mrs. Stowe must have sunk into her 
grave under the burdens that crushed down upon 
her at this time. Yet these burdens she had 
largely brought upon herself. With all her power 
and sound sense she was a dreamer of dreams. 
Her ideas of finance might work among angels, 
but they were not adapted to New England. She 
believed in everybody and trusted everybody, and 
was cheated and imposed upon without let or hin- 

She wrote, at this time, to her publisher, Mr. 
Fields : " Can I tell you what it is to begin to keep 
house in an unfinished home and place, dependent 


on a carpenter, a plumber, a mason, a bell-hanger, 
who come and go at their own sweet will, break- 
ing in, making all sorts of dust, chips, dirt, going 
off in the midat leaving all standing, — reappeai^ 
ing at uncertain intervals making more dust, chips, 
and dirt ? One parlor and my library have thua 
risen piecemeal by disturbance and eonvulsions. 
They are almost done now, and the last box of 
books is almost unpacked, but my head aches so 
with the past confusion that I cannot get up any 
feeling of rest. I can't enjoy, — can't feel a minute 
to sit down and say ' it is done.' " 

Then again she writes, speaking of her daugh- 
ter's coming marriage : " I am in trouble, — have 
been in trouble ever since my turtledoves an- 
nounced their intention of pairing in June instead 
of August, because it entailed on me an immediate 
necessity of bringing everything, out of doors and 
in, to a state of completeness for the wedding exhi- 
bition in June. The garden must be planted, the 
lawn graded, harrowed, rolled, seeded, and the 
grass got up and growing, stumps got out and 
shrubs and trees got in, conservatory made over, 
beds planted, holes filled, — and all by three very 
slippery sort of Irishmen, who had at any time 
rather be minding their own business than mine. 


I have back door-steps to be made, and trougha, 
screens, and ^bat not ; papering, painting, var- 
nishing hitherto neglected, to be completed ; also 
spring house-cleaning, also dress-making for one 

bride and three ordinary Females, also and 

and 's wardrobes to be overlooked, car- 
pets to be made and put down ; also a revolution 
in the kitchen cabinet, threatening for a time to 
blow up the whole establishment altogether." It is 
needless to say that authorship under such condi- 
tions would appear to be a sheer impossibility. It 
■would have been to any one but Mrs. Stowe. 

The house was a most delightful one for sum- 
mer, but when the severe cold of winter came it 
was impossible with any expenditure for fuel to 
heat it properly. Water pipes were continually 
freezing and bursting, so that the establishment 
proved an annuity to the fortunate plumber, who, 
with an eye to future business, bad arranged a 
complicated system that kept more than one man 
busy during the entire season. The Professor was 
submerged in waves and billows of the blues, and 
made daily predictions that the whole family 
would end in the poorhouse. One day, in a spasm 
of economy, be attempted to mend personally a 
broken pane of glass in one of the ceUar windows 

with a sheet of tin, two shingle nails, and a tack- 
hammer. After hreaking out all the remaining 
glass in the sash, he went to his room in an agony 
of despair, whUe Mrs. Stowe quietly sent for a gla- 
zier to attend to the matter properly. In all mat- 
ters pertaining to literature and scholarship he 
■was a ready help in every time of need, but the 
problem of taking care of a great house with ex- 
tensive grounds on inadequate means kept him 
palpitating with anxiety and woe. 

Every one thought Mrs. Stowe had made a for- 
tune out of her hooks, and all were piously re- 
solved to relieve her of the dangers and tempta- 
tions of great wealth so Ear as lay in their power. 
Although she received large sums from her pub- 
lishers, all was swallowed up by the Octopus on 
the river-side ; that is, by architect, builder, carpen- 
ters, and plumbers. They had good digestions and 
swallowed her dollars as fast as she could feed 
them to them. 



In 1865 Mrs. Stowe's son, Captain Stowe, re- 
sided his commission in the army, and attempted 
to resume his medical studies. This, however, 
proved impossible. From time to time the pain of 
the wound received at Gettysburg drove him to 
the verge of insanity. In such a state continuous 
mental application was out of the question. Ju8t 
at thia time a number of Conuecticut people, re- 
tired army officers among them, had taken an 
old cotton plantation ia Florida to raise cotton 
by free labor. Mrs. Stowe was enthusiastic over 
the scheme ! Here was not only a solution of her 
perplexity with regard to her son, but a mission I 
She was always looking for a mission. It was a 
necessity of her mind to persuade herself that 
some higher end was being sought in everything 
she did from raising potatoes to writing a book. 
Consequently, she put money into the project that 
she could ill afford to lose. Naturally enough the 
whole thing was a failure, and practically amounted 

to maintaiuing a free boarding house for a year 
or more for a gang of lazy negroea. What cotton 
was laised cost more than it could have been sold 
for ; and, as a matter of fact, it was never sold, 
because what was not ruined by mildew was eaten 
by army worms. In this enterprise Mrs. Stowe 
lost in the neighborhood of ten thousand dollars. 
She apparently felt little or no regret for the 
pecuniary loss. So much good had been done 
among the negroes by the preaching, praying, 
and hymn singing ! Many souls had probably 
been saved, and if so what was the loss of ten 
thousand dollars compared with such a gain 1 

About this time Captain Stowe rowed across 
the St. Johns River on a fishing excursion and 
discovered Mandarin Cove and a snug little 
orange grove that the owner was anxious to sell 
for a reasonable price. Here was a new possibil' 
ity I If be could not raise cotton, he could at 
least raise oranges, and there seemed a lair pros- 
pect of a good profit in the enterprise. 

It was impossible, however, for his mother to 
take a merely commercial view of any undei^ 
taking. She immediately turned her mind to the 
possibilities of doing good that were connected 
with the scheme. She writes to her brother, the 



Rev. Charles Beeeher of Georgetown, Massachu- 
setts, as follows ; " Mj plan of going to Florida, 
aa it lies in my mind, is not in any sense a mere 
worldly enterprise. I have for many years had 
a longing to be more immediately doing Christ's 
work OQ earth. My heart is with that poor people 
whose cause in words I have tried to plead, and 
who, now ignorant and docile, are just in that 
formative stage in which, whoever seizes, has 

" Corrupt politicians are already beginning to 
speculate on them as possible capital for their 
schemes, and fill their poor heads with all sorts 
of vagaries. Florida is the state into which they 
have, more than anywhere else, been pouring. 
Emigration is positively and decidedly setting 
that way; but as yet it is mere worldly emigra- 
tion, with the hope of making money, nothing 

" The Episcopal Church is, however, undertak- 
ing, under direction of the future Bishop of 
Florida, a wide embracing scheme of Christian 
activity for the whole state. In this work I 
desire to be associated, and my plan is to locate 
at some salient point on the St. Johns River, 
where I can form the nucleus of a Christiaa 


neigliborbood whose influeDce shall be felt far 
beyond its own limits." 

About a year later she writes him : " We are 
now thinking of a place in Mandarin much more 
beautiful than any other in the vicinity. It has 
on it five large date palms, an olive tree in full 
bearing, besides a fine orange grove that this 
year will yield about seventy-five thousand oranges. 
If we get that, then, I want you to consider the 
expediency of buying the one next to it. It con- 
tains about two hundred acres of land, on which 
is a fine orange grove, the fruit of which last 
year brought in two thouBand dollars as sold at 
the wharf. 

" It is right on the river, and four steamers 
pass it each week on their way to Savannah and 
Charleston. There is on the place a very comfort- 
able cottage, as bouses go out there, where they 
do not need to be built as substantially as with 

"I am now in correspondence with the Bishop 
of Florida, with a view to establishing a line of 
churches along the St. Johns River, and if I 
settle at Mandarin it will be one of my stations. 
Will you consent to enter the Episcopal Church 
and be our clergyman V You are just the man we 



'want ! H my tastes and feelings did not incline 
me towards the Church, I should still choose it as 
the best system for training immature minds such 
as those of our negroes. The system was com- 
posed with reference to the wants of the laboring 
class of England at a time when they were as 
ignorant as our negroes now are. 

" I long to he at this work and cannot think 
of it without my heart burning within me. Still 
I leave all with my God, and only hope He will, 
open the way for me to do all that I want to for 
this poor people." 

Mrs. Stowe bought the place, and in one of her 
letters to George Eliot thus describes how the 
home was established : " The history of the 
cottage is this : I found a hut built close to a 
great live-oak twenty-five feet in girth, and with 
overarching houghs eighty feet up in the air, 
spreading like a firmament, and all swaying with 
mossy festoons. We began to live here, and 
gradually we improved the hut by lath, plaster, 
and paper. Then we threw out a wide veranda 
all around, for in these regions the veranda is the 
living room of the house. Ours had to be built 
around the trunk of the tree, so that our cottage 
has a peculiar and original air, and seems as if it 


-were half tree, or something that has grown out 
of the tree. We added on parts, and have thrown 
out gahles and chambers, as a tree throws out 
new branches, till our cottage is Uke nobody's 
else, and yet we settle into it with real enjoytnent. 
There are all sorts of queer little rooms in it, and 
we are at present accommodating a family of 
seventeen souls. In front, the beautiful, grand 
St, Johos River stretches five miles from shore to 
shore, and we watch the steamboats plying back 
and forth to the great world we are out of. On all 
sides large orange trees, with their dense shade, 
and ever-vivid green, shut out the broiling sun so 
that we can ait, and walk, and live in the open 
air. Our winter here is only cool, bracing, out- 
door weather without snow. No month without 
flowers blooming in the open air and lettuce and 
peas growing in the garden. The summer range 
is about 90°, but the sea breezes keep the air de- 
lightfully cool. 

" Though resembling Italy in climate Florida is 
wholly different in the appearance of nature, — the 
plants, the birds, the animals, are all different. 
The green tidiness of England here gives way to 
a wild and rugged savageness of beauty. Every 
tree bursts forth with flowers; wild vines and 


creepers execute delirious gambols, and weave and 
interweave in interminable labyrinths. Yet bere, 
in the great sandy plains back of our house, there 
is a constant wondering sense of beauty in the 
wild wonderful growths of nature. First of all 
the pines — high as the stone pines of Italy — 
with long leaves, eighteen inches long, through 
which there is a constant dreamy sound as if of 
dashing waters. Then the live-oaks, and the 
water-oaks, narrow-leaved evergreens, which grow 
to enormous size, and whose branches are draped 
with long festoons of the gray moss. There is a 
great wild park of these trees back of us, which, 
with the dazzling varnished green of the new 
Bprbg leaves and the swaying drapery of moss, 
looks like a sort of enchanted grotto. Underneath 
grow up lilies and ornamental flowering shrubs, 
and the yellow jessamine climbs up into and over 
everything with fragrant golden bells and buds. 
This wild, wonderful, bright, and vivid growth, 
that is all new, strange, and unknown by name to 
me, has a cbarm for me. It is the place to forget 
the outside world and live in one's self. 

" We emigrate in solid family : my two dear 
daughters, husband, self, and servants come to- 
gether to spend the winter here, and so together 

to our Northern home in summer. My twin daugh- 
ters relieve me from all domestic care ; they are 
lively, vivacious, with a real genius {or practical 
life. We have around us a little settlement of 
neighbors, who, like ourselves, have a winter home 
here, and live an easy, undress, picnic kind of a 
life far from the world and its cares. 

*' When I get here I enter another life. The 
world recedes ; I am out of it ; it ceases to influ- 
ence ; its hustle aud noise die away in the far dis- 
tance, and here is no winter; an open-air life, — 
a quaint, rude, wild wilderness life, both rude and 
rich, but when I am here I write more letters to 
friends than I do elsewhere. The mail comes only 
twice a week and is a great event. My old rabbi 
and I here set up our tent, he with German and 
Greek aud Hebrew, devouring all sorts of black- 
letter books, and I spinning ideal webs out of 
bits he lets fall here and there." 

But with all this enjoyment of the material 
vorld, with its tangible realities, the spiritual aim 
was not forgotten. She carried out her desire to 
"form the nucleus of a Christian neighborhood 
whose influence shall be felt far beyond its own 
hmits." With her own money she built a little 
church and schoolhouse, where for many years 



Professor Stowe preached earuest, eloquent ser- 
mons, and sbe taught a Sunday-school class of 
colored childreu. In a letter written to her soa in 
1875, she gives the following picture of an Easter 
Sunday in the little church and schoolhouse : — 

"It was the week before Easter, and we had on 
our minds the dressing of the church. There were 
my two Gothic fireboards to be turned into a pul- 
pit for the occasion. I went to Jacksonville and 
got a five-inch moulding for a base, and then had 
one fireboard sawed in two, so that there was an 
arched panel for each end. Then came a rummage 
for something for a top, and to make a desk of, 
until it suddenly occurred to me that our old black 
walnut extension table had a set of leaves. They 
were exactly the thing. The whole was triomied 
with a heading of yellow pine, and rubbed, and 
pumice-stoned, and oiled, and I got out my tubes 
of paint and painted the nail holes with Vandyke 
brown. By Saturday morning it was a lovely lit- 
tle Gothic pulpit, and Anthony took it over to the 
schoolhouse and took away the old desk which I 
gave him for his meeting-bouse. 

" That afternoon we drove into the woods and 
gathered a quantity of superb Easter lilies, paw- 
paw, sparkleberry, great fern leaves, and cedar. 


In the evening the girU went over to the Meads 
to practice Eaxter hymns ; but I gut at home and 
made a cross eighteen inches long of cedar and 
white lilies. This Southern cedar is the most ex- 
quisite thing, — - it is bo feathery and delicate. 

'* Sunday morning was coot and bright, a most 
perfect Easter. Our little church was full, and 
everybody seemed delighted with the decorations. 
Mr. Stowe preached a sermon to show that Christ 
is going to put everything right at last, which is 
comforting. So the day was one of real pleasure, 
and also I trust of real bene6t, to the poor souls 
who learned from it that Christ is indeed risen for 

It was a number o£ years before Mrs. Stowe 
was able to carry out her original plan of estab- 
lishing an Episcopal church in Mandarin. It was 
not till 1884 that she writes, " Mandarin looks 
very gay and airy now with its new villas, and our 
new church and rectory. Our minister is perfect. 
I wish you could know him. He wants only physi- 
cal strength. In everything else he is all one 
could ask." 

Nothing delighted Mrs. Stowe more than the 
growing prosperity of the colored people. It was 
this that she emphasized in her little talk at the 



celebration of her seventieth birthday, when she 
said: — 

"... If any one of you have doubt, or sor- 
row, or pain, if you doubt about this world, just 
remember what God has done ; just remember 
that this great sorrow of slavery has gone, has 
gone forever. I see it every day at the South. I 
walk about there and see the lowly cabins. I see 
these people growing richer and richer. X see men 
very happy in their lowly lot ; but, to be sure, 
you must have patience with them. They are not 
perfect, but have their faults, and they are serious 
faults in the view of white people. But they are 
very happy, that is evident, and they do know 
how to enjoy themselves, — a great deal more than 
you do. An old negro friend in our neighborhood 
has got a new, nice two-story house, and an orange 
grove, and a sugar mUI. He has got a lot of money 
besides. Mr. Stowe met him one day, and he said, 
' I 've got twenty head of cattle, four head of 
" boss," forty head of hen, and I have got ten 
children, all mine, even/ one mine!'' "Well, now, 
that's a thing that a black man could not say 
once, and this man was sixty years old before he 
could say it. With all the faults of the colored 
people, take a man of sixty and put him down 


Trith nothing but his bands, how many could say 
as much aa that? I think they have done well. 
A little while ago they had an evening festival at 
his house and raised fifty dollars. We white folks 
took our carriages, and when we reached the 
house we found it fised nicely. Every one of his 
daughters knew how to cook. They had a good 
place for the festival. Their suppers were spread 
on little white tables with nice clean cloths on 
them. People paid fifty cents for supper. They 
got between fifty and sixty dollars, and had one 
of the best frolics you could imagine. They had 
also for supper ice cream that they made for 
themselves. That's the sort of thing I see going 
on around me." And then she concludes with 
the words already quoted, " Let us never doubt. 
Everything that ought to happen is going to 

Mrs. Stowe first visit«d Mandarin in 1866. She 
and her youngest son made the journey by way 
of Washington, and thence by steamboat to Aqua 
Creek, and from there to Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, by a special military train. On their arrival at 
Charleston, a Southern gentleman called upon 
them ; and introducing himself as a former major 
in the Confederate army, explained that hia mother 



and Bistera were anxious to entertain them at their 
home, because of what they owed to Mrs. Stowe's 
nephew, Colonel Robert Beecher, for the way in 
which he had protected them from the brutahty of 
some Northern soldiers when they were defenseless 
in their home during the burning of Columbia. 
When the three ladies were alone and unprotected 
in the burning city, a mob of half-drunken soldiers 
broke into their house. One of the daughters was 
seriously ill, and her mother feared that the shock 
and fright might kill her. Seeing an office 
ing the house in the uniform of a Federal Colonel, 
she rushed to the door and begged him for pro- 
tection. With drawn sword and revolver, Colonel 
Beecher drove the drunken soldiers from the house, 
and while the Union army remained in Columbia 
be was both the guest and the protector of this 
family. Mrs. Stowe's son has never forgotten a 
letter he saw while he and his mother were enjoy- 
ing the ideal hospitality of this family, — a letter 
written on the battle-field by a dying soldier to 
his mother. The young man had joined the Con- 
federate army as he was about to enter the Pres- 
byterian ministry, and he bravely faced death with 
as much confidence that he was fighting for right- 
eousness as ever inspired a crusader. The whole 


tone of his letter breathed satisfaction that he had 
been permitted to lay down his life for the cause of 
God and truth as against injustice and oppression. 
Even the Greek mind never conceived a tragedy 
more terrible than the war between the states in 
North America. 

From Charleston they proceeded to Mandarin 
by the steamer Dictator, commanded by Captain 
Atkins, who had been a blockade runner dui^ 
ing the war. He was a brisk little man, with a 
very red face and bristling whiskers, who showed 
an almost pathetic solicitude for Mrs. Stowe's 
comfort and safety. One fair Sunday afternoon 
the Dictator sailed majestically into Mandarin 
Cove, and landed them within a stone's throw of 
the Stowe cottage. Here at Mandarin Professor 
Stowe, ably seconded by Mrs. Stowe, acted as a 
pastor to the whole neighborhood, both white and 
black. There was not a secluded nook on the 
river bank, or a lonely hut in the pine woods, that 
they did not visit together, jolting over roots and 
stumps and laboring through the sand, seated in 
camp chairs in a rude, two-wheeled cart drawn 
by Fly, a meditative and philosophical mule. As 
Mrs. Stowe writes ; *' You ought to see us rid- 
ing out in our mule cart. Poor Fly, the last of 



pea time, who looks like an animated hair trunk, 
and the wagon and harness to match! It is too 
funny ; but we enjoy it hugely 1 " The big, corpu- 
lent, gray-bearded Professor, with his gold specta- 
cles and broad-brimmed Quaker hat, and his thin 
little wife, dreamy and abstracted, with her shabby 
dress and old straw bonnet all awry, gazing up into 
the pine trees and singing in utter self-forgetful- 
ness as they jolted along : — 

" ' We 're on our journey home 

Where Christ our Lord has gone,' " etc., 

made a picture both amusing and appealing. 

Way back in the woods in a barren clearing 
among the whispering trees was a Uttle Roman 
Catholic church, bUsteriug in the tropical sun. 
Adjoining it was a nunnery where lived three 
French Sisters of the Church. Near by in a little 
hut lived an Italian priest. Father Batazzi. If ever 
tlie spirit of the Christ dwelt in human souls, it 
dwelt in these self-sacrificing representatives of the 
Roman Catholic Church. Once or twice a month 
Fly was harnessed into the mule cart, and the 
Professor and his wife started with baskets of 
oranges and packages of all sorts of creatureKiom- 
forts to visit Father Batazzi and the Sisters. 
When they met there was no Catholic or Protest- 


ant, but an absolute oueuess of spirit. The Fro< 
fesBor in bis bluff, bearty way, always suggested 
tbat tbese visits be closed witb prayer. The good 
priest and tbe Sisters made do objection, Father 
Batazzi frequently joining in ia bis broken Eng- 

Tbe priest started a little vineyard in tbe dreary 
pine waste, whicb greatly cheered his heart. It was 
bke a bit of his own beloved Italy in this faw)£E 
land. But one night some of those Florida cows, 
which might well serve as prototypes of the lean 
kine that King Pharnob saw in bis troubled 
dreams, broke into tbe inclosure and ate up all 
the vines. " Ob, Father Batazzi," exclaimed Mrs. 
Stowe a day or two afterwards, " what a perfect 
shame that those wretched cows ate your vines I " 

" Oh no, Mrs. Stowe, dat iz all right 1 It vaa 
gut for ze cows, and it vas gut for me ! I fear zat 
I have made an iddel of dose vines ! " 

When the terrible scourge of yellow fever broke 
out iu Fernandina, and people forsook their dead 
and their dying to flee in blind and unpityiug ter^ 
ror, Father Batazzi and the Sisters went to tbe 
plague-stricken city, nursed the sick, cared for tbe 
dying, and buried tbe dead. In this noble service 
one of the Sisters laid down her life. 




One day the Professor and his wife went on foot 
I charitable errand. Returning they com- 
pletely lost their way in the delirious labyrinth of 
a live-oak hummock. Mrs. Stowe lost her eye- 
glasses, and the Professor's spectacles were snatched 
from his nose by a malicious creeping vine. It was 
growing late and the light was waning. The Pro- 
fessor, availing himself of his mighty vocal powers, 
set up a stentorian shouting. Anthony, their 
negro man, who was on his way home, was drawn 
to the spot by the alarming uproar. He was a 
preacher with native and timely eloquence, Peei^ 
ingat them through the gloom, he sang out, "Well, 
well, is datyou? Why you dun gone got loss, eh? 
jah 1 jah ! I will proceed to lead you out by a more 
delectable way dan dat by which you entered dis 
ar thicket ! " 

Although very proud of his wife and her repu- 
tation, nevertheless it was galling to Mr. Stowe at 
times to be set completely in the shade by his more 
distinguished wife. On one occasionalady remarked 
to him, *' I am delighted to meet you, Professor 
Stowe, but I must confess I should have preferred 
to have met Mrs. Stowe ! " 

" So had I, madam 1 " was the prompt and sig- 
nificant retort. 


An enterprising steamboat company in Jack- 
sonville advertised excursions to Mandarin and 
Mrs. Stowe's orange grove, — so much for the 
round trip, — without consulting her, or offering 
her consideration of any sort for being made a 
public spectacle. The Professor and his wife took 
it, however, very good-naturedly, and received 
those who came with a courteous hospitality. For 
the most part these persons were well behaved, and 
to one who enjoyed sociability as heartily aa 
did Professor Stowe the ex])erience had its plea- 
sant side. One day, however, a man broke off a 
branch of an orange tree directly under the Pro- 
fessor's eyes. On Mr. Stowe's addressing him in 
vigorous language, he timidly replied, " Why, I 
thought this was Mrs, Stowe's place ! " 

" I would have you understand, sir ! " thundered 
the Professor, " that I am the proprietor and pro- 
tector both of Mrs. Stowe and this place I " 

While at Mandarin Mrs. Stowe made many ex- 
cursions to various parts of the state, and was 
everywhere treated with cordial and courteous 
hospitality. On one of these trips a Southern 
woman was heard to say, " I am sure that I have 
been told that Mrs. Stowe is sorry that she wrote 
* Uncle Tom's Cabin.' She is a good, kind-hearted 


woman, and I telieve she would have cut off her 
right hand rather than write that book, if she 
could have foreseen all the misery she was to 
cause by it." After visiting her brother, the 
Rev. Charles Beecher, at Newport, Florida, she 
continued her journey to New Orleans, meeting 
with nothing but kindness and cordiality from the 
beat class of Southern people. Both at Tallahassee 
and New Orleans she was warmly welcomed and 
tendered public receptions, given to show that there 
was no bitterness towards her personally. Through- 
out the journeys the colored people thronged the 
railroad stations to catch a glimpse of her as she 
was whirled by. 

No words can better describe her life in Man- 
darin than these, " She went about doing good." 
This incident is in point. There came to Mandarin 
a gentleman who was suffering agonies from rheu- 
matism. From very early life he had been bitterly 
prejudiced against "Churchianity." He denounced 
the churches, and all professing Christians as 
knaves and hypocrites. His natural asperities of 
temper had not been softened by bis sufferings. 
His language and manners were far from engag- 
ing, and he was not popular. Mrs. Stowe made 
her observations on the man, and quietly managed 


to drop in upon him almost daily to tell him a bit 
of news or a funny story. Never a word, however, 
about the Church, the Bible, or Christians, and if 
he blazed out on these subjects she seemed dreamy 
and abstracted till he had cooled off. To the 
amazement of his family, he handed her one day 
two crisp twenty-dollar bills, and said, "I want 
you to let me have a little share in what you are 
doing in your church and Sunday-school, Mrs. 
Stowe. I don't make any professions of any kind, 
but I know a good thing when 1 see it ! " She 
took the money with a quiet smile, but said little. 
She was uot 8uq)rised because she believed in 
people. Just as the sun shines on the frozen 
ground and says, *' You are not frozen ground, 
but a garden, soft and warm, and full of flow- 
ers," and lo ! it is so, so she kindled the best lu 

It was a great g^ef to her when this little 
church and schoolhouse burned down, as it did 
one windy night. She says: " But to tliink of our 
church and schoollionse being burned down just 
as we are ready to do something with it. I feel it 
most for the colored people, who were so anxious 
to have their school, and now have no place to 
have it in. We are all trying to raise what we cao 





for a new building, and intend to get it up by 
March. If I were North now I would try giving 
some readings for this, and perhaps raise some- 

There can be no doubt that the quiet Florida 
days prolonged for many years Mrs. Stowe's life 
and usefulness. Yet even this Fatmos was not all 
rest for her. Financial difhculties still troubled 
and beset her. 

" On gold depends, to gold atill t«ndfl ; 
All, all, alas we poor! " 

Why should she have been poor when she wrote 
such popular books that brought her such hand- 
some returns ? Her publishers were liberal, eveu 
generous. She received ten thousand dollars for 
" Oldtown Folks," mostly in prepayments. Pro- 
fessor Stowe received ten thousand dollars in 
royalties for his book on the Bible, — a most re- 
markable record for a book of that nature. Yet 
they were, as the Professor said, " always plagued 
and poor!" We find Mrs. Stowe doing hack 
work like the editorship of a book entitled " The 
Men of Our Times." Fly and the mule cart 
could hardly be called family extravagances. No 
one who ever saw the Professor, his wife, or any 
of the family could suspect them of being unduly 


in bondage to the pomp and vanities of this world. 
As the Professor and his wife advanced in years 
there developed certain startling eccentricities in 
their mode of dress, but never any extravagances. 
To explain their chronic poverty is, however, not 

In the first place they were lamentably deficient 
in that " root of all evil, the love of money." That 
is a Beecber failing from the old Doctor Lyman 
down. Henry Ward Beecher was as deficient in 
this way as his sister Harriet. He said, " Money 
is like gunpowder. It 's no use except you fire it 
off! " As for old Lyman Beecher, when the ladies 
of his Boston church gave him fifty dollars to buy 
anew overcoat, he ran round the corner and popped 
it all into a missionary collection. His children 
were all like him. Thomas K. Beecher, when hla 
Elmyra church tried to give hira an annuity, said 
that " he 'd take to the woods if they did, and that 
it was the ambition of his life to be a worthy object 
of charity in his old age." Ooe might as well give 
money to a resurrection angel as to a genuine 
Beecher, and Mrs. Stowe was a Beecher, and very 
genuine. As to Professor Stowe, he was as like to 
her as like could be in this respect. He was de- 
scended from JohD Stow, the Chronicler of Lon- 



don, to whom James I gave letters patent to solicit 
the alms of the good people of London because 
he had spent a life of unrequited service in col- 
lecting the historical monuments of England. 
Stow collected seven shillings and a sixpence, and 
the letters patent were extended for another twelve- 
month. As a money-getter, his descendant was 
little more successful. 

First, there was an open-handed generosity that 
gave without stint in private and public charities 
of every description. Then, there was an unsuspect- 
ing trustfulness in those who were ever eager to 
invest their money for them. As Mrs, Fields says 
in the "Life and Letters" Mrs. Stowe writes to 
Mr. Howard, " I have invested thirty-four thou- 
sand doUai^ in various ways, none of which can 
give me any immediate income." The probability 
is that these particular investments never gave her 
any income. It had been far better if she had 
spent it and got some satisfaction out of it. " My 
investment in this Southern place," she writes 
again, "is still one whose returns are in the 
future." That future never came. The orange 
grove was ruined by frosts and sold for a song I 
The enterprise of foundingthe "Christian Union" 
cost her and her brother, Henry Ward Beecher, 




thousands of dollars and never brought them a ^| 
oent in retura. So faer money vanished like the ^M 
morning cloud and the early dew, and she slaved 
at her pen far into old age. In 1872 she lost her 
truest friend and safest businesa adviser, Mr. _ 
Thomas C. Perkins, the husband of her sister Mary. fl 
She writes : " The blow has fallen! My dear brother H 
has left us I Nowhere in the world had I a truer H 
friend. It is a blow that strikes deep on my life H 
and makes me feel that it is like ice breaking under H 
my feet. Those who truly love us, and on whom H 
we may at all times depend, are not many, and all V 
my life he has been one of these." 

It is little that she did not have money, or the 
faculty for getting and keeping it. She had wealth 
far more satisfactory and abiding. " Sometimes in 
my sleep I have such nearness to the blessed, it is 
almost as if one voice after another whispers to 
me, ' Thou shalt tread upon the Hon and theadder.' 
'The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath 
thee are the everlasting arms.' . . . Depend upon 
it, the spirit of the Lord did n't pitch me into this 
seething caldron for nothing, and the Son of Man 
walketh with me in the Hre." 

The great reality above all other realities that 
filled the thoughts by day and the dreams by night 


of both Frofeasor and Mrs. Stowe was that o£ the 
Eternal GoodneBS, — 

" Oh Lore dirine that Btoopeil to ghare. 
Our sharpest pang, our bitt'rut tear." 
The older thej grew the more childlike and 
simple was their faith. At last came the tune when 
Professor Stowe's increasing infirmities made the 
journey back and forth impossible, and Mrs. Stowe 
writes of the Mandarin home, that Southern para- 
dise where she had passed so many happy years: 
'* I am quietly settled down for the winter in my 
Hartford home. ... It has become clear that Mr. 
Stowe cannot take the journey. We dare not un- 
dertake it. Our Southern home has do such con- 
Teniences as an invalid needs. It was charming 
while Mr. Stowe was well enough to sit on the 
veranda and take long daily walks, hut now it is 
safer and better that we all stay with him here." 



Mrs. Stowb began her literary career as adeline' 
ator of New England life and character. Her first 
Buccess was " Uncle Lot"; a New England char- 
acter sketch. She web an artist by nature and 
would have been impelled to literary expression 
under any circumstances, and the field In which 
she would most naturally have exercised her tal- 
ents was in portraying the people and life of New 
England. By an accident of her life she waa 
brought in contact with slavery and the Anti-Slav- 
ery movement. In this field she achieved her first 
and greatest triumph. Yet so acute a critic as Mr. 
Lowell said in reviewing "The Minister's Woo- 
ing" : " It has always seemed to us that the Anti- 
Slavery element in the two former novels of Mrs. 
Stowe stood in the way of the appreciation of her 
remarkable genius, at least in her own country, 
. , . Mrs. Stowe seems in her former novels to 
have sought a form of society alien to her sympa- 
thies, and too remote for exact study, or for the 


acquirement of that local truth which is the alow 
result of unconscious observation. There can be 
no stronger proof of the greatness of her genius, 
of her possessing that conceptive faculty which 
belongs to the higher order of the imagination, 
than the avidity with which 'Uncle Tom' was 
read at the South. It settled the point that this 
book is true to human nature if not minutely so 
to plantation life. 

" If capable of so great a triumph where soo- 
cess must so largely depend on the sympathic in- 
sight of her mere creative power, have we not a 
right to expect something far more in keeping 
with the requirements of art, now that her won- 
derful eye is to be the mirror of familiar scenes, 
aud in a society in which she was bred, and of 
which she has seen so many varieties, and that, 
too, in a country where it is most n^ve and origi- 
nal ? It is a great satisfaction to us that in ' The 
Minister's Wooing' she has chosen her time and 
laid her scenes amid New England habits and tra- 
ditions. There is no other writer who is so cap- 
able of perpetuating for us, in a work of art, a 
style of thought and manners which railroads and 
newspapers will soon render as palaeozoic as the 
mastodon, or the megalosaurians." 


The summer of 1857 Mrs. Stowe was well-uigh 
crushed beneath the weight of a great sorrow, — 
the death of her eldest son. She dreaded every- 
thing that she did. As she afterwards said : " I sat 
hour after hour before my inkstand dreading to 
begin. I let my plants die by inches, and did not 
■water them. I felt as if I were slowly freezing to 

Yet it was in this time of sorrow and heaviness 
that she began composing both " The Minister's 
Wooing" and "The Pearl of Orr's Island." Of 
the latter she says : " I seem to have so much to 
fill my time, and yet there is my Maine story wait- 
ing. However, I am composing it every day, only 
I greatly need living studies for filling in of my 
sketches. There is ' Old Jonas ' my ' fish father,' 
sturdy, independent fisherman farmer, who in his 
youth sailed all over the world and made up hia 
mind about everything. In his old age he attends 
prayer-meetings and reads * The Missionary Her- 
ald.' He has also plenty of money in an old brown 
sea-chest. He is a great heart with an infiexible 
will and iron muscles. I must go to Orr's Island 
and see him again." 

Here we see the promptings of Mrs. Stowe's 
artistic nature. Had it not been for the *' Key " 


aad "Dred," we should have had this id^t of the 
coast of Maine Id all the perfection of quiet beauty. 
Mrs. Stowe needed only the slow results of un- 
conscious observation to have brought forth " The 
Fearl of Orr's Island," rich with local truth and 
color. As it was, this poor little flower of her gen- 
ius was starved. She turned all her energies to 
the completion of "The Minister's Wooingj" and 
" The Fearl of Orr's Island" was for the second 
time indefinitely postponed. 

The reason for this is easy to understand. The 
Maine story was now too filled with sad memories 
of her lost son. She could not write upon it with- 
out Henry's face seeming to look upon her sadly 
from out the past happy days in Brunswick. When 
she visited Maine to prepare herself for the task 
she wrote to her daughters: " We have visited the 
old pond, and, if I mistake not, the relics of your 
old raft are there caught among the rushes. I do 
not realize that one of the busiest and happiest of 
the train that once played there shall play there 
no more. ... I think I have felt the healing 
touch of Jesus of Nazareth on the deep wound in 
my heart, for I have golden hours of calm when I 
say, *Even so, Father ; for so it seemed good in thy 
sight.' " Yet the wound thus healed would ever 


and agaia break out and bleed afresb. There were 
memories in the Maine story that pierced her 
heart as with a knife. Like the flowers she planted 
over her son's grave that bloomed, and died, and 
bloomed again, so were the consolations that came 
to her soul. Under these circumstances " The Min- 
ister's Wooing " was nearer to her mood. Suffei^ 
ing, sympathy, sorrow, are its undertone. More 
than all the problems of the soul came the ques- 
tion, Where was her Henry now ? " If ever I was 
conscious of an attack of the devil trying to sepa- 
rate me front the love of Christ, it was for some 
days after the terrible news came. I was lu a great 
state of physical weakness, most agonizing, and 
unable to control my thoughts. Gloomy doubts as 
to Henry's spiritual state were rudely thrust upon 
my soul. It was as if a voice said to me : ' You 
trusted in God did you? You believed that He 
loved you? You had i)ei-fect confidence that He 
would never take your child till the work of grace 
was mature? Now He has hurried him into etei^ 
nity without a moment's warning, without prepa- 
ration, and where is he?' " It was inevitable that 
Buch reflections should come to the daughter of 
Lyman Beecher, to a New England Christian of 
the Evangelical faith. They have come to multi- 


tudes ; but there is no power that can so effect- 
ually shatter the stern logic of Calvinistic ortho- 
doxy as the open grave. In " The Minister's Woo- 
ing " she met this problem, and thought and wrote 
herself out of her doubts and her agony. In Mrs. 
Marvyn's anguish when she receives the news 
of her son's suddea death at sea we have Mrs. 
Stowe's own heart laid bare. Then, too, there was 
the problem of suffering ! That also she met in 
the doctrine of The Divine Sorrow regnant on the 
throne of the universe. So it is quite evident why 
"The Pearl of Orr's Island," though first taken 
up, was laid aside for " The Minister's Wooing," 
Two years afterwards, when she turned to it 
again, she wrote, as says Mrs, Fields in the '* Life 
and Letters": "Authors are apt, I suppose, like 
parents, to have their unreasonable partialities. 
Everybody has, — and I have a pleasure in writ- 
ing ' Agnes of Sorrento ' that gilds this icy winter 
weather. I write my Maine story with a shiver, 
and come hack to this as to a flowery home where 
I love to rest." 

" The Minister's Wooing " was very largely 
dictated, and chapter after chapter thrown off at 
white-beat. Each chapter as finished she read he- 
fore the assembled family in a particular corner of 


the loDg parlor of the old Stone Cahin at AndoTer. 
Her son Charles remembers vividly these family 
readings. The Professor with his long gray beard, 
white hair, and piercing black eyes, sat with his 
pocket handkerchief spread out upon his knees, 
alternately shaking with laughter, or heaving with 
sobs. Now and then with commanding voice he 
would point out an error or inadequacy in the 
argument on some point of theology, or call at- 
tention to a lack of local color in some descrip- 
tive passage. Such changes as he suggested Mrs. 
Stowe made immediately and without discussion. 
She never for a moment doubted the infallibility 
of her "rabbi" as she fondly called him. 

Mrs, Stowe's oldest daughters, or the "^1b," 
as they were always called, sat in judgment on the 
love-making, and in their department were as 
meekly obeyed as their father in his. The at- 
mosphere of Mrs. Stowe's audience was, however, 
one of admiration. As Mrs. Fields says with truth 
in the " Life and Letters," in commenting upon 
Mrs. Stowe's craving for sympathy when she was 
writing : " It was a touching characteristic to see 
how the ' senate of girls,' or of such household 
friends as she could muster wherever she might 
be, were always called in to keep up her courage. 


and to give her a Eympatbetic etimulus. During 
the days when she was writing it was never safe 
to be far away, for she was rapid as light itself, 
and before a brief hour was ended we were sure 
to hear her voice calling, ' Do come and hear, and 
tell me how you like it ! ' " 

Mrs. Stowe writes to one of her children at this 
time : " I have set many flowers around Henry's 
grave which are blossoming : pausies, white im- 
mortelle, white petunia, and verbenas. Papa walks 
there every day, often twice or three times. . . . 
To-night I sat there ; the sky so beautiful, all 
rosy, with the silver moon looking out of it. Fapa 
said with a deep sigh, ' I am submissive, but not 
reconciled.* " In both Professor and Mrs. Stowe 
there was no characteristic more strongly marked 
than their constant sense of the supernatural and 
the nearness of the world of spirits. Henry's grave 
was to them a charmed spot, for there he seemed 
nearer to them. Their son Charles well remem- 
bers their communings at this oft visited grave. 

" Are they not all ministering spirits sent to 
minister unto them that shall be the heirs of salva- 
tion ? " was the scriptural text most often on their 
lips. One day Mrs. Stowe climbed on a step lad- 
der to fix the curtains in her room. She fell and 


marvelously escaped serious injury. The Professor 
heard her fall, aod rushing into the room, found 
her prostrate on the floor. When he had assured 
himself that she was not seriously injured, he ex- 
claimed with the utmost sincerity, " Oh, my dear, 
it was Henry's spirit that saved you ! " She looked 
up into his face, and said, "He shall give his 
angels charge over thee, and they shall bear thee 
up in their hands." 

It was impossible for Mrs, Stowe to treat " The 
Minister's Wooing" merely as a work of liter- 
ary art. There lay behind it too many vital ei- 
periences which she coidd not make public, and 
which overbore the ordinary rules of literary com- 
position. She wrote into it her heart anguish, as 
Tennyson wrote his into the lyrics that make up 
"In Memoriam." 

The first conception of " The Minister's Woo- 
ing " came to her in Newport. Rhode Island, dur- 
ing the summer of 1830. Her brother William 
began his ministry there, and she went to visit 
him. She became acquainted with the facts of the 
life and ministry of the Rev. Samuel Hopkins. 
What first fixed her attention was the inherent un- 
selfishness and nobleness of his character as illus- 
trated by his conduct in fearlessly denouncing 


slavery before his alave-bolding and slave-trading 
congregation. She was struck and thrilled by the 
thought that beneath the crust of dogmatic theo- 
logy there could beat a heart so true to the no- 
blest instincts of huioanity. Instantly about this 
nucleus there gathered the memory of the heart- 
break and anguish through which her sister Cath- 
erine had passed, and of which she herself had felt 
sympathetic vibrations. 

There then floated before her mind the outhne 
of a possible story in which these elements were 
to be combined. The thought of introducing love 
into the tale, as she afterwards did, came to her 
even then. To show the noble unselfishness of 
the Puritan divine he was to be in love with a 
member of his flock, a sweet Christian girl with 
a wild sailor lover. At the end the good minister 
shows himself capable of such supreme unselfish- 
ness in giving her up as to change completely the 
young man's attitude toward the Church and in- 
stituted Christianity by showing him that a creed 
is after all a plastic thing, and that even the stern 
hereditary faith of New England had in it ele- 
ments of tenderness and beauty. It is interesting 
to note that though Mr. Whittier knew nothing 
of this original conception of "The Minister's 



Wooing," yet it was this motif that he emphasizeB 
in his poem read at Mrs. StoWs birthday party. 

" Welcome of each and all lo her 
Whoee wooing of the MJnifiter 
Revealed the warm heart of the man 
Beneath the creed-hound Puritan, 
And taught the kinship of the love, 
Of man below and God above." 

To this original conception of "The Minister's 
Wooing," bom in the pain and anguish that came 
upon her through Henry Stowe's death, was added 
the cheerful pragmatisra of old Candace : "So 
don't you go to laying on your poor heart what 
no mortal creeter can live under; 'cause as we's 
got to live in dis yer world, it 's quite clar de Lord 
must ha' iixed it so we can ; and ef things was as 
some folks suppose, why, we could n't live, and dar 
wouldn't be no sense in anything dat goes on. 

"I'm clar Mass'r James is one o' de 'lect; and 
I'm clar dar's considerable more o' de 'lect dan 
people tink. Why, Jesus didn't die for nothing, 
— dat love ain't gwine to be wasted. De 'lect is 
more'n you or I knows, Honey ! . . . and ef Mass'r 
James is call and took, depend upon it de Lord 
has got him. . . ." 

Here, also, is the echo of the soul struggles of 

her sister Catherine after the death of her lover. 
Professor Fisher. 

After the first two or three chapters of " The 
Minister's Wooing" had been received, Mr. Low- 
ell, then editor of the Atlantic Monthly, wrote 
to Mrs. Stowe a letter full of encouragement. 
Among other things he said: " When I got the 
first number of the MS., I said to Mr. Phillips 
that I thought that it would be the best thing you 
had done, and what followed has only confirmed 
my first judgment. . . . 

" You are one of the few persons lucky enough 
to be bom with eyes in your head, — that is, with 
something behind the eyes that makes them of 
value. . . . 

" As for ' theology,' it is as much a part of 
daily life in New England as in Scotland, and all 
I should have to say about it is this, let it natu- 
rally crop out where it comes to the surface ; but 
don't dig down to it. A moral aim is a fine thing, 
but in making a story an artist is a traitor who 
does not sacrifice everything to art. . . ." 

Mr. Ruskin with fine literary instinct felt that 
Mrs. Stowe, for reasons to him unknown, had not 
entirely followed Mr. Lowell's advice, for he wrote 
to her after reading the book : " Still I know well 



that in many respects it was impOBsible for you to 
treat tliis story merely as a work of literary art. 
There must have been many facts that you could 
not dwelt upon, and which no one may judge by 
common rules." 

If Mrs. Stowe in any way fell short of Mr. 
Lowell's ideal in " The Minister's Wooing " she 
Certainly meant to redeem herself in "Oldtown 
Folks." She wrote to Mr. Fields in 1868, "My 
own book, instead of cooling, bolls and bubbles 
daily and nightly, and I am pushing and spurring 
like fury to get to it." 

"The story which had so taken possession of her 
mind and heart," remarks Mrs. Fields, " was ' Old- 
town Folks,' the one which she at the time fancied 
the best calculated of all her works to sustain the 
reputation of the author of ' Uncle Tom's Cabin.' ' 

The many proofs of her own interest in it seem 
to show that she had been moved to a livelier and 
deeper satisfaction in this creation than in any of 
her later productions. She writes respecting it, 
" It is more to me than a story ; it is my r^sum^ 
of the whole spirit and body of New England, a 
country which is now exerting such an influence 
on the civilized world that to know it truly be- 
comes an object." 


Id her preface to tbe book she lias said: *'My 
object is to interpret to tlie world tbe New Eng- 
land life and character in that pai'ticular time in 
its bistory that may be called the seminal period. 
I would endeavor to show you New England in 
its seed-bed, before the hot suna of modern pro- 
gress had developed its sprouting germs into the 
great trees of to-day. . . . New England people 
cannot be so interpreted without calling up many 
grave considerations and necessitating some serious 

" In doing this work I have tried to make my 
mind as still and passive aa a looking-glass, or a 
mountain lake, and then to give you tbe images 
reflected there. I desire that you should see the 
characteristic persons of those times, and hear 
them talk ; and sometimes I have taken an au- 
thor's liberty of explaining their charactera to you, 
and telling you why they talked and lived aa they 

"My studies for this object have been Pre- 
Raphaelite, — and taken from real characters, real 
scenes, and real incidents. And some of the things 
that may appear most romantic and like fiction 
are simple renderings and applications of facts. . . . 

" In portraying the various characters that I 


have introduced, I have tried to maintaiD the part 
simply of a spectator. I propose neither to teach 
nor preach through them, any farther than any 
spectator of life is preached to hy what he sees of 
the workings of human nature around him. 

"Though Calvinist, Armiuian, High -Church 
BpiBCOpaliau, sceptic, and simple believer all speak 
in their turn, I merely listen, and endeavor to un- 
derstand and faithfully represent the inner life of 
each. I myself am but the observerand reporter, 
seeing much, doubting much, questioning much, 
and beheving with all my heart only in a very few 

Mrs. Stowe found it no easy task to carry out 
this conception. For three long years or more the 
Btory, or whatever it may most fittingly be called, 
dragged its weary length along. She wrote to Mr. 
Fields : " As my friend Sam I^wson says, ' There 's 
things that can be druv, and then again there 'b 
things that can't,' and this is that kind, as has to 
be humored. Instead of rushing on, I have often 
turned back and written over with care, that nothing 
that I wanted to say might be omitted ; it has cost 
me a good deal of labor to elaborate this first part, 
namely, to build my theatre and to introduce my 
actors. . . ." The fact is the brave little woman 



was hard pressed by many cares, — an iDsufficient 
iDcotne, an invalid husband, and domestic griefs. 
She could certainly have done better work at this 
time bad it not been for the grinding necessity she 
was under of writing for money. 

" The thing has been an awful tax and labor," 
she writes again, " for I have tried to do it well. 
I may also say to you confidentially, that it has 
seemed as if every private care that could hinder 
me as woman and mother has been crowded into 
just this year that I have had this to do." 

Again before she sails for Florida she writes to 
Mr. Fields : " A story comes, grows like a flower, 
sometimes will and sometimes won't, like a pretty 
woman. When the spirits will help I can write. 
When they jeer, flout, make faces, and otherwise 
maltreat me, I can only wait humbly at their gates, 
and watch at the posts of their doors." 

The material for "Oldtown Folks" was fur- 
nished by Professor Stowe. *' Oldtown " was the 
Natick of his boyhood, a little hamlet some twenty- 
five miles from Boston, now known as South Na- 
tick. Before beginning the story, Mr. and Mrs. 
Stowe made frequent and extended visits to the 
place. In the main the characters and the events 
were as he remembered and reported them to her. 



That they lost Dothiog Id dramatic iaterest or 
quaintness by passing through the alembic of his 
mind is very certain. Professor Stowe was an in- 
imitable story-teller, with an ine}diaustible fund of 
humor. As a gentleman once remarked in view of 
a visit from him : " We must eat all we can before 
Professor Stowe comes, for after he arrives, I doubt 
if we can eat anything, be will keep us laughing 
so ! " Nearly every character and incident not only 
in "Oldtown Folks," but in the "Oldtown Fire- 
side Stones," were familiar to the whole Stowe 
family, from their having heard of them repeat- 
edly from Professor Stowe's lips, many years be- 
fore they were committed to writing. Yet Mrs. 
Stowe was not writing history or biography, but, 
as she has said, *' interpreting to the world New 
England life and character at a particular time of 
its history." Her aim was not to give an accurate 
portraiture of departed worthies of South Natick, 
which would have been at best a dreary and un- 
profitable enterprise. Some characters, however, 
are drawn to the life more nearly than others. 
Horace Holyoke is, for example, in spite of wide 
deviations from fact, Professor Stowe himself. 

Professor Stowe's father was not an auiemic, 
consumptive schoolmaster, but a jolly, jovial baker. 



the life of the village. He died early, leaving a 
widow and two boys, William and Calvin. Cal- 
vin's mother was the daughter of Deacon Wil- 
ham Bigelow, the Deacon Badger of " Oldtown 
Folks." The " Uncle Bill " of the book was Pro- 
fessor Stowe's uncle, William Bigelow, who gradu- 
ated from Harvard College in 1793. He was a 
brilliant but eccentric character, and in bis day 
a writer, and possessed inexhaustible fecundity as 
a maker of rhymes. For many years he was the 
Headmaster o£ the Boston Latin School, where be 
accompanied his instructions by the most aston- 
ishing extempore rhymes, as, for example : — 

" If yoa '11 bo good I '11 thank you. 
Bat if you won't I '11 epank you." 

After ruling over bis intractable school for many 
years with a rod of rattan, if not of iron, be was 
finally hurled from bis throne by an uprisingamong 
bis pupils, of which Ralph Waldo Emerson, him- 
self a stndent in the institution at the time, has 
given a graphic account. 

The Indians that figure in *' Oldtown Folks " 
are all drawn to the life, and even the names are 
authentic. William Bigelow was a great fun-maker 
and caricaturist, and Calvin Stowe was one of bis 


apt pupils. Uucle Fly, Grandma Badger, and Sam 
LawfiOD, together with many other characters of 
the book, are given largely ae they appeared in the 
eyes of these two incurable humorists. Some of 
the characters are of a more recent date, as, for 
example, Tina, who was Mrs. Stowe's youngest 

The supernatural element that is introduced so 
prominently into the book owes its presence to 
Professor Stowe's unusual psychic experiences. In 
March, 1872, he wrote to George Eliot : — 

" My interest in the subject of spiritualism arises 
from the fact of my own experience, more than 
sixty years ago, in my early childhood. 

" I then never thought of questioning the ob- 
jective reality of all I saw, and supposed that every- 
body else had the same experience. Of what this 
experience was you may gain some idea from cer- 
tain passages in 'Oldtown Folks.'" 

In a letter written to Mrs. Stowe shortly after- 
wards, Mrs. Lewes says, " I was much impressed 
with the fact — which you have told me — that he 
[Professor Stowe] was the original of the 'vision- 
ary boy ' in ' Oldtown Folks.'" 

Soon after the publication of the book Mrs. 
Stowe received from Geoi^e Eliot the following 


encouraging words: "I have received and read 
'Oldtown Folks.' I think that few of your read- 
ers can have felt more interest than I have felt 
in that picture of an older generation ; for my 
interest in it has a double root, — one in my 
own love for our old-fashioned provincial life, 
which has its afEinities with contemporary life, 
even all across the Atlantic, and of which I have 
gathered glimpses in different ])ha8es from my 
father and mother, with their relations ; the other 
is my experimental acquaintance with some shades 
of Calvinistic orthodoxy. I think your way of pre- 
senting the religious convictions that are not your 
own, except by way of indirect fellowship, \a a tri- 
umph of insight and true tolerance." 

The very heart of " Oldtown Folks " as a de- 
lineator of New England life and character is the 
chapter called " My Grandmother's Blue Book." 
It is drawn from nature with what Mrs. Stowe has 
designated as "Fre-Kaphaelite" exactness. It is a 
faithful portraiture of Mr. Stowe's grandmother, 
as he had known her, and through her of old New 
England : — 

"My grandmother, as I have shown, was a 
character in her way full of contradictions and 
inconsistencies, brave, generous, energetic, large- 


hearted, and impulfiive. Theoretically she was the , 
disciple o£ the sharpest aud severest Calvinism, 
and used to repeat Michael Wigglesworth's * Day 
of Doom ' to UB iu the chimuey corner of an even- 
ing with a reverent acquiescence in all its hard 
sayings, while practically she was the most pitiful, 
easy-to-he-eutreated mortal on earth, and was ever 
faUing a prey to any lazy vagabond who chose to 
make an appeal to her abounding charity. . . . 

" She could not in cool, deliberate moments even 
inflict transient and necessary pain For the greater 
good of a child, and resolutely shut her eyes to 
the necessity of such infliction. But there lay at 
the bottom of all this apparent inconsistency a deep 
cause that made it consistent, and that cause was 
tlie theologic stratum in which her mind, and the 
mind of all New England, was embedded. 

" Never, in the most intensely religious ages 
of the world, did the insoluble problems of the 
tchence, the tchi/, and the whither of mankind re- 
ceive such earnest attention. New England was 
founded by a colony who turned their backs on 
the civilization of the Old World on purpose that 
they might have nothing else to think of. Their 
object was to form a community that should think 
of DOthing else. 



" Working on a hard soil, battling with a harsh, 
uncongenial climate, everywhere being treated by 
nature with the most rigorous severity, they asked 
no indulgence, they got none, and they gave 

This conception of the inevitable connection 
between physical conditions and theological beliefs 
was a favorite one with Mrs. Stowe. Buckle could 
not have emphasized it more strongly. In 1873 
she wrote from Mandarin, Florida, to her brother 
Charles : " Never did we have so delicious a spring 1 
I never knew such altogether perfect weather. It is 
enough to make a saint out of the toughest old 
Calvinist that ever set his face as a flint. How do 
you think New England Theology would have 
fared if our fathers had landed here instead of on 
Plymouth Rock?" 

To turn again to her picture of the Puritan 
character in "Oldtown Folks" : " They never ex- 
pected to find truth agreeable. Nothing in their 
experience of hfe had ever prepared them to think 
that it would be so. Their investigations were 
made with the courage of the man who hopes 
little, bat determines to know tbe worst of his 
affairs. . . . The underlying foundation of life, 
therefore, in New England, was one of profound. 


unutterable, and therefore unuttered melancholy, 
which regarded human existence as a ghastly risk, 
and, in the case of the vast majority of human 
beings, an inconceivable misfortune." 

We have only to recall what her own sister 
Catherine had written her brother Edward in 1822 
to realize how this cheerless view of life had been 
early impreased upon Mrs. Stowe's mind : " I am 
most unhappy in the view which thia doctrine 
presents of my own state aud that of my fellow 
creatures, except the few who are redeemed from 
the curse. When I look at little Isabella, it seems 
a pity that she ever was born, and that it would 
be a mercy if she were taken away. I feel as Job 
did, that I could curse the day in which I was 
born. I wonder that Christians who realize the 
worth of an immortal soul should be wilhng to 
give life to immortal minds to be placed in such a 
dreadful world." 

" There is something most affecting," to con- 
tinne to quote from the book, " in the submissive 
devotion of these old Puritans to their God. No- 
thing shows more completely the indestructible 
nature of the filial tie that binds man to God . . . 
than the manner in which these men loved and 
worshipped and trusted God as the All-lovelyt 


even in the face of monstrous assertions of theo- 
logy ascribing to Him deeds which no lather 
could imitate without being cast out of human 
society and no governor without being handed 
down to all ages as a monster. . . . 

" I must beg my reader's pardon for all this, 
bat it is a fact, that the true tragedy of New 
England life, its deep, unutterable pathos, its en- 
durances and its sufferings, all depended upon and 
were woven into this constant wrestling of thought 
with infinite problems that could not be avoided, 
and which saddened the days of almost every one 
who grew up under it. . . ." 

To show how men and women were bom, and 
lived, and loved, suffered, hoped, and feared, in 
this bygone theological world, is the purpose 
of "Oldtown Folks." The otherwise unutterable 
gloom of the picture is alleviated by the quaint 
sayings and doings of Uncle Fly, Sam Lawson, 
and other mirth-provoking figures, that from time 
to time flit across the stage. The humor is the 
more effective because of the dark background 
against which it is shown. It ripples on the sur- 
face of the sadness of the life she is picturing as 
the sunlit waves dance on the bosom of the sullen 
stream, whose impenetrable depths no eye can 



fathom. In 1877 Mrs. Stowe wrote her last serial 
story. " Poganuc People " was to picture the 
scenes of her childhood as had " Oldtown Folks" 
those of Professor Stowe'a. " Poganuc " was 
Litchfield, and " Dolly," Hattie Beecher. It is 
a complete autobiography of Mrs. Stowe's child- 
hood. The old parsonage, with its garrets and 
cellars, yard and wood-pile, her father, her mo- 
ther, and her brothers, Litchfield hills and walks, 
the orchard, the meadow, the mowing lot and the 
woods, the beautiful lakes and the cleai^flowing 
Bantum River, are all sketched with loving fidel- 
ity. It is a pity that she had not done this earlier. 
As Dr. Holmes once said of her, " She was tired 
far into the future" long before she began it, 
and her days of authorship were all but spent. It 
lacks the strength and vigor of what she wrote of 
her reminiscences of childhood days for her far 
ther*s " Autobiography and Correspondence " j but 
for all that it has a sweet and quiet beauty all its 
own, like that of a fading sunset sky. 

When she began it she wrote to her son 
Charles : *' I am again entangled in writing a 
serial, a thing I never meant to do again, but the  
story, begun for a mere Christmas brochure, grew 
so under my hands that I thought I might as 



well fill it out and make a book of it. It ia the 
last thing of the kind I ever expect to do. In it 
I condense my recollections of a by-gone era, in 
which I was brought up, the ways and manners 
of which are nearly as obsolete as the Old England 
of Dickens' stories. 

" I am so hampered by the necessity of writing 
this story that I am obliged to give up company 
and visiting of all kinds and keep my strength 
for it. I hope I may be able to finish it, as I 
greatly desire to do so, but I begin to feel that I 
am not so strong as I used to be. Your mother 
is an old woman, . . . and it is best that she 
should give up writing before people are tired of 
reading her." 

After it was finished she wrote to Dr. Holmes : 
"I sent ' Poganuc People' to you and Mrs. 
Holmes as being among the few who knew those 
old days. It is an extremely quiet story for these 
sensational times, when heaven and earth seem to 
be racked for a thrill ; but as I get old I love to 
think of those quiet, simple times when there was 
not a poor person in the parish, and the changing 
glories of the year were the only spectacle." 

In " Poganuc People " Mrs. Stowe figures as 
" DoUy." 


" It was Dolly's lot to enter the family at a pe- 
riod whcD babies were no longer a novelty, when 
the house was full of the wants and clamors of 
older children, and the mother at her very wita' 
end with a confusion of jackets, and trousers, soap, 
candles, and groceries, and the endless harassments 
of making both ends meet that pertain to the lot 
of a poor country minister's wife." Here is a most 
faithful picture of the conditions under which 
she herself came into the world. And there fol- 
lows a picture of her brothers as she remembered 
them in her childhood : "Dolly's brothers nearest 
her own age were studying in the academy, and 
spouting scraps of superior Latin at her to make 
her stare and wonder at their learning. They were 
tearing, noisy, tempestuous boys, good-natured 
enough and wilHng to pet her at intervals, but 
prompt to suggest ' that it was time for Dolly to 
go to bed,' when her questions or her gambols 
interfered with their evening pleasures." 

The interest of tlie book turns largely on that 
event in the history of the Stute of Connecticut 
known as "The Downfall of the Standing Order," 
which took place through the adoption of a new 
constitution whereby the Congregational churches 
DO longer enjoyed the peculiar privileges that had 



been theirs from the first; they were, in fact, dis- 
established. This was accomplished by a combi- 
nation of many elements against the Federalists, 
among others the Democrats and the Episcopa- 
lians. Doctor Beecher was, of course, a staunch Fed- 
eraUst, and looked with consternation on what was 
transpiring about him and in spite of him. As he 
afterwards said to his children many times in look- 
ing back upon this period, " I suffered more thao 
tongue can tell for the best thing that ever hap- 
pened to the churches of Connecticut." 

The day after the election he sat in an old rush- 
bottomed chair in the kitchen, his face buried in 
his hands, and the tears trickling through his fin- 
gers, the picture of dejection and despair. 

"What are you thinking about, father?" asked 
his daughter Catherine. 

"The Church of God, my child ! The Church 
of God ! " he sobbed. This scene made an endui^ 
ing impression on Mrs. Stowe's mind in her child- 
hood, and she has pictured it in " Poganuc People" 
as it took form in ber memory. 

"Dolly went to bed that night, her little soul 
surging and boiling with conjecture. All day long 
scraps of talk about the election had reached her 
ears. She heard her brother Will say that ' the 


Democrats were goiQg to upset the whole state, for 
father said so.' 

" Exactly what this meant DoUy could not con- 
ceive, but, coupled with her mother's sorrowful 
face and her father's agonizing prayers, it must 
mean something dreadful. Something of danger 
to them all might be at hand, and she said her 
'pray God to bless my dear father and mother* 
with unusual fervor. . . . 

" Id the morning, she sprang up, and dressed 
quickly, and ran to the window. Evidently the 
state had not been upset during the night, for the 
morning was bright, clear, and glorious as ihe 
heart could desire. . . ." 

Then, there is this real incident of her tittle girl- 
hood. At family prayers her father poured out the 
anguish that oppressed his soul "in a voice trem- 
ulous and choking with emotion. . . . 

" Little Dolly cried from a strange, childish fear 
because of the trouble in her father's voice. The 
pleading tones affected her, she knew not why. 
The boys felt a martial determiuatioo to stand by 
their father, and a longing to fight for him. All 
felt as if something deep and dreadful must have 
happened, and after prayers Dolly climbed into her 
father's lap, and put both arms around his neck. 


and said, 'Papa, there sbaa't any thing hurt you. 
I '11 defend you ! ' She was somewhat abashed by the 
cheerful laugh that followed, but the doctor kissed 
her, and said, 'So jou shall, dear I Be sure and 
not let anything catch me.' And then he tossed 
her up in his arms gleefully, and she felt as if the 
trouble, whatever it was, could not be quite hope- 

In the following extract we have the restful at- 
mosphere of Mrs. Stowe's childhood : " It is diffi- 
cult in this era of railroads and steam to give any 
idea of the depths of absolute stillness and repose 
that brooded in the summer skies over the wooded 
hills of 'Poganuc' [Litchfield]. No daily paper 
told the news of distant cities. Summer traveling 
was done in stages, and was long and wearisome, 
and therefore there was little of that. Everybody 
stayed at home and expected to stay there the year 
through. A journey from Litchfield to Boston or 
New York was more of an undertaking in those 
days than a journey to Europe is in ours. Now and 
then some of the great square houses on the street 
of Litchfield Centre received a summer visitor, and 
then everybody in town knew it, and knew all 
about it. The visitor's family, rank, position in life, 
probable amount of property, and genealogy to 


remote ancestors were freely discussed and settled, 
till all Litchfield was fully informed. Tlie elect cii^ 
cle of Litchfield called ou them, and made stately 
tea-parties iu their honor, and these entertainments 
pleasantly rippled the placid surface of society. 
But life went on therewith a sort of dreamy still- 
ness. The different summer flowers came out in 
their successive ranks in the neatly kept gar- 
den ; roses followed peonies and white lilies came 
and went, and crimson and white phloxes stood 
ranged in midsummer ranks, and the yellow 
tribes of marigolds brought up the autumnal sea- 

Goethe, in oft-quoted and familiar lines, has said 
that a talent is born in quietness and repose, but 
that a character is formed in the storm of life. 
Mrs. Stowe had both. She carried repose even into 
the storm of life, as if the quietness of those child- 
hood days, pictured in "Poganuc People," had 
passed into her inmost soul. Just as she lived all 
phases, so she has portrayed all phases of New 
England ; its restfuloess and calm, its storm and 

One who bad known and delineated New En^ 
land life and character side by side with Mrs. Stowe, 
and who knew it as well and had portrayed it 


as truthf uUy as she^ the poet Whittier^ brings a 
fitting tribute to her in the lines : — 

'^ To her whoee yigoroiu pencil strokes 
Sketched into life her Oldtown Folksy 

Whoee firetide stories grave or gay 
In qaaint Sam Lawson's vagrant wajr. 

With old New England's flavor rife, 
Waifs from her rude idyllic life." 



One of Mr8. Stowe's most strongly marked char- 
acteristics was her love for am] devotion to her 
friends. As she wrote to herfriend GeorgianaMay, 
when still a very young giri: "The greater part 
that I see cannot move me deeply. They are pres- 
ent, and I eujoy them ; they pass, and I forget them. 
But those that I love differently ; those that I 
love; and oh, how much that word means I" 
There was nothing that she would not do for those 
she loved. Her time, her strength, her purse, and 
everything that she had, was theirs. No gift was 
too costly, no sacrifice too great, to lay at their 
feet. This side of Mrs. Stowe's nature was to find 
its crowning manifestation in the publication by 
her, in the September Atlantic in 1869, of the 
article on Lord Byron which made her the storm 
centre of a perfect cyclone of adverse criticism. 

She was at this time at the summit of her fame. 
Her name was a revered and honored one in thou- 
sands of homes and hearts on either side of the 


Atlantic. Whatever she wrote was read with con- 
fidence and appreciation. To jeopardize all this by 
dragging out into the light o£ day a scandal so 
reeking with moral rottenness as to befoul each 
and every mind that should come in contact with it 
seems, from a purely worldly point of view, reck- 
lessness little short of madness. She was urged not 
to do it ; even her own husband plead with her and 
begged her to stay her hand. Her son Charles 
joined his father in urging her not to publish 
the article after she bad read it to him at a quiet 
sea-side resort during the summer of 1869. But 
she set her face as a flint, and to every objection 
she said, in substance : *' My friend Lady Byron is 
Tilified, disgraced, and covered with infamy by the 
hand of Lord Byron's mistress ! I know the truth 
in all this horrid business I I am one who can speak 
the truth that shall set her right before the world 
If others who could speak would speak and clear 
her name of these vile slanders then I could be si- 
lent. I could never respect myself, nor have one 
moment's peace, did I keep silence at this time. I 
cannot, and I will not, sit calmly by and see my 
friend insulted, outraged, and her fair name tram- 
pled in the dust while I have it in my power to de- 
fend her ! " 


So she acted and braved the consequences^ which 
were what her friends had foreseen. She felt most 
keenly the abuse that was hurled at her. Not all 
the denunciation that came upon her for the writing 
of " Uncle Tom's Cabin " was to be compared with 
that which this article brought on the devoted little 
woman. Deeply as she felt it, she was sustained by 
the thought, " This is the sacrifice I bring to a dear 
friend who is silent in the grave, and for whom I 
speak as she cannot speak for herself." Constituted 
as she was, she could not have done otherwise. 
Where the reputation of a friend was to be de- 
fended, or the sacred trust which, as she felt, that 
friend had laid upon her was to be executed, there 
could be no counting of pain or loss. A colder and 
more cautious nature would have acted very differ- 
ently under the circumstances. It gives the whole 
event a flavor of romance when we remember that 
Byron was the idol of her childhood. It was like a 
fairy story for her to be brought into such intimate 
relations with Lady Byron. It was like a tragedy 
for bertocome out as the accuser of Lord Byron. 
Her son Charles vividly recalls his mother reading 
to him from "The Bride of Corinth" the scene 
■where the spirit wife returning to earth gives 
her reckless and wicked husband time for repent- 



ance wbUea cloud is sweeping over the surface of 
the mooD, and herapplication of this dramatic pas- 
sage to the personal life of Lord Byron. She felt 
that Lord Byron was possessed by an insanity of 
TrickedneBS that made him say, "Evil be thou my 
good!" Then she spoke of her conviction that 
there was great good in ByroQ, that he had a 
richly endowed and magniiiceDt being. She evi- 
dently felt as her father had felt when he said, 
"Oh, I'm sorry that Byron 's dead. I did hope he 
would live to do something for Christ. What a 
harp he might have swept! " 

Even more intense than Mrs. Stowe's devotioo 
to her friends was her love for her children. There 
was an overflowing of her heart at times that 
made her whole being tremulous with love. She 
loved all her children with an equal bountifulness, 
but any weakness, sickness, or waywardness only 
intensified the love that loved the more, the more 
the need of love. So when her son. Captain Fred 
Stowe, came out of the war shattered in mind and 
body, it was upon him she poured out all the rich- 
ness of her affection. Over his saddened spirit and 
wrecked and ruined life she hovered, throwing 
about him an atmosphere of tender protection. 
Since the all but fatal wound which he had received 



on the field of GettyBburg, the poor fellow was so 
infinn of purpose and weak of will that he was 
swept hither aud thither by the impulse of the mo- 
men t. Loving his mother most devotedly, and long- 
ing to be to her what he felt he ought to be, he 
lacked the will power to resist temptation. Every- 
thing was done that could be done. For his sake 
the Florida place was purchased. His father under- 
took a voyage to Spain in his company and for his 
benefit. The years that Mrs. Stowe was writing 
"Oldtown Folks" were years of crushing domeB- 
tio grief, largely on account of this invalid son. At 
last, feehng that he was too heavy a burden to his 
mother, and that she had done all she could for 
him, he took passage on a ship, and sailed away 
around Cape Horn to San Francisco. This was all 
unknown to his mother, and came as a great shock. 
On the arrival of the ship in San Francisco, be 
was met by friends and taken to a hotel. He went 
out from the hotel, saying that he would return in 
a few minutes. Though every e£Fort was made by the 
poUce, from that hour to this there has been nothing 
to throw the least light upon his fate. In spite of 
his infirmities, acquired in fighting for his country, 
he was one of the most lovable of men. He had 
many and unusual excellences of character, beside 



rare eodowments that migbt have made him a 
hleasing to his kind in his profession as a physician. 
His last act, even if misgitided, was unselfish and 
noble. Having in vain tried and tried again to COQ- 
quer his faults, he felt that he must go away and 
never return home unless and until he should 
again become master of himself. God only knows 
how constantly his mother watched and waited and 
longed for his return. She writes to a friend who 
has lost a son, " Think of your blessedness by 
my sorrow. Where is my poor Fred ? You know 
where Frank is, and that he is safe and blessed. 
I never forget my boy. Can a woman forget her 
child ? " She could not give him up ; and at the 
last, when her mental powers began to fail, it 
was of him she talked most constantly, and for 
him that her heart yearned with a longing unut- 

In the autumn of 1871 Mrs. Stowe writes to 
her daughters : " I have at last finished all my part 
in the third book of mine that is to come out 
this year, to wit, ' Oldtown Fireside Stories,' and 
you can have no idea what a perfect luxury of 
rest it is to have no literary engagements, of all 
kinds, sorts, or descriptions. I feel like a poor 
woman I once read about, — 


'Who always was tired, 
Caiue she lived in a tioase 
Where help was n't hired,' 

and of vhom it is related that in her dying mo- 
ments, — 

' She folded her hands 

With latest endeavor, 

Saying nothing, dear nothing', 

Sweet nothing forever.' 

I am in about her state of mind. I luxuriate in 
laziness. I do not want to do anything nor to go 
anywhere. I only want to sink down into the lazy 
enjoyment of living." It would seem that she had 
earned the right to "sink down into the lazy en- 
joyment of living " if any one ever had. She had 
at this time written twenty-three hooks in addi- 
tion to short stories, essays, letters of travel, and 
magazine articles well-nigh innumerable. With all 
this already accomplished there were still in wait- 
ing seven hooks to be written before the close of 
her literary career. 

In 1872 a new and remunerative field opened 
to her, which, though it entailed a formidable 
amount of hard and exhausting work, she entered 
upon with the ardor and enthusiasm of youth. It 
was a proposal from the American Literary Bu- 


reaa of Boston to deliver a course of forty readiugs 
from her own works in the principal cities of New 
England. The offer was a liberal one, she needed 
the money, and so accepted it on condition that 
all should be over in time for her to return to her 
Florida home in December, — a month or so later 
than was her habit. She begins her lectures, and 
writes to her husband that she thinks it " on the 
whole as easy a way of making money as she has 
ever tried, though no way of making money ia 
perfectly easy." Professor Stowe, as usual, 13 
heart-broken over her absence from home, and 
writes her a most dismal epistle, threatening to die 
if she does not come home immediately. To this 
letter she replies half -playfully, half-earnestly, 
" Now, my dear husband, please do wait, and try 
to remain with us a little longer, and let us have 
a little quiet evening together before either of as 
crosses the river." 

She evidently enjoys her andiences and they en- 
joy her, and she reads Sam Lawson stories till all 
are dissolved in laughter. Manifestly her person- 
ality was the chief attraction. One woman, abso- 
lutely deaf, came up to her after one of her read- 
ings, and said, ^' Bless you. I come jist to see you, 
and I 'd ruther see you than the Queen." Another 


voman introduced her two daughters, the oldest 
named Harriet Beecher, and the youngest, Eva. 
Nothing escapes her quick, obBervaot eye as she 
travels. As she rides along the banks of the Ken- 
nebec she observes, " The scenery along this river 
is very fine. The oaks still keep their leaves, 
though the other trees are bare ; but oaks aod pines 
make a pleasant contrast." She finds a great dif- 
ference in audiences. " Some audiences," she ob- 
serves, " take the spring out of you and some put 
it in ! " At last she writes : " Well, my course is 
almost done, and if I get through without any 
sickness, cold, or accident, how wonderful it will 
seem ! I have never felt the near, kind presence 
of our Heavenly Father so much as in this, 'He 
giveth power to the faint, and to them that have 
no might He increaseth strength.' I have found 
this true all my life. . . . Well, dear old man, I 
think lots of yuu, and only want to end all this in 
our quiet home, where we can sing 'John Ander- 
son my Jo' together." 

The next winter she reads at the West, and visits 
her old home in Cinciunati. At Dayton she meets 
a woman whom she had known as a little girl in 
her brother George's parish many years before. 
Of her she writes : " Now she has one son who is 


a judge of the Supreme Court and another id buei- 
ness. Both she and they are not only Christians, 
but Christians of the primitive sort, whose religion 
is their alt ; who triumph and glory in tribulation, 
knowing that it worketh patience. She told me 
with a bright, sweet calm of her husband killed in 
battle the first year of the war, of her only daugh- 
ter and two grandchildren dying in the faith, and of 
her own happy waiting on God's will, with bright 
hopes of a joyful reunion. . . . When I thought 
that all this came from the conversion of one giddy 
girl, when George seemed to be doing so little, I 
said, 'Who can measure the work of a faithful 
minister?'" After completing this Western tour 
Mrs. Stowe gave no more public readings, though 
she often read in private parlors for the benefit 
of churches and various charities. 

After the death of Henry Stowe, the subject of 
spiritualism came to have an unusual fascination 
for his parents. Yet both of them came later into 
a more critical attitude with regard to the whole 
matter of physical manifestations. Professor Stowe 
came to a point where he doubted very seriously 
the objectivity of his own very marked and pecul- 
iar psychic experiences. It was about this time that 
Mrs. Stowe gave expression to the foUowing views 


which may be regarded as her final conclusions 
ODthe subject after many years of meditation and 
patient research: "Each friend takes away a por- 
tion of ourselves. There was some part of our being 
related to him as to no other, and we had things 
to say to him that no otber would understand or 
appreciate. A portion of our thoughts have become 
useless and burdensome, and again and again, with 
involuntary yearning, we turn to the stone at the 
door of the sepulchre. We lean against the cold, 
silent marble, but there is no answer, — no voice, 
□either any that regardeth. There are those who 
would have us think that in our day this doom is 
reversed ; that there are those who have the power 
to restore to us the communion of our lost ones. 
How many a heart, wrung and tortured with the 
anguish of this fearful silence, has throbbed with 
strange vague hopes at the suggestion. When we 
hear sometimes of persons of the strongest and 
clearest minds becoming credulous votaries of cer- 
tain spirituahst circles, let us not wonder : if we 
inquire we shall almost always find that the belief 
has followed some stroke of death ; it is only an 
indication of the desperation of that heart-hunger 
which it in part appeases. 

" Ah, were it true ! Were it indeed so that the 




wall between the material and the spiritual is grow- 
ing thin, and a new dispensation germinating in 
which communion with the departed blest shall 
he among the privileges of this mortal state. Ah, 
were it so that when we go forth weeping in the 
gray dawn, for the beloved dead, bearing spices 
and odors wherewith to embalm them, we should 
indeed find the stone rolled away and an angel 
sitting on it. 

" But for us the stone must be rolled away by 
an unquestionable angel, whose countenance is as 
the lightning, who executes no doubtful juggle 
by pale moonlight nor starlight, hut rolls back the 
stone in fair open morning and sits on it. Then, 
we could bless God for his mighty gift, and with 
love and awe and reverence take up that fellow- 
ship with another life and weave it reverently and 
trustingly into the web of our daily course. But 
no such angel have we seen, — no such sublime, 
unquestionable, glorious manifestation. And when 
we look at what is offered to us, ah, who that had 
friend in heaven could wish them to return in 
such wise as this? The very instinct of a sacred soi^ 
row seems to forbid that our beautiful, our glori- 
fied ones should stoop lower than even to the 
medium of thetr cast-oS bodies, to juggle, rap, and 


squeak, and perform mountebank tricks with tables 
and chairs ; to recite over in wearj sameness harm- 
less truisms, which we were wise enough to say 
for ourselves j to trifle, and banter, and jest, or to 
lead us through endless moonshinj mazes. Sadly 
and soberly we say that if this be communion with 
the dead we had rather be without it. We want 
something a little in advance of our present life 
and not below it. We have read with some atten- 
tion weary pages of spiritual communication par- 
porting to come from Bacon, Swedenborg, and 
others, and long accounts from divers spirits of 
things seen in the spirit-land, and we can conceive 
of no more appalling prospect than to have them 
true. If the future life is so weary, stale, flat, and 
unprofitable as we might infer from these readings, 
one would have reason to deplore an inunortality 
from which no suicide could give an outlet. To 
be condemned to be bored by such eternal prosing 
would be worse than annihilation." 

At the time that her brother, the Rev. Henry 
Ward Beecher, was passing through with that most 
painful experience of his life, — his trial in open 
court on certain charges involving his character as 
a man and a citizen, to say nothing of his standing 
as a Christian minister, -~ Mrs. Stowe wrote die 



following letter to her friend Mrs. Lewea (George 
Eliot) : " I feel myself at last as one who has been 
playing and picnicking on the shores of life, and 
waked from a dream to find everybody almost haa 
gone over to the beyond. And the rest are sorting 
their things and packing their trunks and waiting 
for the boat to come and take them. It seems now 
but a little time since my brother Henry and I were 
two young people together. He was my two years 
junior and nearest companion out of seven brothers 
and three sisters. I taught him drawing and heard 
his Latin lessons, for you know a girl becomes ma- 
ture and womanly long before a boy. I saw him 
through college, and helped him through the diffi- 
cult love aSair that gave him his wife ; and then 
be and my husband had a real enthusiastic Ger- 
man sort of love for one another, which ended in 
making me a wife. Ah ! in those days we never 
dreamed that he or I, or any of us, were to be known 
in the world. All he then seemed was a boy full of 
fun, full of love, full of enthusiasm for protecting 
abused and righting wronged people, which made 
him in those early days write editorials, and wear 
arms, and have himself sworn in as a special 
policeman to protect poor negroes in Cincinnati, 
where we then lived, when there were mobs insti- 


gated by the slave-liolderB of Kentucky. Then he 
married and lived a missionary life in the new 
West, all with a joyousness, an eDthnsiasm, a chiv- 
alry which made life bright and vigorous to us 
both. Then in time he was called to Brooklyn, just 
as the crisis of the great Anti-Slavery battle came 
on, and the Fugitive Slave Law was passed. I was 
then in Maine, and I well remember his riding till 
midnight one snowy night to see me, and then our 
talking till near morning, what we could do to 
make headway against the horrid cruelties that 
were being practiced against the defenceless blacks. 
My husband was then away lecturing and my heart 
was burning itself out in indignation and anguish. 
Henry told me that he meant to fight the battle 
in New York, and that he would have a church 
that would stand by him in resisting the tyranni- 
cal dictation of slave-holders. I said, ' I, too, have 
begun to do something ; I have begun a story try- 
ing to set forth the sufferings and the wrongs of 
the slaves.' 'That's right, Hattie 1 ' he said, * finish 
it, and I will scatter it thicker than the leaves of 
Vallombrosa,' and so came ' Uncle Tom,' and 
Plymouth Church became a stronghold where the 
slave always found refuge and a strong helper. 
One morning my brother found sitting on his 



doorstep old Paul EdiuuDsoti, weeping; his two 
daughters, of sixteen and eighteen, had passed into 
the elave-warehouse of Bruin and Hill, and were 
to he sold. My brother took the man hy the 
hand to a puhlic meeting, told his story for him, 
and in an hour raised the two thousand dollars to 
redeem his children. Over and over again after- 
wards at Plymouth Church slaves were redeemed, 
Henry and Plymouth Church became words of 
hatred and fear through half the Union. From 
that time we talked together about the Fugitive 
Slave Law there has not been a pause or a stop in 
the battle till we had been through the war and 
slavery had been wiped out in blood. Through it 
all be has been pouring himself out, wrestling, 
burning, laboring everywhere, making stump 
speeches when elections turned on the slave ques- 
tion, and ever maintaining that the cause of Christ 
was the cause of the slave. And when it was all 
over, it was he and Lloyd Garrison who were sent 
by the government to raise our national flag once 
more over Fort Sumter. You must see that a man 
does not so energize without making enemies. . . . 
Then he has been a progressive in theology. He 
has been a student of Huxley, and Spencer, and 
Darwin, — enough to alarm the old school, and 


yet remamed so ardent a Bupernaturaliat as to repel 
the more radical destructiouists in religion. He and 
I are Christ worshippers, adoring Him as the image 
o£ the invisible God, and all that comes from be- 
lieving this. Then he has been a reformer and an 
advocate of universal suffrage and woman's rights, 
yet not radical enough to please that reform party 
who stand where the Socialists of France do, and are 
for tearing up all creation generally. Last1y,he has 
had the misfortune of a popularity that is perfectly 
phenomenal. I cannot give you any idea of the 
love, worship, and idolatry with which he has been 
overwhelmed. He has something magnetic about 
him that makes men follow him, and worship 
him. . . . 

*' My brother is hopelessly generous and con- 
fiding. His inability to believe evil is something 
incredible, and so has come all this suffering. Yoa 
said you hoped I should be at rest when the 
first investigating committee cleared my brother 
aknost by acclamation. Not so. The enemy have 
eo committed themselves that either they or he 
must die, and there has followed two years of the 
most dreadful struggle. First, a legal trial of six i 
months, the expenses of which on his side were 
one hundred and eighteen thousand dollars, and 



in which he and his brave wife sat side by side in 
the court room and heard all that these plotters 
who had been weaving their weba for three years 
could bring. The foreman of the jury was offered 
a bribe of ten thousand dollars to decide against 
my brother. But with all their plotting the jury 
decided against them, and their case was lost. . . . 
This has drawn on my life, my heart's blood. He 
is myself ; I know you are the kind of woman to 
understand me when I say that I felt a blow at 
him more than at myself. I, who know his purity, 
honor, delicacy, know that he has been from 
childhood of an ideal purity, who reverenced his 
conscience as his king, whose glory was redress- 
ing human wrong, who spake no slander, no, nor 
listened to it! Never have I known a nature of 
such strength and such almost childlike innocence. 
He is of a nature so sweet and perfect that, 
though I have seen him thunderously indignant at 
moments, I never saw him fretful or irritable, — 
a man who continuously and in every Httte act of 
life is thinking of others, a man that all the chil- 
dren on the street run after, and that every sor- 
rowful, weak, or distressed person looks to as a 
natural helper. In all this long history there has 
been no circumstance in his relation to any woman 


tbat hats not been worthy of himself, — pure, 
dehcate, and proper ; and I know all sides of it, 
and certainly should not say this if there were a 
niiHgiving. Thank God, there is none, and I can 
read my New Testament, and feel that by all the 
Beatitudes my brother is blessed." 

Almost ten years before this time Mrs. Stowe's 
strong, prophetic insight had led her to foresee 
that some such fate might one day overtake her 
best loved brother. In a letter to Mr. Howard of 
The Chriniian Union, she wrote : " I feel, the 
more I think of it, sure that the world that hates 
Christ is just as real in our times as it was in his. 
... I have pondered that question in relation to 
Henry's popularity ; but I feel that the world 
really does hate him to a degree tbat makes it 
safe to hope tbat he is about right. Such demon- 
strations as now and then occur show that they 
are only waiting for him to be down to spring on 
him, ... in proportion as be makes Christianity 
aggressive on sin they are malignant and will 
spring joyfully on bim when their time comes." 

It was about this time, 1882, that Mrs. Stowe 
wrote to her son Charles : " I have been looking 
over and arranging my papers with a view to sift- 
ing out those that are not worth keeping, and to 


filing and arranging those that are to be kept 
that my heirs and assigns may with less trouhle 
know where and what they are. I cannot describe 
to you the peculiar feelings which this review 
occasions. Reading old letters, — when so many 
of the writers are gone from earth, seems to me 
like going into the world of spirits, — letters full 
of the warm, eager, busy life that is forever past. 
My own letters, too, full of bygone scenes of my 
early life and the childish days of my children. It 
is affecting to me to recall things that strongly 
moved me years ago, that filled my thoughts and 
made me anxious, when the occasion and the emo- 
tion have wholly vanished from my mind. But I 
thank God there is one thing running through 
all of them since I was thirteen years old, and 
that is the intense, unwavering sense of Christ's 
educating, guiding presence and care. It is all that 
remains now. The romance of my youth is faded, 
it looks to me now, from my years, so very young, 
— those days when my mind lived only in emo- 
tion, and when my letters never were dated, be- 
cause they were only histories of the internal, but 
now that I am no more and never can be young 
in this world, now that the friends of those days 
are almost all iu eternity, what remains ? . . . I 



waa passionate in my attachments in those far. 
back years, and as I have looked over files of old 
letters they are all gone [her oldest friends] 
I have letters from them all, but they have beea 
long in the spirit-land, and know far better how 
it is there than I can. It gives me a sort of dizzy 
feeling as to the shortness of life and the near- 
ness of eternity when I see how many I have 
traveled with are gone within the veil. Then there 
are all my own letters written in the first two 
years of my marriage, when Mr. Stowe was in 
Europe and I was looking forward to motherhood, 
and preparing for it. Then my letters when my 
whole life was within the four walls of my nui^ 
sery, my thoughts absorbed by the developing 
character of children who have lived their earthly 
life and gone to the eternal one, — my two boys, 
each in his way good and lovely, whom Christ has 
taken in youth, and my little one, my first Char- 
ley, whom he took away before he knew sin or 
sorrow, — then my brother George, and sister 
Catherine, the one the companion of my youth, 
and the other the mother who assumed care of 
me after I had left home in my twelfth year, — 
and they are gone. Then my blessed father, for 
80 many years for me so true an image of the 




Heavenly Father, — in all my afBictions he was 
afflicted, in all my perplexities he was a sure and 
safe counselor, aod he, too, is gooe upwards to 
join the angelic mother whom I scarcely knew in 
this world, but who has been to me only a spirit- 
ual presence through life." 

Nothing is sweeter than this devoted love that 
Mrs. Stowe and all her brothers aod sisters bore 
to theur mother. At the garden party tendered Mrs. 
Stowe on her seventieth birthday by her pub- 
lishers at the home of ex -Governor Claflin at 
Newtonville, Massachusetts, Henry Ward Beecher, 
when called upon to speak, had but one thought, 
and that was " Our Mother." He said : " Of course 
you all sympathize with me to-day ; but, standing 
in this place, I do not see your face more clearly 
than I see those o£ my father and mother. Her I 
knew only as a mere babe child, he was my 
teacher and companion. A more guileless soul 
than he, a more honest one, more free from envy, 
from jealou6y,and from selfishness, I never knew. 
Though he thought he was great by his theology, 
every one else knew he was great by his religion. 
My mother is to me what the Virgin Mary is to 
the devout Catholic. She was a woman of great 
nature, profound as a philosophical thinker, great 


in argument, with a kind of intellectual iraagina- 
tdon, diffident, not talkative, such was the woman 
who gave birth to Mrs. Stowe, whose graces and 
excellences she probably more than any of her 
children — we number thirteen - — has possessed. 
I suppose that in bodily resemblance^ perhaps, she 
is not like my mother, but in mind she is most 
like her." 

From this time on Mrs. Stowe devoted herself 
to her husband, and refused to leave bis side. 
She had very exalted ideals of what a wife should 
be to an invalid hushaud, and her devotion knew 
no bounds. He loved her with all the intensity of 
his being, and with his increasing weakness clung 
to her with the pathetic helplessness of a little 
child. She went far beyond the limit of her 
physical strength in ministering to his needs, and 
probably in this way hastened the breaking down 
of her own constitution. For a long time she 
would not hear of having a nurse for him, and 
insisted on doing herself everything that his con- 
dition required, till at last compelled to yield him 
up to trained and skillful hands. If this was a 
failing, it may be truly said that " e*en her failings 
leaned to virtue's side." Professor Stowe died 
on the 6th of August, 1886. As the light of the 





setting sun ehone into the room he opened his 
eyes, and apparently gazing far oS beyond the 
distant hills, murmured to himself, '* Peace with 
God I Peace with God," then closed his eyes and 
fell into a quiet slumber to wake no more. The 
death of her husband was followed in quick suc- 
cession by the death of her brother Henry Ward, 
and her youngest daughter, Georgiana May. 
Georgiana was the most brilliant and gifted of 
all Mrs. Stowe's children, and was, in fact, the 
only one who could be truly said to have inherited 
real genius. Mrs. Stowe has drawn her to the life 
in the character of Tina in " Oldtown Folks " ; 
Tina, whose self-will runs in the channel of the 
most charming persuasiveness. " She has all sorts 
of pretty phrases, and would talk a bird oS a 
bush, or a trout out of a brook, by dint of sheer 
persistent eloquence ; and she is always so de- 
lightfully certain that her way is the right one. 
. . . Then she has no end of those peculiar gifts of 
entertainment which are rather dangerous things 
for a young woman. She is a born mimic, she is 
a natural actress, and she has always a repartee or 
a smart saying quite apropos at the tip of her 

Mrs. Stowe gives a letter of Tina's> every word 




of which might have been written by her own 
daughter, " Do you know, Aunty, I have got so 
that I can look exactly like a squirrel ? We saw 
ever so many on the way, and I got a great many 
new hints on the subject, and now I can do squirrel 
in four or five different attitudes, and the boys 
almost kill themselves laughing." The loss of this 
child, after a loug and depressing illness, was a 
crushing grief to Mrs. Stowe. From this time on 
her thoughts turned away more and more from 
things of earth. " I have thought much lately of 
iny leaving you all and going home," she writes 
to a distant friend. " I have come to that stage of 
my pilgrimage that is within sight of the River 
of Death, and I feel that now I must have all in 
readiness day and night for the messenger of the 
King. I have sometimes had in my sleep strange 
perceptions of a vivid spiritual hfe near to and 
with Christ, and multitudes of holy ones, and the 
joy of it is like no other joy, — it cannot be told 
in the language of this world. What I have then 
I know with absolute certainty, yet it ia so unlike 
anything we conceive of in this world that it ia 
difficult to put it into words. The inconceivable 
loveUness of Christ ! It seems that about Him is 
a sphere where the enthusiasm of love is the calm 


habit of the soul, that without words, without the 
necessity of demonstratioos of a£FectioD, heart 
beats to heart, soul answers to soul, we respond to 
the Infinite Love, and we feel his answer in us, 
and there is no need of words. All seemed to be 
coming and going on ministries of good, and 
passing each gave a thrill of joy to each, as Jesus, 
the directing soul, and centre of all, over all, and 
through all, was working his beautiful and merci- 
ful will to redeem and save. I was saying as I 
awoke : — 

'Tis joy enough, my all in aU, 
At Thy dear feet to lie. 

Thou wilt not let me lower fall. 
And none can higher fly. 

This was but a glimpse ; but it has left a strange 
sweetness in my mind." 

It was about this time that she wrote to her 
brother Edward, "I feel about aU things now as 
I do about the things that happen in a hotel after 
my trunk is packed to go home. I may be vexed 
or annoyed; but what of it? I am going home 
soon ! " Shortly after this, in the last real letter 
which her sinking strength permitted, she writes 
to Mrs. Howard : " My sun has set. The time of 
work for me is over. I have written all my worda 


and thought all my thoughts, and now I rest me in 
the flickering light of the dying embers, in a rest 
80 profound that the voice of an old friend arouses 
me but momentarily, and I drop back again into 
repose. . . •" The happy vision spoken of in this 
letter she was oot immediately to realize. She 
was to become again a little child, free from all 
care and sorrow, wandering about the fields in 
summer, picking the flowers she loved so weU, 
and singing the old hymns with childlike joy. 
"I love to sing this hymn," she would say, " for 
when I sing it I think I hear my mother's voice ! " 
Little children were dear to her, and she smiled 
upon them, and greeted them as though she were 
one of them. She was as a little child, — a Uttte 
child, gentle, loving, forgetful, and dreamy. She 
would rise early of a summer morning, when the 
dew was on the grass, and go out into the woods 
near her house gathering flowers. Then, on the 
impulse of the moment, she would trail her wet 
skirts through the dusty highway in utter uncon- 
sciousness of the result, and enter the house sing- 
ing, " Then just before the shining shore," to 
be greeted with, " Oh, ma ! Just look at your 

Where have you been ? " Her dress, 
did not think of her dress ; no, not as much as the 



birds of their feathers. Where had she been ? She 
did not know, — she had aot thought where she 
had been. Never fretful, never impatient, living 
only to love and to be loved, she moved about in 
a world all ber own. A world of dreams where all 
was bright and hopeful, and where there were no 
burdens and no cares. She, who had suffered so 
much and so long, now suffered no more. If she 
suffered less, she loved more, till all her life was 
love. Waking at midnight, she said, "01 have 
had such a beautiful dream!" Then as ber faith- 
ful nurse gave her her medicine, she looked up 
into her face, and said, "/ love you." These 
were her last words on earth. She fell asleep to 
wake i: 


. .' 


Abolttioniits, in Lane ThsoloKical 
SeiniiiU7. 101 ; mobs ■gainiit, in 
Cinainiiati, 1<«-108, III, 112; at 
FntDaiD, Ohio, lOD ; Mn, Stova'i 
•tdtnde tovard, 109, 140, 141, 
1B8, 189 : how regarded b; Dt. 
Baeeher, 140, 141. 

Addrai to Che If on™ of America, 
Mn. Stove's nplj to, 189, 190, 
201, 204. 206-211. 

Affnti 1^ Sortaaa, the irritiiiE of, 

AndoTer Tbeologiol Setuiuary, 
ProfeMor Sluwe goei Ia. 165. 

^oiian Nighii, Un. Stove's >Arl; 
gnjoymtnt of, 14, IS, 

Atkio, Cvt^D, of tlw *tMiiwr 
Diotktor, 390. 

Bkile;, Gamaliel, editor of the JVn- 
limal Era, 101, 147. 

BatAid, Father, Italian priest, 231. 

Baxter, Riohard, hia Satnti' Ener- 
lasting Jteit. 42. 

Beeoher, Catherine (sister of Mn. 
SloweJ. her Kmembnuicg of her 
Eather, T ; her desoriptioD of 
Oqitun Samuel Foots, 20-22 ; her 
■ohool at Haitford, 38, 41, 47, K), 
61 ; her tendeney to break from 
the traditional oxthodozr, 44, 4S, 
48-02; enga^ to Aleunder 
Raher, 46 ; her gayetr and bril- 
liancj, 46, 4T ; her anxiety for 
Alexander Fiaher'a soul, 47, 49 j 

at the home of Professor Plilier 
in Franklin, Maes., 49; niWBsr 

about bar niter, M, SS ; deter- 
minea to set Dp a school at Cin- 
cinnati, (Vr-GS ; her desoription of 
the eite of the Aoadem; at Wal- 
nut Hills, T3 ; her account of her 
efforts in sdrring her aister to Utr 
erary aotivity, 87-93. 

Beecher, Chsrlea (brother of Mn, 
Stowe), 20S, 219, 230-, t»kss a 
position in New Orleans, 125. 

Beecher, Edward (brother of Mrs. 
Stowe). his tendeno; to break 
from the traditiena] orthodoxy, 
44, 4S ; his Coi\/Iicl of Agti, the 
inspiration of, 49 ; letten to, from 
his sister Borriet, on her mental 
stato, 55-63 ; letter to, from his 
sister Harriet, on her new mental 
life, M, 65 ; Mn. Stowe visits, 
127, 128 : agitated over the Fugi- 
tive Slave Law, 128. 13T. 138. 

Beecher, Mn. Edward, 137, 138. 

Beecher, Esther (aunt of Mn. 
Stowe), 70, 74. 

Beecher, Lieutenant Fr«d, 206. 

Besohar, Oeorsa (brother of Hn. 
Stowe), 70, 294 ; death of, 118. 

Beeoher, Mia. George, 1S9. 

Beecher, Harriet. Stt Stowe, Har- 

Beeohsr, Henry Ward (brother of 
Mn. Stowe), incidents of hia 
childhood, 3, 35 ; taught gram- 
mar by hia sister, 42 ; his theo- 


logT,S2:i;ndii>tMfroiii Amhertt 
CoU<«e. «!; wbtid hj Mn. 
Stowe in •diting tlte Ciooinnkti 
Journal, 90, KUi preparai to 
make dflfeiue mgaiiwt CUunniMti 
mob, 100 ; hu niew of the »■<■« 
of numey, 23S-240; hU liitaT'i 
MKKiuDt of hit «arl7 lift uid hi* 
(rial by jorr, 2)46-2113 : bii nool- 
iMtion of bia fathar and motbar, 
290, 296 : deatb of, 3^. 

Baccher, Jamea C. (brother of Mia. 
StowB), 200. 

Baaoher, hymtJi.hiM AitlMograpli]/ 
quDtad, 0, B : hia fondnMa for 
mnaio, (1 ; loTad and respected by 
bia ohildrea, T. 8 ; his power of 
flXoitiuK family entbiuiaiia, K, !> ; 
ans*K<<a ia diacuinioiu witb fail 
ehildren, 9; hii fiihioK aipedi- 
liaaa, 6-11; hia atudr, 11. i'2i 
marriea Harriet Porter. 'i2 ; readn 
Joutban Eilwardi to bia wife, 
SI, 25 ; inoidents of hia preoehimt. 
S6, 3T ; receiTaa a oall to Boston, 
42, 03 ; on hia daD|[bter Cathe- 
rina'i tbeoloffy, 44, 40 ; tbe rain- 
(ling of two kinda of mantal pro- 
a«a ID, 03 ; bii praaching at Boa- 
ton more aiiiiiuMiTely thaolDgioal 
than eTir. 63 ; reoeiTei a oall to 
Lane Thenloeioal Seminary at 
Walnot Hilla, near CinainDati, 
6B ; bia motiTS in acoapting the 
eall. 60, 76 1 hia trip to Walnut 
Hilla, 6S-T2 -, bli booae at Wahrat 
Hitla, TS-n ; ooaapioiioiii in i»- 
eeMkin within the PreBbytetian 
Cbnroh, 110; how he reganled 
the Abolitioniata. 140, 14! ;  Con- 
with Mr. Stowe, on 
politioal outlook, 188 ; hia view 

of the oaa of money, 338; bii 
oonatarution at " Tbe Downfall 
of tbe Standing Order, " 269-271 ; 
Henry Ward Ueecber'a laooUeo- 
tion of, 'JSG. 

Beechar, Mary (aialai of lira. 
Stowe), letten to, 7R, 90 ; Hn. 
BtoweTiaita.llO; help of, 213. 

Beeoher, Colonel Robert (nephew 
of Hre. Stowe), 220. 

Beecber, Roiana Foote (modier of 
Mrs. Stowe). Mra. Stowe'a recol- 
lection of, 1-4 ; Henry Ward 
Beeober'a recollection of, 296,206. 

Beesher. Thomae K. (brother <d 
Mrs. Stowe), U38. 

Bescher, William H. (broUier of 
Mra. Stowe), 100. 

Beecber family, theology of an- 
prenio intereat in. 44; tbe eenaa 
of haTing a miuion, a oharaotar- 
iatioof, nH; lack of Iotb of moBey, 
a failing of, 2.18. 

Bigclow, WilUam (Pnrfewor 
Stowe'a DDcte), the original of 
Uncle Bill in Oldlo^ Foaa,VO. 

Bigelow, I>eaaia William, the ori- 
ginal ol Deacon Badger in Old- 

Bimey, Jnmet O., liberated hie 
alaTaa, 101 ; holpeil foand no abo- 
lition paper, the Philanthrapitt, 
101, 102, 109; bia printing preea 
mobbed. 102-107. 

Boston. Haae., Dr. Beecber reeeiTea 
a call to, 42. SS ; hie pr«schhig at, 
aggreauTely tbaolo^eal, 03. 

Brooe, John, teacher of Ura. Stowe. 

Brattteboro, Vt., Tinted by Un. 
Stowe and Hr. Stove, lor Walar 
Cure, 119-121. 

Bright, John, vrite* to Hn. Ston 
relatiTfl to her reply to tha Ad- 
iIttu to Oit WomtJi if Antrica. 

BrowninE, Mn. E. B., Ist(«r of, to 

Hn. Stowa, 181, 182. 
Bnuuwick, He., Hrs. Stove goea 

ts, 137-130; Entting wtlled at, 

Back, EUia, 1!S2-1S4. 
BaekiDKhniii, Osnsral, 300, 201. 
Bnll. H™. G. W., 119. 
Boll, Isua D., 39. 
Boll, Hr«. Iu» D., 39. 
BuU, Mw; Ann, 39, 40. 
BonTan. John, his PilgrMi Fro- 

grt», Hn. Stove's applioatioii 

to the Bmoke home of a pusage 

Batter. Joseph, his Analog]/. tBOcht 

by Mrs, Stove, 41. 
Bttod, G. G., Lord, Mn. Stove's 

■ridole on, ST4-iTT. 

Calhoun, J. C, 1T3. 

Cftlvininn, Dr. Beeoher's, M,4S, 48, 

4(1 : Harriet Beeoher's, 44-(i2. 
Catholics, Romui, Harriet Baech- 

er's fairness tovsrd, T5. T6. 
Charleston, S. C, Hn. Stove at, 

Chase, Salmon P., 82, 106, 
Cholera in Cincinnati, 132, 123. 
Ckriitian Ciuon, money invi 

Church, Hn. Stove's early reool- 

lecUoDS of, 35-37. 
Cincinnati, Ohio, Dr. Beeohar re- 

orives a call to, 66; arrival at, 73, 

73; Harriet Baecher'a life at, 73- 

137; nioba in, 103-108, 111, 113. 

Stt Walnut HiUs. 

CogaveD, Catherine, friend of Har- 
riet Baacher, 40, 41, 
College of Teachen, The, in Cin- 

Composition, Harriet Baeeber's 

<b*t, 27, 38. 
Cotton plantation. Mn. Stove in- 

217, 218. 
Cnunvell, J. H,, vritea to 1i.T». 

Stove of her son. 204, 20!l. 

DeTereaai, Mrs., 119. 

Dogs at ohtirch, 30-34. 

Douelsn, Pnderiek. letter of Mrs, 
Stove to, 119-163; at meeting 
urith Mra. Stove and SojottmeT 
Tmth, 187. 188. 

DovinRtoD, the Beechera at, 70,71. 

■• Dovnf all of tha Htandina Order," 

Drake, Dr., 79, 80. 

Dreif, tha purpose of, 174, 176; r*- 

caption of, in England, ITS. 
Dutton.Uary, tesoher in the aohool 

at Cindnoati, SO, 96. 

E^(«, aneedote of, 148. 14!1. 
Eliot, GaoTKO. Bet Lievas, Hr*. 

G. H. 
Klmaa, Hn., TO. 

Entancipstion Proetamation, 211. 
Emerson, B. W,. 2,19, 
Emmons, Dr, Nathaniel, the Cal- 

of, 49. 
England, Hn. Stove's Tiuts to, 

167-175, 178-180. 

ttfHarritt Btecher Slowe qaoted. 

lea, ZtO. 247-249, 25*. 
Pinano*. Hn. Stove's idea of, S13- 

218, 237-340. 
FUier, Alexander, enEagvd to 

Catherina Baaoher, 4S ; hia death 

ia ahipwreok, 46; CaLherina'e 

uuietT for hia •onl, 4T. 4H. 
Flf, tha mole, 230, 2=11. 
Follen, Mn., letter* of. to Mr*. 

Stove, as, 9B. ia2~1M ; lettera of 

Mn. Stowe to, infl, 104. 
Foote, Oeorse (uncle of Mra. Stove), 

Fuote, Barriet (annt of Hn. Stove), 

Haniat Baecber viaita, 1T-I9i 

letter to, 93. 
Foote, Jolui (niKils of Un. Stove), 

Foote, Captain Samuel (miDle of 

Hn. Stove), 20-23, »1->H. 
FraedmeB, dinner tA, in Washing- 
ton, 199, 301, 202. 
FoptiTe Slare Lav, U8, 137-140. 

. L., 141; write* to 
Mn. Stove, on the eSeot of 
Unde Tam'i Cabin, 142, 

GatetU, Cinlinnati paper, 104, 107. 

Geographj, Barriet Bseoher'*. 79. 

Goethe, J. W. Ton. 272. 

OnnTille, Lord. Hie. Stove's im- 
preaaioD of. 172. 

OreeleT. Philip, affected b; Uncle 
Toia'i CoAin, 166, 1B7. 

Grimkd, Min. See Weld, Mn. 
Theodore D. 

Onilford, Harriet Beeohar viaita 
Nntplainain, 17-lft, 69. 

Hartford, Conn., Harriit Beechai 
at Hhool at, 38-44, OS, SB ; Mn. 
Stove g:oea to U*e at, 212. 

Haves, ReT. Dr., Harriet Bemhar'a 
interriev vith. 43-44. 

Havthoms, Nathaniel, on Toyac* 
home from England. 187. 

Henson, Kbt. Joaiah, Mn. Stnve'i 
firat maetine vith, 144. 

fiohnea. 0. W., diisaadn Fredar- 
iok Stove from enliitiDg, 191 ; re- 
mark of, Co Mr*. Stove, on oonfi- 
dence in outoome of the war, 197 ; 
on Foganuc Peoplt, 266; Mn. 
Stowe writes to, after fl&iahinf 
Pcganac PtopU, 287. 

Hopkini, Rev. Samuel, oonnaetad 
vith the fir*t conoaptioD of 2%t 
limiaer't Wooing, 250. 

Honse-hailding. the tnniblaa ud 
eipenie of, 212-210. 

Howard, Annie, death of, 186. 

Hnbbard,Marj (aoatof Mn3l«va), 

lareatmenta, Mn. Stowe'a, 21&- 

Jevett, John P., pnbllahaa Cud* 

Tom'i Cabin, ISO, IS& 
Journal, a Cinoinoati dailj papM-, 

Mn. Stove aasista her brother ia 

ediUng, 99, 103. 

Lane Tbeologioal Seminary ■( 
Walnut Hilla. Or. Beecher ra- 
oeiYea a call to, 6l>; Catherine 
Baecher'i daaoription of the sitv 
of, 73; oommiaiiona Profaoor 
Stove to bu7 booka in Eniope, 
98; a bot-bad of 





Level, Mre. G. H. (Qeoree Elio 
OD Sir baao Newton, IG9 ; « 
reapoadeoce of, witii Bin. Stoi 
on BpiritDoliini vid religion, 1 f 
1B4 ; letter to, on Mn. Slowi 
life et Mandarin, 221~ZM ; letter 
of Mn, Stowe to, on Oldti 
Folia, 360 i lettws of, on Old- 
toien Folks, 260, 261 ; letter of 
Hn. Stove to, on Henry Ward 
Besoher'a early life and bia trial 
by jury, 286-292, 

Linooln, Abraham, Mra. Stove's 
■Utement of his beliefs, 190 ; Mn. 
Stove's intsniav vith, 202, 20) ; 
iMDea the Emancipation Proela- 
matioii, 211. 

Litchfield, Conn,, influenoe of iU 
Bcenery on Hts. Stove, 4, 5 ; the 
Poeanno of Foganue PfBpli.-2G6. 

Literpool, Mre. Stove at, 167. 

Lockerbie, Mn. Stove nt, 167. 

Loveil, J. R., (|aoted on Mn. 
Stove's genial. 242, 243 ; letter 
of, to Mrs. Stove, oo The Minif 
ler'i Wooing, 253, 

HandaHa, the Stoves at, 21S-241. 

Uather, Cotton, his Magnalltit Mra. 
Stove'* faith in, 12, 13. 

May, Georeiana. cl«e friend of 
Harriet Beecher, 40, 41 ; Harriet 
Beeoher Tisits Nutplaine vith, 
60; lettera to, 62, 66, 71. 72. 75- 
77, 82, 98, 113, 116, 121, 128, 27*. 

UoCIelUn, General 0. B.. 201. 

Hilli, Rot. Father, preaebea in Dr. 
Beeoher's chorch, 32-34. 

JfiRifltr'i Wooing, Tlu, inspiration 
of, 49 : the vritiuE of, 244-248 ; 
Mn. Stove vrote her heart an- 
guish into. 250 ; the firat concep- 


tion of, 2S0, 251 : the pi 
of Candace added to the original 
conception of, 252; latter of 
Lowell to Mrs. Stove on. 263; 
letter of Ruikin to Hie. Stove 
on, 263, 254. 

Mission, the senae of haring, a 
oharaoteristie of the Beecher 
family, 68; Mn. Stove alvaye 
looking for, 130, 121, 217. 

Mobs, Cincinnati. 102-109, 111, 112. 

Nationai Era, the, 147, 149, 166, 

Nev EJighuid. Mrs. Stove a dtdine- 

ator of the life of, 242-273. 
Nev York City, the Beeohen at, 

Niagara, Harriet Baecher'i impree- 

sioni of, 1)3, 04. 
Xntpluna. visits of Harriet Beeoher 

to, 17-li), 65. 

Oldlown Firttidt Sloria, 268, 2T9. 

Oldlovm Folki, tan thousaod dol- 
Un leoeiTed for, 237; Mn. 
Stuwe'a aadifaiition in, 254; the 
object of, 256, 26G, 265 : di£B- 
cnltiee in vriting, 266, 257 ; nu- 
terial for, f nmished by Mr. Stove, 
2S7, 26S; the originals of the 
oharacten of, 268-262, 297, 298; 
the lupematnTal element in, 260; 
the piotnre of the Pniitan chat^ 
aoter in, 263-265 ; the hnmor of, 

Puriih, Dr., 111. 

Ptarl qf Orr't liland. Tie, ioddii 
of HuTiBt Beaohw'i diiooTeiy 
of the Ttmptit iiiumghx into. IS; 
th* vritiue of, 201, S44, 240, 24T. 

Parkin*. Ste Beeubar. MvT. 

Parkins, TbomM C, 213 ; dutk of, 

PhiUdalpbu, tha Beeehara at, 68- 

PKilanUiTipisl, Cindnuti paper, 
101, 102. 100; aupprewHl, and 
)ta office wraekGd \ij mob, 10!- 

PhTWcal onnditiona and theoloKieal 
beliefa, the cooneetion betceen, 
Mn. Stove's conception of, 263. 

Piatee. Sarah. Uarriat Baeoher at- 
Mnda aohool kept by, ^. 

FkHtr;, Mn. Stove readi. 41. 

Pof/amK People, a biographr of 
Mn. Stove'a childhood, ae<;-2G8 ; 
the intaren of, tnma largsl^ on 
"Tha Downfall of tlieSUndiog 
Order," 26H-'iTl j a qnotation 
from, 271, 272. 

Portar, Harriet (atapmother of Mn, 
Stove), Mn. Stova'a fint uo- 
pnaaiona of, 22-24 ; affact on, of 
raading Jonathan Edwacdt'a 
work*, 34, 2S. 

Preabrterian Chnnb, i 

Puroell, Arohbtibop, TO. 

Puritan chanatar, Mr*. SUnre'i 

pictnre of, 283-368. 
Putnam, Ohio, 10!). 

Rata in tha Litohfiald home, 15-17. 
Beadinga, public, of Mn. Stove, 

Ruakin, Johni, letter cf, to Mn. 

Stova, oomminrDtlns her ratnni 
to America, IM, IMS; Utter of, 
to Mn. Stun*, un The MiniUtr't 

Wooing, Wi, 2n4. 

St, Oeona'a Hall, Mn. Stova at. 
178. 179. 

School at Litchfield attended bjr 
Mn. Slove, 3S-28; at HaKford, 
as, 41 ; aatabliahed by Harriet 
Beecher and bar aiilar at Cini 
nati, 67, 6H, 7S-77, 80; at Uan- 
darin, 2%. 

Sootland, Mn. Stove's Tint to. 167- 

SaoTille, Sam, 193, IW. 

'■Semi-Colon nub," 81 -«0, 

Shnkeapaare, WilUam. his Tenprit. 
incident of Mn. blove'a diaooT- 
arj of a copy of, vrooKbt into 
Tht Pearl qf Orr', Iiland, 16. 

Skinner. KaT. Dr., friend of Dr. 
Beeober, 70. 

laTerr, Been on a alava pUatatioli 
br Mn. Stove, BO, 12^; Mn. 
Stove foreaaaa tha and of, 106; 
Mn. Stove wialies to do BOmo- 
thinK tooppoae, 110; the homiim 
ot, Mn. Stove leama aboni, in 
her girlhood, 124 ; Mn. Stowe'i 
kuovled)^ of, 12:^127, 144. 146, 
ISO-IM; Mn. Stove detanmoea 
to vrite lomethinit againat, 13i> ; 
aantimant in Korope agnlut, 
larKel]' tba result of Utule Tom'* 
Cabin, im. 

Smoke bonse, the, at the IjtohfiaU 
home, 1», 14. 

South, Mrs. Stove in the, 217-241. 
piritaaliam, attitude of Mn. Stov« 
tovard, 180, 182, IKt. 2«l,2Sa-28e: 
of Un. BrowDioK, 182 ; of QsoiKe 

Hiot, 183; o( Mr. BtBwt, 219, 
aw, 2«l, 283. 

Slaffoni House,  reception to Mrs. 
Stowe at. 171-1T3 ; Mr. uid Mn. 
Slowe e»U at, lin. im. 

StatioD BRent, aaecdote of, 158. 

Stowe, Ptofeaaor Ciilvin Ellia, deotb 
of his fint vile. VS; Harriet 
Beecher become* eDgoged to. SO ; 
•uIa for Europe aa commi^iouer 
of Ohio, OH, W ; on the doinga <it 
the Qaneral AiaamblT of Ohio, 
IIU; biilieves that Mrs. Stove 
must be a literary vomau. 116, 
117 ; hia loie and sdiuiretioa for 
hil wife, IIB, 120; breaka down, 
121 ; orgefl 2rlra. Stove to write 
UneU Tum't Cabin, 147; aneo- 
dote of the aggt, 14S. 149 ; goea to 
AndareT TheoloKioal Semioary, 
16a i with Mia. Stove in EorLhuI, 
178-180; oonTermtion with Ly- 
man Beeoheron political outlook. 
1K8 : not an AboIitioniBt of the 
GamMuiui type. l^iS ; baa bis 
money alolon, 20S ; peiaimiatio 
with reeard to Mrs. Stove's 
bnildine proieotH, 213. 213, 215, 
216 ; at Mandariti, 230-217 ; beset 
by fjoancial diffioultiea, 237-240 ; 
his abiding faitb, 240, 241 ; his 
seme of the supernatural, 249, 
2E0 ; material for Oliilea-n FMn 
furnished by. 2.'iT, 2.*<H ; be and 
bis relations originals of charao- 
tets in OldloKn Folks, 268. ZW, 
261; his spiritualisra, 260, 283; 
bis forlornnesa at Un. Slowe'a 
absence, Sf 1 ; hia lait BiokaeBt and 
desth, 200, 297. 

Btove, Mn. Calvin EUii (fint wife 
or Stawt}, 9B. 

towe, Cbarles Edward (son of Mn. 


I, VMin 

of his mother, 1 

Stove. Eliia Tyler (dangbter of 
Mn. Stove), birth, IDS. 

StovB, Frederick William (son of 
Mn. Stowe), birth, 115 ; enliala, 
1W-1!IU ; with his mother in 
WuhingtoD, 200 ; wounded, 205 ; 
returns from the war, shattered, 
21.t : BttempU to resume medical 



tioudne to his wound and bisdis- 
appearanoe, 277-270. 

Stove, Georgiana May (dkaghter 
of Mn. Stove), birtb. 117 ; the 
original of Tina in Otdlovn Falki, 
260, 297;deatb. 297. 

Stove, Harriet Beecber, ber ear- 
liest recollections. 1. 2 ; berreeol- 
lections of hei mother, 1^ ; in- 
tluenee of her mutber un, 4 ; in- 
fluence of the scenery of Litob- 
field on. 4, 5 ; ber reoollectiooa of 
her home and her father, 6, T ; 
vorks at patting in wood, 8, 9; 
her recuUections of ber father's 
fiabing expeditions, 9-1 1 : ber de- 
light in her father's study, 11, 12 ; 
her futh in Cotton Matbsr's 
Magaalia, 12, 13 ; finds romanos 
in the giureta and oelUra of the 
[UUKinage, 13; and the smoke 
house, 1.1. 14 ; and the Arabian 
yighlt, 14, 15 ; incident of her 
disooTery of Ibe Trmpeat vrongbt 
into Thr Ptarl of Orr's Isiand, 
13 ; inHiience of the rats of tbe 
parsonage on her youthful mind, 
16-17; risitot, to NHtplains, 17- 
19 ; her reeoUectiona of her aunt 


30; inflDeiue of Cap- 

t of her lUp- 
mulber, Z£-'H j her ■ohoolinK 
onder Mr. Bno«, 2A~S8: bar fint 
eonipaaitioti, 27, 28 ; ber reoollcc- 
tiois of SDDdaj mafltinK. 2ft-37 ; 
B<M* to Mbool >l Hartturd. 'M ; in 
tho hoiuelioM of Mr. Boll, 39 ; her 
friandaat Hartford. 40, 41:ii)akea 
n of Grid into vaisa, 
to writs a matrieal 

II 1 reada Baiter's 
•erlaiting Srtt, 42 ; 
taaohaa ber lirotber Brammar, 
42 ; ber iolernew with Ker. I>r. 
BawM. 42-41; the >piritaiJ at- 
moaphere in which (he liied, 44. 
40; Tht itiniaer't Wooing, the 
Impirktiaii of, 4l> ; tbe tbeoloRj 
of her writinga, S2 ; her father'i 
proachinK acted DutBTDCiiblf on 
bar mental deTelopment. G3-55 ; 
Tettmn lo Hartford, RS; her men- 
tal afaatfl after the Nntptuos Tisit, 
aa rerealed in lettsr* to Edward, 
S5-43 : apiin in Hartford, m ; a 
Daw mental life, B2-AS ; ber the- 
ology, " Ood ia Lore," G4; her 
aeeonnt of the detuli of the 
family phna in Cineintiati, 6T. W ; 
' ra of teaching, GT, 68 : hei 


hoa tbetriptnWalDnl 
Hilli,68-T2; her description of 
Walnnt Rilli, 72 ; hardeacriptioD 
of her father'a bonae at Walnnt 
Hilla, 73-70; ber KeoRTaphy, 75 ; 
her fairnaaa toward the tComan 
Catholics, Tn, T6 ; ber life at the 
•ohool in Cinoiiuiati, 75-TT; ber 


npaired hj atat^t^UA 
; feeling, 77-79; 
TinW a Blare plantation, SO, 13B ; 
the originali of cbaraoten and 
aoenee in tfoc/e Tom', Cabin, 80, 
I2S-127. 146; the original of 
Topay, 81 ; her writinea for tha 
"Semi-Colon nob," 82-80 ; 
awarded priie for itory. tTitcle 
Lol, sent to Wattrn Hugo- 

how aha cam* to be a writor, 8&- 
87 ; bow ahe waa atirrad to writing 
bj her aiaMr, 8T-03 ; rsTiaiU New 
England, 93 ; her impreanona of 
Niagara, SB, 94 ; ber deacriptioD 
of Ifn. Calvin Ellia Stowe, 96; 
beoomea aDgagvd to Mr. Stowev 
9C ; letter of, written juat befora 
marriage. 96, 117 ; letter of, writ' 
tea three weeka after iiiariiaKe> 
HT, 98; writea for the WtMem 
ilotald]/ Magaziw. etc., 09; na- 
■iata her brother in editing tha 
Joamal, fW ; ber account of her 
earlj married life, «»-101 ; hel 
■cooDnt of a Cincinnati mob, 108- 
108 ; aea for the fint time tlut 
alaTcry rooat f all , 1 08 ; two dMi^i- 
ten, Eliia Tyler mnd Haniat 
Beech er, bom to, 108 ; TiainWa- 
liam Besoher in Fntnam, 100; 
her attitnde toward the Abolition 
party. 10!), 140, 141. 188, 189; 
wiabea to do aomething t4> oppoae 
alaiery, ItO; aon. Henry EUia, 
bom to, 112;accoantof b«9 dailT 
life, 112-110; ion. Pr«dariek 
William, bora to. 110; 01 wiUi 
nennlgia, 110; her litanuy 
aohemea, 110, 117; don^tai. 
Gaoigiana May, bom to, 11T[ 





jeus of poverty, uckotH, knd 
deUh, tlT, 118; goea Ext for 
waMr cnre, IIU; lore uidadniin- 
tiiui of her husband for, 119. 1 
impteued with the feeling that 
■he hma ft work to perfon 
121 : •on, Saiuael Ch&rlei. bun 
to, 121:deBthof hersonCbitrles, 
12S, 154, ISS; had heud of the 
horroni of tlavery bb a girl, 124. 
Ooe* from Cinciniuiti to Bruue' 
wiek, 127-129 ; indiinaDC oTsr tb( 
propoeed Fugitiie Slave Law, 
12H ; HD. Chailea Edward, born 
to, \30, 136 ; hsf acooUDt of fint 
•prins and inmroer in Bmnswiak, 
I29-13T; detenninea to write 
■ome thing afainat alavi 
Garrison writaa to, on the effect 
of lladt Tom't Cabin. 142; for- 
ther acooaut of har life a 
wick, 142, H3; meeti the Rev. 
Joiiah Henson, 144 ; a b^ntiiue 
mndo of Undf Tom's Cabin i.Tht 
Dtalh qf UncU Tarn). 144^1- 
inacoDraciei in tha introduat 
to UncU Tom'i Cabin, 14S ; det 
mines to make a serial of Unde 
Tom't Cabin, 14T; anecdat 
thaagKi, 148.149; writes to Fred- 
erick Douglass, 149-1 

Fitb si 

I, 151-1 

rriting of VncU 
Tom'i Caiin with her own ^ef, 
154 ; Uncle Tom'i Caiin, where 
written, 1S5 ; business arrange- 

Unclt Tom'a Cabin. IBS, IBfi; 
Mr. Greelaj affected bj reading 
Uncle Tditi'j Caiin, 186, IBT ; 
anecdoleof the station a(Bnt and, 
168 ; her own desuription of bei- 

•elf, 159; reeeptionotFnc/e Tom't 
Catia, KiO-ltii); looked npoB 
Uncle Totn'i Cabin as a sermon, 
not as a work of art, lt>3 ; how 
aha waa affected br her fame, 
163-167 ; writes the Ktf fo UikU 


Cabin, l&t. 

Her joy at going to Andorer, 
165, 166 ; hymn by, 166 ; goes to 
England. lUT ; her reeeption in 
England and Scotland, 1CT-1T3; 
the purpose of Drrd, 174. ITG ; her 
■econd Tisit to England. 1T5 ; ra- 
ception of Dred in England, ITS ; 
UncU Ton'i Cabin in Pranoe, 
ITS, ITS ;deBthof hereon Henry, 
1T6-1T8, 244-247. 24H ; completion 
of The Mininer'i Wooinf. and 
third visit to EngUuid, ITS ; at St. 
George'i Hall, 1T8, IT!) ; visita ths 
Duohen of Sutherland, il9, 180; 
her interest in things spiritual in- 
tensified by the death of her eon, 
180 ; her attitude toward apiritu- 
alism, IHO. 182, IAS, 24!), 2.W. SK.V 
286 ; eminent Eoropeani who 
were her frienda, 181 ; letter of 
Mrs. Browning to. 181, ISi; aof 
rospondence with George Eliot 
on spiritualism and religion, 182- 
184 ; letter of Buskin to, commis- 
ersting her retum to America, 
1S4, 185 ; writea to Mrs. Howard 
on death of latter's daughter, 
186; longs for her dead son and 
for home, 186, 18T ; returns home, 
187 1 qaotations from her reply to 
the Addraifrom the Women qf 
England. 189, 190, 201, 202; ber 
■on enliiti. 191-196; comforta a 
mother whose son fell at Boll 
Bod, ids ; her word* about tli» 


WWrMbttevlUviIbr a»<I, in-J, j flnt ooBcepHoM of Tht MiniMer't 
M) ImT AMrfoluiiH BDd hops' Wooing, '250. ^1 ; the pngnw- 
Mata dnitafl th* Wat. lUT.llKi I tumof CuiUMmddedtolIiHori- 
tlMMf*'*''"**''**^^*^"'''! (in>l eonaaptiuD ot, 2S2 ; UtMr 
Mk, IW, IW: *Um Waihiartoo. I of Lowdl to, on 7»r MiaiUtt; 
IWiMMJ*4>adlMMrUtUFrMd-| ITogiiv. ^53; Utter of RiuIdd 

r^b. SI : ^ obiMt w OUmm 


deth birtl)il>7, 29fi. 296 ; tendi hsc 
hiuband in hi* last sickuelt, 290 ; 
death of her daogbMr, Qeor^iaiui 
Mbt. 29T, 2U8 ; her tboughu d-well 
OD death, 298-3U0i u a child 
agun, 300, 301 ; dsath, 301. 

Stowe, Harriet Beesher (dBUghtw 
of Mn. Stowe), birth, lOS. 

StowB. HenT7 Ellii («on of Mn. 
S(«ve), birth, 112; death, ITS- 
ITS, 244 I moDmiiiK of hit mother 
for, 244-^*T, 249. 

Stoiire, Joho (auoeator of Pniteaior 
Stowe), 338, 239. 

Stowe, Samnel Charlea (>oD ot Mi*. 
Stowe}, birth, 121 ; death, 123. 

SnmWir, Fort, attack on. 198. 

Sunday meeting, Mn. Stowe'i re- 
coUectiooi of, 28-37. 

SoCberland, Duke and DuoheM of, 
reception giTsn Mn. Stowe by. 
lTl-173 ; Mre. Stowe writes to 
the Dacbese aboat HeniT'edeath, 
178, 177; Mr. and Mr«. Stowe 
Tint the Ducheai. 1T», 180. 

Switzerland, Hn. Stowe in, IT4. 

Sykea, Mn. See Ma;, Qeonciana. 

TeaohioE, Harriet Beachar'a viewa 
of, 6T, 08. 

Theological beliefi, the ooniLeodan 
between physical eondition* and, 
Hn. Stflwe'i conception ot, 2IS. 

Theolosy, of enpreme intereit in 
the Beeober fsmil;, 44 ; of Cath- 
nine and Edward Beecher, 44- 
62 1 of Harriet Bewber, " God !• 
Love," 6*. 

Trip, the doe, 31-34. 

Truth, Sojaumer, IST, 188, 

Trier, Rer. Bsonet, father of Mr. 
Stowe'* fint wife, 90. 

Vnclt Tom'i Ca6in, originali of per- 
■ons and incident! of, 80. 81, I3&- 
127, 146; eridence to the eSeot 
of, HI, 142 ; a begioning madu of, 
144-146; iuaccuraciea in the in- 
troduction to, 146; MiH. StowB 

147 ; Mn. Stowe connecte the 
writing of, with her own grief. 


neis arrangement OTer tlie pabli- 
estion of. IM, ISG ; Mr. Oreeter 
affected b; reading, 196, 1^7 ; re- 
ception of, liiO-163; oonidderad 
hj Mn. Stowe aa a aermon, not a 
work of art, 103 ; bow Mrs. Stowa 
waa affeotfid hy fame from, 163- 
167 ; Mn. Stove writea the Kty 
to VncU Tom't Cabin, 101; In 
France, ITS, 176. 

Walnut HiUa, Dr. Beeoher notirm 
a call to. 66; Harriet Beooher'a 
description of, 72 ; description of 
Dr. Beecher'* house at, 73-71). 
See Cincinnati. 

Washington, D. C, Mn. Stowe <ria- 
iU, 199-203, 

Water Cure, Mn. and Mi. Stow* 
go to Brattlehoro tor, 119-121. 

Weld.Theodore D., Abolitionist, 1 01. 

Weld, Mre. Theodora D., ipeaks 
before Anti->SlBvery Society, 111. 

WtHtrn Magatint, priio story sent 
to, by Harriet BMcher. KS ; Hn. 
Stowe a oantribtitor to, 9SI. 

Whittier, J. O., his poem read at 
Mn. Stowe's birthday party. 201, 
362; tribnta of, lo Mn. Sunre, 273. 

«be AibtutlK ptt(« 


|||||||lllllllll,3 3 

3 tlOS Oil 77H ^57 '■3- o