Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut in 1811 and moved to Cincinnati in 1832 when her father, prominent Congregational minister Lyman Beecher, became the pastor of the city's Second Presbyterian Church and president of Lane Theological Seminary.
Four years later, in 1836, she married Calvin E. Stowe, and she gave birth to six of the couple's seven children while living in Cincinnati.
Life in the city provided Beecher Stowe with firsthand accounts about the evils of slavery due to its proximity to the slave-state Kentucky and the many former and fugitive enslaved people in the Cincinnati area.
Already a published writer, she drew upon these experiences, and the death of her infant son Charley in 1849, to write Uncle Tom's Cabin. Published in book form in 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin almost single-handedly popularized the cause of anti-slavery and made Beecher Stowe famous. The book remains an icon of the American anti-slavery movement.
A prolific writer, she wrote a book a year for nearly thirty years of her life. Her conversational writing style made her work easily accessible to a wide audience. In addition to slavery, Beecher Stowe wrote about other controversial topics such as gender roles and religious reform.
After moving from Cincinnati in 1850, the Stowes lived in Brunswick, Maine, Andover, Massachusetts, and Hartford, Connecticut, where she died in 1896.
September 11, 2013