Harriet (Beecher) Stowe

Harriet Elizabeth (Beecher) Stowe (1811 - 1896)

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Harriet Elizabeth Stowe formerly Beecher
Born in Litchfield, Connecticut, USAmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married in Walnut Hills, Hamilton Co., Ohiomap
Descendants descendants
Died in Hartford, Connecticut, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 24 May 2013 | Last significant change: 11 Dec 2018
15:49: Colleen (Rodgers) Bake edited the Biography for Harriet Elizabeth (Beecher) Stowe (1811-1896). (move source from comments, category) [Thank Colleen for this]
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Categories: Activists and Reformers | American Authors | US Civil Rights Activists | Authors | Sperry's of Connecticut | Connecticut Notables.

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Harriet (Beecher) Stowe was a part of the Civil Rights Movement.
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Harriet (Beecher) Stowe is Notable.

Harriet was first a student, in 1823, and then a teacher at Hartford Female Seminary, a school founded by her sister Catharine. At that time, Hartford Female Seminary was one of only a handful of schools that took the education of girls seriously. In 1832 Harriet moved with her family to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Rev. Dr. Lyman Beecher became President of Lane Theological Seminary. At that time, Cincinnati was considered the western frontier of the United States. In Cincinnati, in 1836, Harriet met and married Calvin E. Stowe, a professor at Lane. Six of the Stowes' seven children were born in Cincinnati. Cincinnati was just across the river from Kentucky, a slave state. It was in Cincinnati that Harriet first became aware of the horrors of slavery. Cincinnati was one of the largest cities in the country, twice the size of Hartford at that time. When Harriet and Calvin learned that their servant, Zillah, was actually a runaway slave, Calvin and Henry Ward drove her to the next station on the Underground Railroad. One night, Harriet's friend, Mr. Rankin, saw a young woman run across the river over the ice with a baby in her arms. This story moved Harriet deeply and would later become one of the most famous scenes in Uncle Tom's Cabin. In Cincinnati, Harriet became a member of the Semi-Colon Club, a local literary society in which members wrote articles which were read and discussed by other participants. Her experiences in this club sharpened her writing style. During her early married years, Harriet began to publish stories and magazine articles to supplement the family income. While she lived in Cincinnati, Harriet co-authored a book, "Primary Geography for Children". After the publication of this book Harriet received a special commendation from the bishop of Cincinnati because it conveyed a positive image of the Catholic religion. Harriet's religious tolerance was unusual for Protestants at the time. In 1850 Professor Stowe joined the faculty of his alma mater, Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine. The Stowe family moved to Maine and lived in Brunswick until 1852. From 1836 to 1846 they have seven children. In 1846-7 she took the water cure at Brattleboro, Vermont, and in 1848-50 she had her last two sons, Charles and Samuel. She wrote "Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” one of the most popular novels of all time, and also the greatest abolitionist tract of it’s day and almost certainly a contributing cause to the American Civil War(1861-65). "Uncle Tom's Cabin", which appeared first in serial form in an abolitionist newspaper, The National Era, in 1851-52, was written largely in Brunswick. In 1852 the story was published in book form in two volumes. Uncle Tom's Cabin was a best seller in the United States, England, Europe, Asia, and translated into over 60 languages. She wrote "Dred" in 1856, "Oldtown Folks" in 1869 and "Palmetto Leaves" in 1873. She is one of the five seminal figures of her generation along with Emerson, Melville, Thoreau and Hawthorne. In 1852 they moved to Andover, Massachusetts, where Calvin joined the Andover Theological Seminary. In 1864 Calvin retired from Andover, and they moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where Harriet built her dream house, Oakholm. The high maintenance cost and the encroachment of factories caused her to sell it in 1870. In 1873, she moved to her last home, the brick Victorian Gothic cottage-style house on Forest Street in Hartford. In 1874, Samuel Clemens, who was the age of her twins, moved into the house next door. From 1867 to 1884, she and Calvin relocated in the winter from Connecticut to Mandarin, Florida (now a suburb of Jacksonville) to escape the pressures of her writing and to tend topersonal issues. In Florida she immersed herself in programs to educate former slaves and black children. She also supervised the organization of an Episcopal church and became an early advocate of environmental protection. In 1886 Calvin died.

Harriet Elisabeth Beecher was born June 14, 1811 in Litchfield, CT to the Rev. Lyman Beecher (1775-1863) and Roxanna Foote Beecher (1775- 1816); the sixth of 11 children.
The Beechers expected their children to shape their world:
All seven sons became ministers, then the most effective way to influence society
Oldest daughter Catharine pioneered education for women
Youngest daughter Isabella was a founder of the National Women's Suffrage Association
Harriet believed her purpose in life was to write. Her most famous work exposed the truth about the greatest social injustice of her day - human slavery
Family Life
Roxanna Beecher died when Stowe was only five years old. Her later pursuit of painting and drawing honored her mother's talents in those areas. Oldest sister Catharine became an important maternal influence. Stowe wrote at an early age: at seven, she won a school essay contest earning praise from her father.
Lyman's second wife, Harriet Porter Beecher (1800-1835), was a beautiful woman slightly overwhelmed by the 8 boisterous children she inherited. Her own children, Isabella, Thomas and James, added to the noisy household.
In Litchfield and on frequent visits to her grandmother in Guilford, CT, Stowe and her sisters and brothers played, read, hiked, and joined their father in games and exercises. Many of these childhood events were incorporated into Pogunuc People, (1878) Stowe's last novel.
Stowe learned to make a persuasive argument at the family table. The Beechers took in boarders from Tapping Reeve's law school. Lyman Beecher taught religion at Sarah Pierce's Litchfield Female Academy and honed the debating talents of both his students and his children.
Stowe began her formal education at Sarah Pierce's academy, one of the earliest to encourage girls to study academic subjects and not simply ornamental arts.
In 1824, Stowe became first a student and then a teacher at Hartford Female Seminary, founded by sister Catharine. There, Stowe furthered her writing talents, spending many hours composing essays.


1880 1 Forest Street, Hartford, Connecticut, USA[1]




  1. 1880 Census

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No known carriers of Harriet's mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 3
Harriet Stowe Image 1
Harriet Stowe Image 1

Harriet Stowe House
Harriet Stowe House

Calvin Stowe Image 6
Calvin Stowe Image 6


On 21 Jul 2017 at 11:16 GMT Rick Pierpont wrote:

Marnie, I think all of Lyman's children (from both wives) are now here. Thanks.

On 12 Feb 2017 at 01:07 GMT Marnie Hall wrote:

Please see family list at [https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=16067373/ FindAGrave. Thanks. I just did Charles etc.

Harriet is 23 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 13 degrees from Burl Ives and 16 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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