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Harriet Beecher Stowe Quotes

Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe
  • Born: 14th June 1811, Litchfield, Connecticut, U.S.
  • Died: 1st July 1896, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
  • Resting place: Phillips Academy cemetery Andover, Massachusetts, U.S.
  • Alma mater: Hartford Female Seminary
  • Occupation: Author
  • Literary pseudonym: Christopher Crowfield
  • Notable works: Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
  • Notable firsts: Such was the popularity of Uncle Tom's Cabin it became the best-selling novel of the nineteenth century that broke all known publishing records up to that era

"The past, the present and the future are really one: they are today"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"To do common things perfectly is far better worth our endeavor than to do uncommon things respectably"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"The longest day must have its close - the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"It's a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"What man has nerve to do, man has not nerve to hear"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"The obstinacy of cleverness and reason is nothing to the obstinacy of folly and inanity"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"The pain of discipline is short, but the glory of the fruition is eternal"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"Fanaticism is governed by imagination rather than judgment"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"Eyes that have never wept cannot comprehend sorrow"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"The delicacy that respects a friend's silence is one of the charms of life"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"Care and labor are as much correlated to human existence as shadow is to light"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"Human nature is above all things - lazy"

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"Most mothers are instinctive philosophers"

Harriet Beecher Stowe
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Harriet Beecher Stowe Biography

Harriet Beecher Stowe was born into a religious family heavily influenced by her father who was a presbyterian minister following the teachings of reformed Protestantism. In later life Harriet recognised the hypocrisy in this strict version of Christianity and vigorously denounced it in favour of a more humanistic approach to theology.

Another big influence on Harriet was learning of the fate of former slaves being attacked during the Cincinnati riots in 1829 by anti-abolitionists and white workers trying to purge the competition for jobs. She got to understand the suffering endured by the African Americans and it burnt into her soul as she became a staunch abolitionist.

It was here in Cincinnati that she met her future husband Calvin Ellis Stowe in a local literary club, he was a professor who shared Harriets views on abolishing slavery and they married in January 1836. Harriet had a passion for writing and she first cut her literary teeth in 1843 with the book Mayflower but she also had other burning passions and her second book Uncle Tom's cabin was published in 1852 to wide critical acclaim.

She spelled out to the world the hardships endured by African American slaves with a literary cutting edge that proved the pen was indeed mightier than the sword. After meeting President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 he was quoted as saying "so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war".

It could never be stated that her book caused the American civil war but what it did do was bring slavery to the attention of the world and it divided America. It also gave the Union the stomach for the fight that was a long time coming and was now politically more palatable.

Harriet went on to author many more books but none could possibly hope to match the literary clout of Uncle Tom's Cabin which became the best selling novel of the nineteenth century. Indeed, the only other book that matched it for sales during that century was the Bible.

Uncle Tom's Cabin also became a book that inspired the by-product industry with the books publisher John P. Jewett & Co creating prints, toys, dolls, puzzles and pottery all based around the book and it's characters.

She was not just responsible for illuminating literature she also showed verbal panache with some great quotes, so here is my list of 15 of the best Harriet Beecher Stowe quotes.

Quotes About Harriet Beecher Stowe

The author and suffragette Anna Garlin Spencer described her challenges: "Anyone can see that to write Uncle Tom's Cabin on the knee in the kitchen, with constant calls to cooking and other details of housework to punctuate the paragraphs, was a more difficult achievement than to write it at leisure in a quiet room"

Her son Charles Stowe spoke of her inspiration: "Uncle Tom's Cabin came from the heart rather than the head. It was an outburst of deep feeling, a cry in the darkness. The writer no more thought of style or literary excellence than the mother who rushes into the street and cries for help to save her children from a burning house thinks of the teachings of the rhetorician or the elocutionist"

Harriet Beecher Stowe  image quote