Harriet Beecher Stowe

Essay by tebaycHigh School, 11th grade December 1996

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Harriet Beecher Stowe

The daughter of Lyman and Roxana Beecher, Harriet was born on June 14, 1811 in Litchfield Connecticut. There were eight children in the Beecher family and Harriet was the youngest of them all. Her mother died in 1816 when Harriet was four, so Catherine, the oldest sibling, raised Harriet for most of her life.

Catherine was a big influence in Harriet's life. Catherine was a very smart person. In fact, she had an intellect beyond most people. She married a professor from Yale University who died in a shipwreck. For years Catherine was in grief and was on the verge of mentally collapsing. She continued on in this melancholy state of mind, until she finally was saved by her own determination to move on and make a life for herself and Harriet. So, Catherine founded an all girls seminary school in Hartford, Connecticut and Harriet started there for her education.

Harriet thought an orphanage would have been just about as good as the seminary, because it was so hard and strict, religiously and educationally. At this time in her life, Harriet was a heavy believer in religion, even though it was hard.

Harriet started writing at this time. Her earliest preserved school composition was called 'Can the Immortality of the Soul be Proved by the Light of Nature?'

After teaching at the Hartford Female Seminary, which Catherine founded, Harriet moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to teach at a seminary where her father was president. She was 21 years old. While she was there, she met some of the other teachers, one of them being Calvin Stowe, her future husband.

After their wedding, Calvin and Harriet lived in Cincinnati for a while. In that time period she had been told horrible stories about...