“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” —Romans 12:18
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, June 5, 1851
ertain books have changed the course of American history. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense in 1776 inflamed the passions of patriots considering independence from Britain, and tipped others who had been undecided, into the patriot cause. Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species transformed the scientific community and then the general population to accept evolution as the theory that best explained the origins of man and animals. The novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe molded the opinions of a million people in the Northern states regarding the nature and course of the slave system of the American South. The book created stereotypes and inflamed hatreds that played a key role in the greatest cataclysm of American history — the Civil War.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896),
American abolitionist and author who is best known for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Harriet Beecher was the seventh of thirteen children of the famous evangelist Lyman Beecher, and sister to the radical abolitionist, women’s suffragist, Darwinist, and scandal-ridden preacher Henry Ward Beecher. At the age of twenty-one, Harriet moved from Connecticut, where she had been born, to Cincinnati, Ohio to join her father, who had become president of Lane Seminary. She married Massachusetts-born seminary professor Calvin Stowe, a brilliant scholar of Semitic languages and promoter of public schools on the Prussian model. Together they would produce seven children and books on a variety of subjects.