'Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother.'
O wondrous mother! since the dawn of time
Was ever love, was ever grief, like thine?
It lies around us like a cloud,
A world we do not see;
Yet the sweet closing of an eye
May bring us there to be.
Look on the travellers kneeling,
In thankful gladness, here,
As the boat that brought them o'er the lake,
Goes steaming from the pier.
One year ago,--a ringing voice,
A clear blue eye,
And clustering curls of sunny hair,
Too fair to die.
Only a year,--no voice, no smile,
No gl ...
Life's mystery - deep, restless as the ocean -
Hath surged and wailed for ages to and fro;
Earth's generations watch its ceaseless motion,
All dark! - no light, no ray!
Sun, moon, and stars, all gone!
Dimness of anguish! - utter void! -
'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.'
Knocking, knocking, ever knocking?
Who is there?
From her resting-place by the trader chased,
Through the winter evening cold,
Eliza came with her boy at last,
Where a broad deep river rolled.
Beneath the sunny autumn sky,
With gold leaves dropping round,
We sought, my little friend and I,
In the fair garden of celestial Peace
Walketh a Gardener in meekness clad;
Fair are the flowers that wreathe his dewy locks,
Not of the earth that music! all things fade;
Vanish the pictured walls! and, one by one,
The starry candles silently expire!
Ah, many-voiced and angry! how the waves
Beat turbulent with terrible uproar!
Is there no rest from tossing, - no repose?
Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American abolitionist and author. Her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) was a depiction of life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom. It energized anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. She wrote more than 20 books, including novels, three travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. She was influential both for her writings and her public stands on social issues of the day.
Harriet Elisabeth Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut on June 14, 1811. She was the seventh of 13 children, born to outspoken religious leader Lyman Beecher and Roxana Foote, a deeply religious woman who died when Stowe was only five years old. Her notable siblings included a sister, Catharine Beecher, who was an educator and author, as well as seven brothers who became ministers: including Henry Ward Beecher, Charles Beecher, and Edward Beecher .
Harriet enrolled in the seminary (girls' school) run by her sister Catharine, where she received a traditionally "male" education in the classics, including study of languages and mathematics. Among her classmates there was Sarah P. Willis, who later wrote under the pseudonym Fanny Fern. At the age of 21, she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to join her father, who had become the president of Lane Theological Seminary. There, she also joined the Semi-Colon Club, a literary salon and social club whose members included the Beecher sisters, Caroline Lee Hentz, Salmon P. Chase, Emily Blackwell, and others.
It was in that group that she met Calvin Ellis Stowe, a widower and professor at the seminary. The two married on January 6, 1836. He was an ardent critic of slavery, and the Stowes supported the Underground Railroad, temporarily housing several fugitive slaves in their home. They had seven children together, including twin daughters.
Uncle Tom's Cabin and Civil War
In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, prohibiting assistance to fugitives. At the time, she had moved with her family into a home on the campus of Bowdoin College, where her husband was now teaching. On March 9, 1850, Stowe wrote to Gamaliel Bailey, editor of the weekly antislavery journal National Era, that she planned to write a story about the problem of slavery: "I feel now that the time is come when even a woman or a child who can speak a word for freedom and humanity is bound to speak... I hope every woman who can write will not be silent." Shortly after, In June 1851, when she was 40, the first installment of her Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in the National Era. She originally used the subtitle "The Man That Was A Thing", but it was soon changed to "Life Among the Lowly". Installments were published weekly from June 5, 1851, to April 1, 1852. Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in book form on March 20, 1852, by John P. Jewett with an initial print run of 5,000 copies. Each of its two volumes included three illustrations and a title-page designed by Hammatt Billings. In less than a year, the book sold an unprecedented three hundred thousand copies. By December, as sales began to wane, Jewett issued an inexpensive edition at 37 1/2 cents each to further inspire sales.
The book's emotional portrayal of the impact of slavery captured the nation's attention. It added to the debate about abolition and slavery, and aroused opposition in the South. Within a year, 300 babies were named "Eva" in Boston alone and a play based on the book opened in New York in November of that year.
After the start of the Civil War, Stowe traveled to Washington, D.C. and there met President Abraham Lincoln on November 25, 1862. Legend has it that, upon meeting her, he greeted her by saying, "so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war." In reality, little is known about the meeting. Stowe's daughter Hattie reported, "It was a very droll time that we had at the White house [sic] I assure you... I will only say now that it was all very funny—and we were ready to explode with laughter all the while." Stowe's own letter to her husband is equally ambiguous: "I had a real funny interview with the President."
In the 1870s, Stowe's brother Henry Ward Beecher was accused of adultery, and became the subject of a national scandal. Stowe, unable to bear the public attacks on her brother, fled to Florida but asked family members to send her newspaper reports. Through the affair, however, she remained loyal to her brother and believed he was innocent.
Mrs. Stowe was among the founders of the Hartford Art School which later became part of the University of Hartford.
Stowe died on July 1, 1896, at age eighty-five in Hartford, Connecticut. She is buried in the historic cemetery at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
Multiple landmarks are dedicated to the memory of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and are located in several states including Ohio, Florida, Maine and Connecticut. The locations of these landmarks represent various periods of her life such as her father's house where she grew up, and where she wrote her most famous work.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Cincinnati, Ohio is the former home of her father Lyman Beecher on the former campus of the Lane Seminary. Her father was a preacher who was greatly affected by the pro-slavery Cincinnati Riots of 1836. Harriet Beecher Stowe lived here until her marriage. It is open to the public and operated as a historical and cultural site, focusing on Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Lane Seminary and the Underground Railroad. The site also presents African-American history.
In the 1870s and 1880s, Stowe and her family wintered in Mandarin, Florida, now a neighborhood of modern consolidated Jacksonville, on the St. Johns River. Stowe wrote Palmetto Leaves while living in Mandarin, arguably an eloquent piece of promotional literature directed at Florida's potential Northern investors at the time. The book was published in 1873 and describes Northeast Florida and its residents. In 1870, Stowe created an integrated school in Mandarin for children and adults. This predated the national movement toward integration by more than a half century. The marker commemorating the Stowe family is located across the street from the former site of their cottage. It is on the property of the Community Club, at the site of a church where Stowe's husband once served as a minister.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Brunswick, Maine is where Stowe lived when she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin. Her husband was teaching theology at nearby Bowdoin College, and she regularly invited students from the college and friends to read and discuss the chapters before publication. Future Civil War general, and later Governor, Joshua Chamberlain was then a student at the college and later described the setting. “On these occasions,” Chamberlain noted, “a chosen circle of friends, mostly young, were favored with the freedom of her house, the rallying point being, however, the reading before publication, of the successive chapters of her Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and the frank discussion of them.” In 2001 Bowdoin College purchased the house, together with a newer attached building, and was able to raise the substantial funds necessary to restore the house. It is not open to the public.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford, Connecticut is the house where Stowe lived for the last 23 years of her life. It was next door to the house of fellow author Mark Twain. In this 5,000 sq ft (460 m2) cottage-style house, there are many of Beecher Stowe's original items and items from the time period. In the research library, which is open to the public, there are numerous letters and documents from the Beecher family. The house is open to the public and offers house tours on the half hour.
In 1833, during Stowe's time in Cincinnati, the city was afflicted with a serious cholera epidemic. To avoid illness, Stowe made a visit to Washington, Kentucky, a major community of the era just south of Maysville. She stayed with the Marshall Key family, one of whose daughters was a student at Lane Seminary. It is recorded that Mr. Key took her to see a slave auction, as they were frequently held in Maysville. Scholars believe she was strongly moved by the experience. The Marshall Key home still stands in Washington. Key was a prominent Kentuckian; his visitors also included Henry Clay and Daniel Webster.
The Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site is part of the restored Dawn Settlement at Dresden, Ontario, which is 20 miles east of Algonac, Michigan. The community for freed slaves founded by the Rev. Josiah Henson and other abolitionists in the 1830s has been restored. There's also a museum. Henson and the Dawn Settlement provided Stowe with the inspiration for Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Stowe is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on July 1.
On June 13, 2007, the United States Postal Service issued a 75¢ Distinguished Americans series postage stamp in her honor.
In early 2010, Stowe was proposed by the Ohio Historical Society as a finalist in a statewide vote for inclusion in Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol.
Mary At The Cross
'Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother.'
O wondrous mother! since the dawn of time
Was ever love, was ever grief, like thine?
O highly favored in thy joy's deep flow,
And favored, even in this, thy bitterest woe!
Poor was that home in simple Nazareth
Where, fairly growing, like some silent flower,
Last of a kingly race, unknown and lowly,
O desert lily, passed thy childhood's hour.
The world knew not the tender, serious maiden,
Who through deep loving years so silent grew,
Full of high thought and holy aspiration,
Which the o'ershadowing God alone might view.
And then it came, that message from the highest,
Such as to woman ne'er before descended,
The almighty wings thy prayerful soul o'erspread,
And with thy life the Life of worlds was blended.
What visions then of future glory filled thee,
the chosen mother of that King unknown,
Mother fulfiller of all prophecy
Which, through dim ages, wondering seers had shown!
Well, did thy dark eye kindle, thy deep soul
Rise into billows, and thy heart rejoice;
Then woke the poet's fire, the prophet's song,
Tuned with strange burning words thy timid voice.
Then, in dark contrast, came the lowly manger,
The outcast shed, the tramp of brutal feet;
Again behold earth's learned and her lowly,
Sages and shepherds, prostrate at thy feet.
Then to the temple bearing-hark again
What strange conflicting tones of prophecy
Breathe o'er the child foreshadowing words of joy,
High triumph blent with bitter agony!
O highly favored thou in many an hour
Spent in lone musings with thy wondrous Son,
When thou didst gaze into that glorious eye,
And hold that mighty hand within thine own.
Blest through those thirty years, when in thy dwelling
He lived a God disguised with unknown power;
And thou his sole adorer, his best love,
Trusting, revering, waited for his hour.
Blest in that hour, when called by opening heaven
With cloud and voice and the baptizing flame,
Up from the Jordan walked th' acknowledged stranger,
And awe-struck crowds grew silent as He came.
Blessed, when full of grace, with glory crowned,
He from both hands almighty favors poured,
And, though He had not where to lay his head,
Brought to his feet alike the slave and lord.
Crowds followed; thousands shouted, 'Lo, our King!'
Fast beat thy heart. Now, now the hour draws nigh:
Behold the crown, the throne, the nations bend!
Ah, no! fond mother, no! behold Him die!
Now by that cross thou tak'st thy final station,
And shar'st the last dark trial of thy Son;
Not with weak tears or woman's lamentation,
But with high, silent anguish, like his own.
Hail! highly favored, even in this deep passion;
Hail! in this bitter anguish thou art blest,-
Blest in the holy power with Him to suffer
Those deep death-pangs that lead to higher rest.
All now is darkness; and in that deep stillness
The God-man wrestles with that mighty woe;
Hark to that cry, the rock of ages rending,-
''T is finished!' Mother, all is glory now!
By sufferings mighty as his mighty soul
Hath the Redeemer risen forever blest;
And through all ages must his heart-beloved
Through the same baptism enter the same rest.
A woman's health is her capital.
Whatever offices of life are performed by women of culture and refinement are thenceforth elevated; they cease to be mere servile toils, and become expressions of the ideas of superior beings.
...care and labor are as much correlated to human existence as shadow is to light ...
True love ennobles and dignifies the material labors of life; and homely services rendered for love's sake have in them a poetry that is immortal.
All places where women are excluded tend downward to barbarism; but the moment she is introduced, there come in with her courtesy, cleanliness, sobriety, and order.
Human nature is above all things—lazy.
The obstinancy of cleverness and reason is nothing to the obstinancy of folly and inanity.
Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserve; it is life's undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room, from which we go forth to more careful and guarded intercourse, leaving behind us much debris of cast-off and everyday clothing.
A little reflection will enable any person to detect in himself that setness in trifles which is the result of the unwatched instinct of self-will and to establish over himself a jealous guardianship.
The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.
The burning of rebellious thoughts in the little breast, of internal hatred and opposition, could not long go on without slight whiffs of external smoke, such as mark the course of subterranean fire.
What makes saintliness in my view, as distinguished from ordinary goodness, is a certain quality of magnanimity and greatness of soul that brings life within the circle of the heroic.
Everyone confesses in the abstract that exertion which brings out all the powers of body and mind is the best thing for us all; but practically most people do all they can to get rid of it, and as a general rule nobody does much more than circumstances drive them to do.
No one is so thoroughly superstitious as the godless man.
Whipping and abuse are like laudanum: you have to double the dose as the sensibilities decline.