Catharine Beecher, born in 1800, was the eldest of the Beecher children. A pioneer in field of women's education, Catharine founded one of the first schools for young women in Hartford, Connecticut in 1824. When the Beechers moved to Cincinnati, she founded another school there. Before she died, she'd found and build a number of institutions of higher learning for women. Despite her fervent belief in education for women, she opposed women's suffrage. She died in 1878.
Born in 1813, Harriet Beecher Stowe's favorite brother, Henry Ward, was the second most famous Beecher in America–which meant he was very well known indeed. Considered one of the most famous clergymen in American history, Henry Ward Beecher was, like his sister, a fierce opponent of slavery and a proponent of women's rights. He died in 1887.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's youngest sister (half-sister) and an early pioneer for women's rights
Lyman Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe's father, was a complex man-on the one hand a very strict and conscientious Presbyterian who was a firm teetotaler, but on the other hand was considered so socially liberal by his Cincinnati congregation that he was tried for heresy.
A famous abolitionist who favored emancipation of the slaves through force, he led the legendary raid at Harper's Ferry on October sixteen, 1859. He, along with twenty-one followers, captured the U.S. arsenal at Harper's Ferry in Virginia. A company of U.S. Marines, led by Robert E. Lee, regained control of the arsenal and Brown was wounded in the scuffle. The event startled the South and Brown's placid demeanor during his trial won him fans in the North. When he was hanged at Charlestown on December 2nd, 1859, he was, to many in the North, a martyr.
One of Harriet Beecher Stowe's favorite poets as a young girl, Lord Byron is, along with Keats and Shelley, considered one of the best of the Romantic poets. He was, also, a brilliant satirist. His personal life sometimes eclipsed his considerable talents-his alleged affair with his half sister, Augusta Lee, was a source of great pain to Harriet Beecher Stowe's great friend and Byron's ex- wife, Lady Byron. Her decision to reveal this transgression-supposedly kept a secret for many years by Lady Byron-was disastrous.
Anne Isabella Milbanke was a famous recluse by the time Harriet Beecher Stowe met the famous poet's widow during a visit to England in 1856. The two women became extremely close and, for the rest of her life, Harriet Beecher Stowe felt it her duty to defend Lady Byron from criticism, most notably from one of Byron's many mistresses, Countess Teresa Guiccioli, who wrote about her affair with Byron and denigrated Lady Byron in the process.
Charles Dickens, arguably the most popular novelist of the nineteenth century, was a respectful fan of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
One of the most famous escaped slaves in U.S. history. His successful escape from slavery in 1838 was documented in his famous book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, which was published in 1845. After gaining his freedom, he became a vocal abolitionist and, during the Civil War, helped to organize two black regiments in Massachusetts. After the war, he became, among other things, the U.S. Minister to Haiti and and secretary of the Santo Domingo Commission. He died in 1895.
George Eliot was the pseudonym of Marian Evans, a gifted English novelist who, like George Sand, was not part of genteel English society due to her lifestyle choices. She was a fan of Harriet Beecher Stowe's work and, despite the fact that she, like Sand, lived openly with a man who was not her husband and denounced organized religion, Stowe did meet her, and the two became fast friends.
Harriet's favorite uncle, the brother of Roxana Foote.
The sixteenth president of the United States, Lincoln oversaw what could be described as the most difficult period in American history. Lincoln's election in 1860 was the cue the South needed to begin seceding from the Union. He was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April fourteen, 1865.
George Sand was the pseudonym of French novelist Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin. A prodigious and controversial author-controversial for her lifestyle more than for her works-George Sand was a great admirer of Harriet Beecher Stowe's work. However, Stowe's French hosts refused to set up a meeting between the two authors because Sand was a social outcast due to her many public affairs with famous men such as Chopin, and her tendency to wear men's clothes. She was a critic of the double standard afforded men in eighteenth century France.
Calvin Stowe, Harriet Beecher's husband, was a famous Biblical scholar, who specialized in sacred literature. Always supportive of his wife, he found his own literary success in 1868 with his bestseller Origin and History of the Books of the Bible, written at his wife's prompting.
Calvin and Harriet's youngest son. He wrote his mother's biography in 1887.
Calvin Ellis Stowe's first wife and one of Harriet's closest friends.
Calvin and Harriet Stowe's second son, a decorated Civil War soldier. Disappeared in 1870.
Calvin and Harriet's eldest daughter–had a twin named Hattie.
Second half of Calvin and Harriet's twin daughters.
Calvin and Harriet Stowe's first son. Died at the age of seventeen.
Calvin and Harriet's second daughter.
Born Samuel Clemens in 1835 in the sleepy Mississippi river town of Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain became one of America's favorite writers. He was Harriet Beecher Stowe's next-door neighbor in Hartford, Connecticut during the last years of her life, and was a congenial visitor who cheered her with his jokes. His masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, published in 1884, is considered by many to be the first modern American novel.