Twice a week I post a quote from a saint from the Episcopal Calendar of Saints that week. They are to be meditative and mindful, playful and thought inducing. I hope they are helpful in your spiritual journeys.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Writer and Prophetic Witness
Harriet Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut on June 14, 1811. She was the daughter of outspoken religious leader Lyman Beecher and Roxana Foote, a deeply religious woman who died when Stowe was four years old. She was the sister of the educator and author, Catharine Beecher, clergymen Henry Ward Beecher, Charles Beecher, and Edward Beecher.
Harriet enrolled in the seminary run by her eldest sister Catharine, where she received a traditionally "male" education. At the age of 21, she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to join her father, who had become the president of Lane Theological Seminary, and in 1836 she married Calvin Ellis Stowe, a professor at the seminary and an ardent critic of slavery. The Stowes supported the Underground Railroad and housed several fugitive slaves in their home. They eventually moved to Brunswick, Maine, where Calvin taught at Bowdoin College.
In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, prohibiting assistance to fugitives. Stowe was moved to present her objections on paper, and in June 1851, the first installment of Uncle Tom's Cabin appeared in the antislavery journal National Era. The 40-year-old mother of seven children sparked a national debate and, as Abraham Lincoln is said to have noted, a war. Stowe died on July 1, 1896, at age eighty-five, in Hartford, Connecticut.