Stowe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 1811–96, American novelist and humanitarian, b. Litchfield, Conn. With her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, she stirred the conscience of Americans concerning slavery and thereby influenced the course of American history. The daughter of Lyman Beecher , pastor of the Congregational Church in Litchfield, and the sister of Henry Ward Beecher , Harriet grew up in an atmosphere of New England Congregational piety and, like all the Beechers, early developed an interest in theology and in schemes for improving humanity. In 1824 she went to Hartford, at first to study, later to teach in her sister Catherine's school. When her father became head of Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, she moved to that city with him and there began teaching again and writing. In 1836 she married Professor Calvin Ellis Stowe. Cincinnati, a border city, was at the time torn with abolitionist conflicts. Harriet's brothers were violently opposed to slavery, and she had seen its effects in Kentucky and had aided a runaway
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