Harriet Beecher Stowe MATA Class of 2020

The patron of the second MATA class of 2018-2020 is HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. 

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was an American author, teacher and abolitionist. Her most famous book was Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), a novel about slavery written in reaction to the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act legally compelling Northerners to return runaway slaves. The vivid and empathetic account of the life of slaves in the US turned the book into a bestseller which heavily influenced anti-slavery movements on both sides of the Atlantic. A supporter of the Underground Railroad, which was created to help fugitive slaves to secure freedom in Canada, she and her family temporarily housed runaway slaves. One of the way stations on the Underground Railroad was located at the Stearns Estate in Medford, which now belongs to Tufts University. Harriet Beecher Stowe made three sojourns to Europe following the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. She spoke widely in Great Britain on the topic of abolition, and met with numerous anti-slavery societies during her visits. She memorialized her European travels in her book, Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands (1854). As one biography of Stowe notes, “Stowe’s literary and literal forays in Europe and the … intellectual and cultural exchanges between the Old and New Worlds shaped her work and the work of other major nineteenth-century authors … Reading Stowe within a transatlantic context is crucial to understanding her career, [and] illuminates American and European literature and culture in the nineteenth century”. Beecher Stowe is buried in Andover, MA.

More information about Harriet Beecher Stowe can be found here.