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Harriet Beecher Stowe is one of America’s most famous writers. She was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, and lived in Hartford for much of her life.  Her best-known book is Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an anti-slavery novel published in 1852.   But she wrote a lot more, too, including children’s textbooks, essays, stories, poetry, hymns and more.

All over the world, natural disasters destroy the homes of many families.

Born in 1811, Harriet Beecher was called “Hattie” by her seven brothers and three sisters. Her father, a famous minister, taught his children to be actively engaged in the issues of the day. Stowe’s mother, Roxana Foote Beecher, was an avid reader and always interested in learning. .


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As a teenager, Harriet attended the Hartford Female Seminary, a school for girls, runs by her older sister Catharine. There, she practiced her writing and learned to compose essays. Harriet was teaching at the school by the time she was 16.  As an adult, Stowe lived the ideals of both her parents, actively working for social change. In 1832, Harriet moved with her family to Cincinnati, Ohio.  Ohio was a free state; but across the river, Kentucky was a slaveholding state.   During this time, Stowe met fugitives from slavery, heard abolitionists speak,

Madison and her parents live in a big beautiful house.


There are kids in the world who don’t have any shoes.

Tina loves to go to school and learn something new everyday.

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ist newspaper. The story was published weekly leaving readers eager for the next installment.  In 1852, it was published as a book and became a best seller in the U.S., Europe, Asia and was translated into over 60 languages. Stowe’s story changed the way many thought about slavery, and influenced the abolitionist movement leading up to the Civil War. Uncle Tom’s Cabin made Stowe the most famous American woman in the 19th century.   Harriet spoke out about the problems she saw around her and used her talent as a writer to make change. WHAT WILL YOU DO?

Sam enjoys playing some video games after school.


There are girls, like Tina, who can’t go to school because they have to work all day.

Alex loves his brand new sneakers.

and observed what she described as the “nightmare abomination” that was slavery.

In other parts of the world, kids don’t have video games but they still have fun.

She could not believe what she saw. America, founded on principles of freedom and equality, applied those principles unfairly.  The Futive Slave Act of 1850 made it a crime for citizens of free states to help runaway enslaved people.  Stowe thought this was awful and felt a responsibility to call attention to this injustice.  So, she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which humanized enslaved people and changed the way many felt about slavery. In 1851, Uncle Tom’s Cabin first appeared as a serial in The National Era, an abolition-

The Power of Now  

booklet for the students to read and understand basic concepts of human disadvantage in the world.

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