Harriet Beecher Stowe: little woman who started a major war
• Harriet Beecher Stowe: little woman who started a big war
American writer Harriet Beecher Stowe, the date of birth is June 14 marks 205 years, everyone knows primarily as the author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." However, few people know that the daughter of a modest provincial pastor provoked the beginning of the struggle for the abolition of slavery in America. US President Abraham Lincoln called it "the little woman that started a big war."
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in 1811 in the family pastor, and since childhood in her raised compassion, sensitivity to others' pain and other traditional Christian values. Therefore, it could not remain indifferent to the problem of slavery, especially since her father repeatedly hid in his house runaway slaves, and their troubles, she knew firsthand.
* * Uncle Tom's Cabin. Illustration 1852
Even at age 36, wrote a collection of short stories and a textbook on geography, Harriet Beecher Stowe became the heroine of the book "Life of outstanding women." But the real fame came to her in 1852, after the publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which prohibits to help the fugitives. Angered by this development, in March of that same year, Harriet wrote the editor of the magazine "National Era" that plans to publish a story about the problems of slavery. The story turned into a novel: a period of 9 months in the magazine to publish one chapter each week.
* * Uncle Tom's Cabin. Pictures from 1852
* * Uncle Tom's Cabin. Illustration 1852
As admitted Harriet, the idea of a novel about the horrors of slavery came to her in the church after a tour of the southern states. For this work the writer has received a fee of $ 300, but the true value of the novel is not measured in money. The publication of the final chapter of the publisher accompanied this comment: "Mrs. Stowe has finished the big deal. We do not remember that any work of the American writer would have instituted a universal, deep interest in her story. " The novel was published in millions of copies and been translated into 20 languages.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
However, readers disagreed: many blamed Harriet inaccurate facts and that it exaggerated the cruelty and arbitrariness of the planters of the South. In response to the novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" Writers from the southern states of America have published a few books to refute the version Beecher Stowe of abuse of slaves. This literary movement was called "Anti-Tom." In these works, the slaveholders were portrayed humane respectable people without supervision and care that the slaves would not have survived.
L. Swing. Illustrations for the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin * *
In the decade between the publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and the beginning of the Civil War, it was about 30 romances movement "Anti-Tom" in the United States, written mostly wives of slaveholders of the southern states. To prove their case, and they assure that its work is based on real facts, Beecher Stowe wrote "The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin", which resulted in a lot of evidence in favor of the authenticity of her novel. Prototype of the hero became Josiah Henson, who was born in a family of slaves in 1789. Its owner had promised to release him, but did not keep his word - just as it does in the novel.
This discussion reflected the acute social conflict between supporters and opponents of slavery. 10 years after the publication of the first chapter of the novel in the US Civil War began, which ended in the abolition of slavery.
Of course, the product Beecher Stowe can not be called the cause of these events, but it was their forerunner. Many believed that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" became a powerful propaganda weapon and pushed people to the fact that the fight for the oppressed rights. Therefore, at a meeting with the writer Abraham Lincoln I shook her hand and said, "So you're the little lady who started this great war!". And Tolstoy wrote: "The abolition of slavery was preceded by the famous book of women, Mrs. Beecher Stowe."
Harriet Beecher Stowe.