Monday, February 19, 2007

Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers by Jean Fritz

After reading Uncle Tom's Cabin written by Harriet Beecher Stowe last week, I still can't get the story out of my head. Saturday my sister-in-law pulled out this book sitting on her shelf. It is a biography of Harriet. I asked to borrow it and I read it in one day. It is only about 130 page scholastic children's book but very interesting.

Harriet had quite an amazing life. She also had a very interesting family. Most of her siblings took part in significant events and changes in this countries history. I think her impact was greatest of all but wouldn't have happened without her family.

Her father was a preacher. Most of her brothers were preachers. She was a girl or she would have been a preacher too. Instead she preached through her writing. They were changing lives one at a time serving in the clergy and she was changing the nation by writing one book at a time.

I think reading her biography really brought this great women in American History to life. She was an instant celebrity, not only here but in Europe after writing Uncle Tom's Cabin. That part really isn't as impressive to me as her determination to make a difference despite so many things in her life that she could have used an excuse to just mind her own business and stay at home raising her children. Instead she believes she can make a difference and doesn't let herself be discouraged.

She eventually becomes an abolitionist. She writes letters to Senators. She writes articles for papers. She gets to meet Lincoln. She supports him, despite all the criticism he was receiving around the time the the civil war finally starts. She helps free slaves. Her relatives fight in the war. She tours Europe getting support for the Northern States against slaves and to support the war. She made a difference.

I really enjoyed reading about her and what led her to writing Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was really cool to see what happened after the book was published. She also wrote another book called Dred. I think I will find that and read it. She didn't care what the critics said, there were a lot of them, she spoke out anyway.

Later in her life after the war and the slaves were free she started speaking publicly not just writing her thoughts but speaking in large lecture halls. She also supported women's rights. She was a Christian and also a good wife and mother. She was a teacher since she was 14 years old and she taught throughout her life by her great example.

Whole book.

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