In the Tide-Mud of the Real: 1844–1845

Joan D. Hedrick

in Harriet Beecher Stowe

Published in print July 1995 | ISBN: 9780195096392
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854288 | DOI:
In the Tide-Mud of the Real: 1844–1845

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A two-part series written by Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote for the New-York Evangelist, the following winter at Catharine Beecher's urging, demonstrates the extent to which she had taken up the Beecher family causes, with all their associated provincialisms and nativistic assumptions. This series was a plea for Protestant education in the West to counter the well organized efforts of the Jesuits and the Roman Catholic nuns. At the same time, Stowe's understanding of the Bible as a literary as well as a religious resource provided the groundwork for a national literature. In true Protestant style, she viewed the Bible as a book of the people. In an essay in the New-York Evangelist she went even further, characterizing the Bible in a homely way that made it the apotheosis of parlor literature. A sketch entitled “Immediate Emancipation,” published in January 1845, also shows her moving in with deftness on the dialect, moral principles, and plot that would bring her international fame.

Keywords: Harriet Beecher Stowe; Catharine Beecher; Protestant education; West; Bible; parlor literature; Immediate Emancipation

Chapter.  8445 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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