A Rush of Mighty Wind: 1850–1851

Joan D. Hedrick

in Harriet Beecher Stowe

Published in print July 1995 | ISBN: 9780195096392
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854288 | DOI:
A Rush of Mighty Wind: 1850–1851

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Harriet Beecher Stowe, a woman who disliked confrontations, who rode over unpleasantness with optimistic goodwill and turned aside anger with humor, found herself, as public opinion brewed over the Fugitive Slave Law, consumed with a rage unlike anything she had ever experienced. Her intense feelings were the more oppressive for having no outlet. Men made the laws and shaped the public opinion of the land, and women who found themselves morally repelled by their work had little recourse. Women engaged in rather extraordinary acts of civil disobedience, provoked by laws that they themselves had had no part in making. As the temperance crusade moved from the podium to the ballot box with the passage of the first legal constraint on the liquor trade, the “Maine Law” of 1851, women who had been active in temperance societies keenly felt their disfranchisement.

Keywords: Harriet Beecher Stowe; Fugitive Slave Law; civil disobedience; liquor trade; Maine Law; temperance

Chapter.  8140 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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