Chapter

Antislavery Activist: 1853–1854

Joan D. Hedrick

in Harriet Beecher Stowe

Published in print July 1995 | ISBN: 9780195096392
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854288 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195096392.003.0020
Antislavery Activist: 1853–1854

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Harriet Beecher Stowe woke up one morning to find herself being received by the Lord Mayor of London—and all the nobility of England. The literary success of Uncle Tom's Cabin made Harriet Beecher Stowe's the single most powerful voice on behalf of the slave. Her preparation for this political role had been virtually nil. She had never been a member of an anti-slavery society, much less an officer in one. The only organizations she had ever been a part of were her sister's schools and the free and easy Semi-Colon Club—both of which were family projects. Added to her lack of experience was a singular contradiction: although hers was the most powerful voice on behalf of the slave, by the canons of 19th-century womanhood she could not speak in public. With varying degrees of grace and success, Stowe applied herself between 1853 and 1854 to fulfilling the expectations of her new role as antislavery activist.

Keywords: Harriet Beecher Stowe; England; Uncle Tom's Cabin; slave; anti-slavery; activism; politics

Chapter.  11053 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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