Writing Against Slavery: Harriet Beecher Stowe

Judie Newman

in Women, Dissent, and Anti-Slavery in Britain and America, 1790–1865

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199585489
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728969 | DOI:
Writing Against Slavery: Harriet Beecher Stowe

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This chapter discusses the strategies which Harriet Beecher Stowe mobilized from her religious background in order to further the abolitionist cause. In Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) revivalist and camp-meeting religion informs character and action. Dred (1856) focuses on the struggles between self-serving American pro-slavery clergy, heroic abolitionist ministers, and prophetic African-American Christianity, dramatized in the context of the role reversals of a camp-meeting. The Christian Slave (1855), a dramatized reading or ‘closet drama’, written for Mary Webb, one of the first African American dramatic performers, developed the role reversal topos of abolitionist closet drama (as did Herman Melville's Benito Cereno) for abolitionist purposes.

Keywords: abolitionist; camp-meeting; closet drama; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Herman Melville; Mary Webb; The Christian Slave; Uncle Tom's Cabin; Dred

Chapter.  10965 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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