Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Author of Uncle Tom's Cabin

It's the birthday of Harriet Beecher Stowe on this day in 1811.

Stowe is best known as the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

When Stowe met Pres. Abraham Lincoln, he greeted her by saying,
"So you're the little woman who started this great war."

During the Victorian era, the language of flowers was all the rage. Stowe used that language in Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Her use of roses connotes both tragedy and Tom's loving nature. Ferns are a sign of both fortitude and memory. The most important flowers in the story are the brilliant scarlet geranium and one single white Japonica; Red and white conveyed suffering and purity.

The character Topsy has the purity of a small child, but as a slave, she was forced to endure the beatings and punishments by her master.

Uncle Tom's Cabin was a sensation. During its first year in print, it sold a record 200,000 copies. One year after its publication, Eva became one of the most popular names for baby girls; Eva was the name of the beloved slave girl in Stowe's novel.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe

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