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When most people hear the name Harriet Beecher Stowe they think not of the woman herself but of her most famous creation Uncle Toms Cabin Or Life Among the Lowly 1851-1852 Nearly every American is familiar with this novels staunch abolitionist stance and the role it had in shaping the antebellum popular imagination The blatant sentimentality of the book--its flagrantly emotional appeal to popular tastes--and its deft manipulation of stereotypes in its portrayal of African Americans have served to obscure Stowes achievements Adams 1963 Even Abraham Lincolns praise for her as the little woman who was responsible for the Civil War has a condescending ring to it Early Life Lyman Beecher Harriet Beechers father was a stern New England Calvinist preacher whose image of a God who predestined humans to heaven or hell left a mark on his children The fact that Harriets mother died when she was four made Harriets fathers influence even more important By the age of six and a half the young Hattie as she was known to her family had memorized more than two dozen hymns and several long chapters in the Bible Crozier 1969 As an adult however Harriet Beecher would substitute for her fathers dogmas a religion of hope that stressed the love and compassion of Christ rather than the divine judgment that her father preached Some people hold that she feminized her fathers religion Ammons 1980 Throughout her life she retained a strong sense of religious mission and zeal for social improvement At age twelve Harriet moved to Hartford to live with her older sister Catharine a purposeful woman who had started the Hartford Female Seminary Harriet attended Catharines school and stayed on as a teacher and guardian of young children In 1832 she moved with her family to Cincinnati Ohio where her father had been offered the post as president of the new Lane Theological Seminary Three years after arriving in Cincinnati in January 1836
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