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The woman credited with sparking the Civil War came to Christ at thirteen during one of her fathers sermons She wrestled throughout her eighty-five years with questions and spiritual conflicts for she endured grave trials her mother died while Harriet was a very young child her husband though an erudite theologian could not provide financially and suffered bouts of poor health she lost four children tragically and she enjoyed the acclaim of the rich and powerful of her generation In spite of these upheavals her basic faith in the Lord Jesus Christ held and sustained her Harriet was born in Connecticut in 1811 the daughter of Lyman Beecher He was a persuasive preacher theologian a founder of the American Bible Society who was active in the anti slavery movement and the father of thirteen children Her mother who died when Harriet was four years old was a woman of prayer asking the Lord to call her six sons into the ministry All eventually preached Henry Ward Beecher the youngest son became the most prominent After her mothers death Harriet grew close to her sister Catherine teaching in her school and writing books with her soon after she turned thirteen Harriet was brilliant and bookish and idolized the poetry of Lord Byron When her father became president of Lane Theological Seminary in Ohio she moved with him and met Calvin Stowe -- a professor and clergyman who fervently opposed slavery He was nine years her senior and the widower of a dear friend of hers Eliza Tyler Their subsequent marriage in 1836 was born of the common grief they shared In later years Mark Twains daughter Susy Clemens saw Calvin Stowe merrily reported to her father Santa Clause has got looseHusbands and Wives William J Petersen Tyndale House Publishers 1989 page 111 The work of the Underground Railroad deeply touched both Calvin and Harriet They sheltered fugitive slaves in their home until they
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