On Hartford Connecticut’s Nook Farm you will find two museums of literary pioneers in Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain. They were neighbors and both owned gothic mansions. Today those gothic homes are open to the public. They depict the lives of both authors and their work that changed the way people think.
Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin among other works. When Abraham Lincoln met her he said, “So, you are the woman who wrote the book that started this great war...” attributed to Abraham Lincoln, 1862. This is one woman who can, literally, be said that her words changed the world.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin is an anti-slavery novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe who was a popular abolitionist and a teacher at Hartford’s Female Academy. She wanted to show that Christian love can overcome anything including enslaving of fellow humans.
The book was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the 2nd best-selling book behind the Bible. It’s first year, there were over 300,000 in the US and over a million in Great Britain.
The negative impact of this book is that it created stereotypes such as dark-skinned “mammy” and “pickaninny” about black children. These stereotypes often overshadow the fact that it was a great anti-slavery tool.
Visiting Nook Farm can help one see the importance and the impact of this great writer. One of the best venues is a Thursday evening “parlor conversation” inside her house. This is an amazing experience.