Ken Burns Classroom

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Ken Burns Film: The Civil War

Collections: Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877)

Subject: US History

Grade Level: 6-12

Harriet Beecher Stowe, circa 1870s-80s
Harriet Beecher Stowe, circa 1870s-80s. National Archives Identifier (NAID) 535784. National Archives at College Park – Still Pictures (RDSS).

1811–1896

Her popular novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published a decade before the Civil War, helped change the way many Americans felt about slavery, and is forever linked to the abolitionist “fever.” Daughter of a strict Calvinist minister, Harriet Beecher later married a professor who encouraged her to write the book after they moved to Maine. Abraham Lincoln allegedly called her “the little lady who made this big war.”

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