Langsam Exhibit Celebrates Harriet Beecher Stowe

The year 2011 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of writer Harriet Beecher Stowe. To celebrate this milestone, an exhibit highlighting the life and publishing career of Harriet Beecher Stowe is on display on Langsam Library’s 5th floor. A timeline noting important events in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s life is displayed along with samples of some of her writing.

Harriet Elisabeth Beecher was born June 14, 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut. She moved to Cincinnati with her family in 1832 and published her first book, Primary Geography for Children, in 1833. Three year later she married educator Calvin Ellis Stowe who encouraged her writing career. In 1851 she would publish one of the best known novels in American history, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which made her famous world wide. Harriet Beecher Stowe was a prolific writer and went on to publish over 30 books including Dred, A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp, The Minister’s Wooing, and Palmetto Leaves


June 14, 1811
Harriet Elizabeth Beecher is born in Litchfield, Connecticut

Harriet moves to Cincinnati with her family and lives in a house in Walnut Hills

Publishes “The Prize Tale” in Western Monthly Magazine, her first piece sold to a commercial outlet

Marries Calvin Ellis Stowe

Publishes a sketch called “Immediate Emancipation, A Sketch” in the New York Evangelist. This story, which she said was based on an actual incident in Cincinnati, was a precursor to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin first published as a newspaper serial in National Era

Publishes The Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin in which Stowe identifies her real-life sources for the novel’s characters

Publishes her second novel, Dred, a Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp, which tells the story of an escaped slave

Publishes the novel The Minister’s Wooing, a satiric take on Calvinism that also deals with her grief over the loss of her son who accidentally drowned at age 19

Stowe and her sister, Catharine Beecher, publish The American Woman’s Home a manual arguing for the respect and recognition of woman’s domestic work

July 1, 1896
Harriet Beecher Stowe dies in her sleep at her home in Hartford, Connecticut

The exhibit was curated by Lorna Newman, head of Interlibrary Services and Government Documents, and designed by Melissa Cox Norris, director of Library Communications. A bibliography of the works featured in the exhibit is available online. For more on Harriet Beecher Stowe, visit