Harriet Beecher Stowe House
Ohio Historical Site in Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills at Martin Luther King Boulevard
Harriet Beecher Stowe House
2950 Gilbert Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45206
The Stowe House is open 10 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Private tours and rentals available. Donations appreciated. Free Admission.
Lane Seminary was an influential Protestant college and religious seminary in the 1830's and 1840's and was the first U.S. college and seminary to admit a black student, James Bradley, a former slave. Dr. Beecher’s students became ministers, abolitionists, and social reformers.
The famous 1834 Lane Seminary debates convinced most Lane students to support abolition, a radical solution to America’s slavery issue. Widely discussed, the debates marked a shift in American antislavery efforts from colonization of freed slaves in Africa to abolition. The Lane Seminary debates also inspired an American tradition of Academic free speech for both faculty and students. When Lane’s Trustees tried to stifle student abolitionism and efforts to educate Cincinnati’s freed slaves, most students and faculty left. Led by Theodore Weld, who married Quaker abolitionist Angelina Grimke, the “Lane Rebels” joined Ohio’s Oberlin College, the first American college that admitted both African-Americans and women.
Drawing on Cincinnati experiences with slavery and the abolitionist movement, Mrs. Stowe authored Uncle Tom’s Cabin, first serialized in an 1851 magazine and then published as a book in 1852. Her popular fiction personalized the slavery’s agony and struggles of African-Americans to gain freedom, including travels on the Underground Railroad.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a best-seller and caused many Americans to become abolitionists. The book sold over a million copies in England and remains in publication, studied by students worldwide and translated into 70 languages. Uncle Tom’s Cabin demonstrates that one person can change a world forever.
In 1862, when Mrs. Stowe met President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, he is said to have remarked, "So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!"
The Beecher family was extraordinary. At a time when most American women were uneducated, Harriet’s sister, Catherine Beecher, promoted higher education for women. She taught, lectured, and wrote on education, domestic economy, women's health, and calisthenics, founded several girls’ high schools, and inspired the founding of other women's colleges.
Brother Edward Beecher, the first president of Illinois College, founded Illinois’s abolitionist organization. General James Beecher served in the Civil War and commanded the first black Union troops recruited from the South.
Harriet’s favorite brother, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, a dynamic preacher, was an abolitionist and womens suffrage leader and a well-known preacher. Younger sister Isabella Beecher Hooker was an influential womens suffrage movement leader.