The Beecher Family
June 25, 2004 4:02 AM   Subscribe

The Beecher Family. 'Families that have been influential in American life and culture are often recognizable by their signature names. The Beecher family is an example of one such family whose deep religious convictions and social conscience spanned the nineteenth century and made them prominent historical figures whose impact on religion, education, abolition, reform movements, literature and public life were exceptional. Biographer Milton Rugoff claims that in "two generations the Beechers emerged, along with many other Americans, from a God-centered, theology-ridden world concerned with the fate of man's eternal soul into a man-centered society occupied mainly with life on earth." ... '
posted by plep (8 comments total)
damn busybodies--those Beechers! (kidding!)

Actually, i've always wondered about Uncle Tom's Cabin--did Harriet ever actually travel through the south?
posted by amberglow at 5:13 AM on June 25, 2004

did Harriet ever actually travel through the south?

She had contact with slaves and slave owners while living in Cincinnati, Ohio and travelling into northern Kentucky, but she didn't go further than that for research. The book was written in installments for an abolitionist newspaper while she was living in Brunswick, Maine.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:41 AM on June 25, 2004

thanks reads as removed, i think, but must have been very powerful for the time.
posted by amberglow at 5:46 AM on June 25, 2004

I grew up in Brunswick, so Stowe is burned into my brain-- we did a social studies segment on her every frigging year!

The house that she and her husband (who was a Bowdoin professor) lived in is still standing and is a mediocre inn and restaurant.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:23 AM on June 25, 2004

There's a statue of Henry Ward Beecher at my alma mater. I wrote a short play that takes place in front of the statue, and makes several references to it and Beecher himself. And the holy grail and dragons.

The play was very bad indeed.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:30 AM on June 25, 2004

Now I have to wonder if the name of one character from HBO's 'Oz' (possibly NSFW) was a reference back to this important family.
posted by Stoatfarm at 7:14 AM on June 25, 2004

Wait everybody, there is one really cool fact about the Beecher family (outside of Henry Ward Beecher's Brooklyn sex scandal): Calvin Stowe, the minister husband of Harriet Beecher Stowe, was the lifelong experiencer of spectacular hallucinations. He saw armies of strange people walking in and out of the room, he saw satan, he saw dead people, if you were talking to him, he'd kind of be staring into the middle distance, and he'd be looking at whatever bizarre apparition had just appeared from behind the curtains. Most biographies of Harriet Beecher Stowe barely mention this craziness. In any case, he seems to have been a loveable guy, who was tormented by his wife and her family's constant busyness, "the Beecher buzz," as he called it, which kept him from ruminating, and developing his own authorial powers. He was something of a Judaizing Christian, and in his latter years, was affectionately called Rabbi. I like 'im.
posted by Faze at 5:07 PM on June 25, 2004

that is cool, faze : >
posted by amberglow at 5:11 PM on June 25, 2004

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