All About Harriet Beecher Stowe
Located in the southern portion of Jacksonville, Florida, is the neighborhood of Mandarin. It is adjacent to the eastern banks of the St. Johns River. Mandarin is known for many unique events, and famous people, including Harriet Beecher Stowe.
This abolitionist and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin was inspired due to the suffering of slaves during the 1800s. This novel detailed how slavery adversely affected the African American men, women, and children of this time period.
Here is a brief overview of Harriet Beecher Stowe and her life in the Mandarin area.
Who Was Harriet Beecher Stowe?
Harriet Beecher Stowe is a well-known author and philanthropist whose life revolved around achieving freedom for black people controlled by slavery. In her book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she writes about actual events that she experienced in the Cincinnati area.
This novel described quite vividly how slavery affected black people and became an important book that exposed the activities of the South.
She was born in Litchfield, Connecticut to the well-known Calvinist minister Lyman Beecher and Roxana Foote in June of 1811.
During her early life, Stowe had the chance to travel extensively with her family to the South during the 1830s. Many of her personal experiences were later found in her works, including Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Her father moved the family to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1832 where she taught at a local school. She was appalled by the treatment of enslaved individuals. This inspired her to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
She conveys how Christian doctrine, and the belief in the legitimacy of slavery, were completely at odds with one another. It was her Christian upbringing of her Beecher family that compelled her to write this novel. Since its publication, it has been read and published millions of times.
She was also the author of 30 other books, travel memoirs, a large collection of letters and articles.
How Did She Influence The Mandarin Area?
In 1867, Harriet Beecher Stowe chose to live in Mandarin, referring to it as her winter home. She assisted her son Frederick, in Clay County, while he worked at a cotton farm operation near modern-day Orange Park.
She refers to rolling across the St. Johns River, just to pick up mail, which was waiting for them in Mandarin. It was because of her interactions in Mandarin that she chose it as her winter refuge. She wrote that they did not experience any negativity in this area of Florida, which motivated her to stay.
The place where she lived was just east of the Mandarin Community Club and near the St. Joseph’s Mission Schoolhouse. Her husband Calvin taught Bible studies at this location. She was also active at her Episcopalian church and within the community as well. Some of the activities that she participated in included acting in plays with her children.
However, her residency in Mandarin, coupled with her fame because of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is what she is most well-known for today.
Eventually, in 1884, the Stowes departed from Mandarin. It was due to her health, and also her age, that they decided to leave.
To honor her husband, she asked the Church of Our Saviour to create a window, facing the river, honoring her husband. It was in 1916 that Louis Comfort Tiffany commissioned the creation of a stained-glass window in her honor.
You can visit Harriet Beecher Stowe’s home marker at 12431 Mandarin Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32223.
Today, her book is still presented in schools. It represents a window back in time that reveals the true face of slavery back in the 1800s.
Although Harriet died in 1896, her memory still lives on. Her contribution to society through Uncle Tom’s Cabin still has a remarkable influence on all of us today.
Farnham Dentistry is a strong proponent of maintaining and sharing the history of the Mandarin Florida area.