Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher
Stowe
1811
1896

American Author and Abolitionist, known best for "Uncle Tom's Cabin"

Author Quotes

What can any individual do? Of that, every individual can judge. There is one thing that every individual can do, — they can see to it that they feel right. An atmosphere of sympathetic influence encircles every human being; and the man or woman who feels strongly, healthily and justly, on the great interests of humanity, is a constant benefactor to the human race. See, then, to your sympathies in this matter!

Witness, eternal God! Oh, witness, that, from this hour, I will do what one man can to drive out this curse of slavery from my land!

What is it that sometimes speaks in the soul so calmly, so clearly, that its earthly time is short? Is it the secret instinct of decaying nature, or the soul's impulsive throb, as immortality draws on? Be what it may, it rested in the heart of Eva, a calm, sweet, prophetic certainty that Heaven was near; calm as the light of sunset, sweet as the bright stillness of autumn, there her little heart reposed, only troubled by sorrow for those who loved her so dearly.

Women are the real architects of society.

What makes saintliness in my view, as distinguished from ordinary goodness, is a certain quality of magnanimity and greatness of soul that brings life within the circle of the heroic.

Yes Eliza, it's all misery, misery, misery! My life is bitter as wormwood; the very life is burning out of me. I'm a poor, miserable, forlorn drudge; I shall only drag you down with me, that's all. What's the use of our trying to do anything, trying to know anything, trying to be anything? What's the use of living? I wish I was dead!

What man has nerve to do, man has not nerve to hear.

You ought to be ashamed, John! Poor, homeless, houseless creatures! It's a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I'll break it, for one, the first time I get a chance; and I hope I shall have a chance, I do! Things have got to a pretty pass, if a woman can't give a warm supper and a bed to poor, starving creatures, just because they are slaves, and have been abused and oppressed all their lives, poor things!

What shall a man do with a sublime tier of moral faculties, when the most profitable business out of his port is the slave trade? So it was in Newport in those days.

Your Kentuckian of the present day is a good illustration of the doctrine of transmitted instincts and peculiarities. His fathers were mighty hunters, - men who lived in the woods, and slept under the free, open heavens, with the stars to hold their candles; and their descendant to this day always acts as if the house were his camp, - wears his hat at all hours, tumbles himself about, and puts his heels on the tops of chairs or mantel-pieces, just as his father rolled on the green sward, and put his upon trees or logs, - keep all the windows and doors open, winter and summer, that he may get air enough for his great lungs, - calls everybody "stranger", with nonchalant bonhommie, and is altogether the frankest, easiest, most jovial creature living.

Tom opened his eyes, and looked upon his master. Ye poor miserable critter! he said, there ain't no more ye can do! I forgive ye, with all my soul! and he fainted entirely away.

Whatever offices of life are performed by women of culture and refinement are thenceforth elevated; they cease to be mere servile toils, and become expressions of the ideas of superior beings.

Your little child is your only true democrat.

Tom read,—Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Them's good words, enough, said the woman; who says 'em? The Lord, said Tom.

What's your hurry? Because now is the only time there ever is to do a thing in, said Miss Ophelia.

You're afraid of me, Simon, and you've reason to be. But be careful, for I've got the devil in me!

Topsy, you poor child, don't give up! I can love you, though I am not like that dear little child. I hope I've learnt something of the love of Christ from her. I can love you; I do, and I'll try to help you to grow up a good Christian girl.

When I have been travel ling up and down on our boats, or about on my collecting tours, and reflected that every brutal, disgusting, mean, low-lived fellow I met, was allowed by our laws to become absolute despot of as many men, women and children, as he could cheat, steal, or gamble money enough to buy,--when I have seen such men in actual ownership of helpless children, of young girls and women,--I have been ready to curse my country, to curse the human race!

You've always stood it out again' me: now, I'll conquer ye, or kill ye!—one or t' other. I'll count every drop of blood there is in you, and take 'em, one by one, till ye give up! Tom looked up to his master, and answered, Mas'r, if you was sick, or in trouble, or dying, and I could save ye, I'd give ye my heart's blood; and, if taking every drop of blood in this poor old body would save your precious soul, I'd give 'em freely, as the Lord gave his for me. O, Mas'r! don't bring this great sin on your soul! It will hurt you more than 't will me! Do the worst you can, my troubles'll be over soon; but, if ye don't repent, yours won't never end!

Treat 'em like dogs, and you'll have dogs' works and dogs' actions. Treat 'em like men, and you'll have men's works.

When I was a girl, I thought I was religious; I used to love God and prayer. Now, I'm a lost soul, pursued by devils that torment me day and night; they keep pushing me on and on--and I'll do it, too, some of these days! I'll send him where he belongs,--a short way, too,--one of these nights, if they burn me alive for it!

True love ennobles and dignifies the material labors of life; and homely services rendered for love's sake have in them a poetry that is immortal.

When winds are raging o'er the upper ocean, and billows wild contend with angry roar, 'tis said, far down beneath the wild commotion, that peaceful stillness reigneth evermore. Far, far beneath, the noise of tempest dieth, and silver waves chime ever peacefully, and no rude storm, how fierce soe'er it flieth, disturbs the Sabbath of that deeper sea. So to the heart that knows Thy love, O Purest, there is a temple sacred evermore, and all the babble of life's angry voices dies in hushed silence at its peaceful door. Far, far away, the roar of passion dieth, and loving thoughts rise calm and peacefully, and no rude storm, how fierce soe'er it flieth, disturbs the soul that dwells, O Lord, in Thee.

We don't own your laws; we don't own your country; we stand here as free, under God's sky, as you are; and, by the great God that made us, we'll fight for our liberty till we die.

When you get into a tight place, and everything goes against you till it seems as if you couldn't hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that's just the place and time that the tide 'll turn. Never trust to prayer without using every means in your power, and never use the means without trusting in prayer. Get your evidences of grace by pressing forward to the mark, and not by groping with a lantern after the boundary-lines, — and so, boys, go, and God bless you!"

Author Picture
First Name
Harriet Beecher
Last Name
Stowe
Birth Date
1811
Death Date
1896
Bio

American Author and Abolitionist, known best for "Uncle Tom's Cabin"