Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher
Stowe
1811
1896

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

Author Quotes

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!"

We hear often of the distress of the negro servants, on the loss of a kind master; and with good reason, for no creature on God's earth is left more utterly unprotected and desolate than the slave in these circumstances. The child who has lost a father has still the protection of friends, and of the law; he is something, and can do something, — has acknowledged rights and position; the slave has none. The law regards him, in every respect, as devoid of rights as a bale of merchandise. The only possible acknowledgment of any of the longings and wants of a human and immortal creature, which are given to him, comes to him through the sovereign and irresponsible will of his master; and when that master is stricken down, nothing remains. The number of those men who know how to use wholly irresponsible power humanely and generously is small. Everybody knows this, and the slave knows it best of all; so that he feels that there are ten chances of his finding an abusive and tyrannical master, to one of his finding a considerate and kind one. Therefore is it that the wail over a kind master is loud and long, as well it may be.

Where painting is weakest, namely, in the expression of the highest moral and spiritual ideas, there music is sublimely strong.

Lor bless ye, yes! These critters ain't like white folks, you know; they gets over things, only manage right. Now, they say," said Haley, assuming a candid and confidential air, "that this kind o' trade is hardening to the feelings; but I never found it so. Fact is, I never could do things up the way some fellers manage the business. I've seen 'em as would pull a woman's child out of her arms, and set him up to sell, and she screechin' like mad all the time; — very bad policy — damages the article — makes 'em quite unfit for service sometimes. I knew a real handsome gal once, in Orleans, as was entirely ruined by this sort o' handling. The fellow that was trading for her didn't want her baby; and she was one of your real high sort, when her blood was up. I tell you, she squeezed up her child in her arms, and talked, and went on real awful. It kinder makes my blood run cold to think of 't; and when they carried off the child, and locked her up, she jest went ravin' mad, and died in a week. Clear waste, sir, of a thousand dollars, just for want of management, — there's where 't is. It's always best to do the humane thing, sir; that's been my experience." And the trader leaned back in his chair, and folded his arm, with an air of virtuous decision, apparently considering himself a second Wilberforce.

Now, I've been laughed at for my notions, sir, and I've been talked to. They an't pop'lar, and they an't common; but I stuck to 'em, sir; I've stuck to 'em, and realized well on 'em; yes, sir, they have paid their passage, I may say," and the trader laughed at his joke. There was something so piquant and original in these elucidations of humanity, that Mr. Shelby could not help laughing in company. Perhaps you laugh too, dear reader; but you know humanity comes out in a variety of strange forms now-a-days, and there is no end to the odd things that humane people will say and do.

Scenes of blood and cruelty are shocking to our ear and heart. What man has nerve to do, man has not nerve to hear.

The beautiful must ever rest in the arms of the sublime. - The gentle need the strong to sustain it, as much as the rock-flowers need rocks to grow on, or the ivy the rugged wall which it embraces.

There are worlds of money wasted, at this time of year, in getting things that nobody wants, and nobody cares for after they are got.

Love is very beautiful, but very, very sad.

Now, there's no way with servants, but to put them down, and keep them down. It was always natural to me, from a child. Eva is enough to spoil a whole house-full. What will she do when she comes to keep house herself, I'm sure I don't know. I hold to being kind to servants - I always am; but you must make 'em know their place. Eva never does; there's no getting into the child's head the first beginning of an idea what a servant's place is! You heard her offering to take care of me nights, to let Mammy sleep! That's just a specimen of the way the child would be doing all the time, if she was left to herself.

So long as the law considers all these human beings, with beating hearts and living affections, only as so many things belonging to the master -- so long as the failure, or misfortune, or imprudence, or death of the kindest owner, may cause them any day to exchange a life of kind protection and indulgence for one of hopeless misery and toil -- so long it is impossible to make anything beautiful or desirable in the best-regulated administration of slavery.

The burning of rebellious thoughts in the little breast, of internal hatred and opposition, could not long go on without slight whiffs of external smoke, such as mark the course of subterranean fire.

There is more done with pens than with swords.

Love needs new leaves every summer of life, as much as your elm tree, and new branches to grow broader and wider, and new flowers to cover the ground.

O, because I have had only that kind of benevolence which consists in lying on a sofa, and cursing the church and clergy for not being martyrs and confessors. One can see, you know, very easily, how others ought to be martyrs.

So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls, why don’t somebody wake up to the beauty of old women?

The greater the interest involved in a truth the more careful, self-distrustful, and patient should be the inquiry. I would not attack the faith of a heathen without being sure I had a better one to put in its place, because, such as it is, it is better than nothing.

There, you impudent dog! Now will you learn not to answer back when I speak to you? Take the horse back, and clean him properly. I'll teach you your place!

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"