Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher
Stowe
1811
1896

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

Author Quotes

Many a humble soul will be amazed to find that the seed it sowed in weakness, in the dust of daily life, has blossomed into immortal flowers under the eye of the Lord.

O, that's what troubles me, papa. You want me to live so happy, and never have any pain,--never suffer anything,--not even hear a sad story, when other poor creatures have nothing but pain and sorrow, all their lives;--it seems selfish. I ought to know such things, I ought to feel about them! Such things always sunk into my heart; they went down deep; I've thought and thought about them. Papa, isn't there any way to have all slaves made free?

So subtle is the atmosphere of opinion that it will make itself felt without words.

The heart has no tears to give; it drops only blood, bleeding itself away in silence.

These words dropped into my childish mind as if you should accidentally drop a ring into a deep well. I did not think of them much at the time, but there came a day in my life when the ring was fished up out of the well, good as new.

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!

O, Topsy, poor child, I love you! I love you, because you haven't had any father, or mother, or friends;--because you've been a poor, abused child! I love you, and I want you to be good. I am very unwell, Topsy, and I think I shan't live a great while; and it really grieves me, to have you be so naughty. I wish you would try to be good, for my sake;--it's only a little while I shall be with you.

Sobs, heavy, hoarse and loud, shook the chairs, and great tears fell through his fingers on the floor - just such tears, sir, as you dropped into the coffin where lay your first-born son; such tears, woman, as you shed when you heard the cries of your dying babe; for, sir, he was a man, and you are but another man; and, woman, though dressed in silk and jewels, you are but a woman, and, in life's great straits and mighty griefs, ye feel but one sorrow!

The horrid cruelties and outrages that once and a while find their way into the papers — such cases as Prue's, for example — what do they come from? In many cases, it is a gradual hardening process on both sides — the owner growing more and more cruel, as the servant more and more callous. Whipping and abuse are like laudanum; you have to double the dose as the sensibilities decline.

This is God's curse on slavery!--a bitter, bitter, most accursed thing!--a curse to the master and a curse to the slave! I was a fool to think I could make anything good out of such a deadly evil.

Midnight, - strange mystic hour, - when the veil between the frail present and the eternal future grows thin.

O, with what freshness, what solemnity and beauty, is each new day born; as if to say to insensate man, "Behold! thou hast one more chance! Strive for immortal glory!" There is no speech nor language where this voice is not heard; but the bold, bad man heard it not. He woke with an oath and a curse. What to him was the gold and purple, the daily miracle of morning!

Some jokes are less agreeable than others

The huge green fragment of ice on which she alighted pitched and creaked as her weight came on it, but she staid there not a moment. With wild cries and desperate energy she leaped to another and still another cake;--stumbling--leaping--slipping--springing upwards again! Her shoes are gone--her stocking cut from her feet--while blood marked every step; but she saw nothing, felt nothing, till dimly, as in a dream, she saw the Ohio side, and a man helping her up the bank.

Thou canst say, who hast seen that same expression on the face dearest to thee;-that look indescribable, hopeless, unmistakable, that says to thee that thy beloved is no longer thine.

Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.

Of course, in a novel, people’s hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us. There is a most busy and important round of eating, drinking, dressing, walking, visiting, buying, selling, talking, reading, and all that makes up what is commonly called living, yet to be gone through.

Still, still with thee when purple morning breaketh, when the bird walketh, and the shadows flee; fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight dawns the sweet consciousness; I am with thee. Alone with thee amid the mystic shadows, the solemn hush of nature newly born. Alone with thee in breathless adoration, in the calm dew and freshness of the morn. When sinks the soul, subdued by toil, to slumber, it's closing eyes look up to thee in prayer; sweet the repose beneath thy wings o'ershading, but sweeter still to wake and find thee there. So shall it be at last in that bright morning, when the soul walketh and life's shadows flee. Oh, in that hour, fairer than daylight's dawning, shall rise the glorious thought: I am with Thee!

The literature of a people must spring from the sense of its nationality; and nationality is impossible without self-respect, and self-respect is impossible without liberty.

'Tis said, far down beneath the wild commotion

My view of Christianity is such, that I think no man can consistently profess it without throwing the whole weight of his being against the monstrous system of injustice that lies at the foundation of all our society... I have certainly had intercourse with a great many enlightened and Christian people who did not such thing, and I confess that the apathy of religious people on this subject, their want of perception of wrongs that filled me with horror, have engendered in me more skepticism than any other thing.

Oh my Eva, whose little hour on earth did so much good... what account have I to give for my long years?

Strange, what brings these past things so vividly back to us, sometimes!

The longest day must have its close -- the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning. An eternal, inexorable lapse of moments is ever hurrying the day of the evil to an eternal night, and the night of the just to an eternal day.

To do common things perfectly is far better worth our endeavor than to do uncommon things respectably.

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"