The Harriet Beecher Stowe House is operated as an historical and cultural site, focusing on Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. The site also includes a look into the family, friends, and colleagues of the Beecher-Stowe family, Lane Seminary, and the abolitionist, womens rights and Underground Railroad movements in which these historical figures participated in the 1830's to 1860's, as well as African-American history related to these movements.

The house was the home to Harriet Beecher Stowe prior to her marriage and to her father, Rev. Lyman Beecher, and his large family, a prolific group of religious leaders, educators, writers, and antislavery and womens rights advocates. The Beecher family includes Harriet's sister, Catherine Beecher, an early female educator and writer who helped found numerous high schools and colleges for women; brother Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, a leader of the womens suffrage movement and considered by some to be the most eloquent minister of his time; General James Beecher, a Civil War general who commanded the first African-American troops in the Union Army recruited from the South; and sister Isabella Beecher Hooker, a womens rights advocate.

The Beechers lived in Cincinnati for nearly 20 years, from 1832to the early 1850's, before returning East. Shortly after leaving Cincinnati and basing her writing on her experiences in Cincinnati, in 1851-1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe Stowe authored the best-selling book of its time, Uncle Tom's Cabin, a fictionalized popular account of the pain slavery imposed on its victims and of the difficult struggles of slaves to escape and travel, on the Underground Railroad, to freedom in the northern states or Canada. Published just after the draconian fugitive slave laws were enacted by the US Congress in 1850, the book made Harriet Beecher Stowe's name a household word in the United States. Uncle Tom's Cabin has been published in over 75 languages and is still an important text used in schools all over the world. Uncle Tom's Cabin is a remarkable example of how one person can make a huge impact to improve the lives of millions of people.

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