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Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Artist
Alanson Fisher, 1807 - 1884
Sitter
Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe, 14 Jun 1811 - 1 Jul 1896
Date
1853
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 86.4 x 68.6 x 2.5cm (34 x 27 x 1")
Frame: 105.4 x 88.3 x 8.6cm (41 1/2 x 34 3/4 x 3 3/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.68.1
Exhibition Label
Born Litchfield, Connecticut
In response to the passage of the draconian Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, Harriet Beecher Stowe began work on a dramatic novel intended to reveal slavery as “the essence of all abuse.” The result was Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, the groundbreaking bestseller that so altered the public’s perception of slavery that it has been described as “one of the most successful feats of persuasion in American history.” First serialized in the National Era newspaper, Uncle Tom’s Cabin appeared in book form in 1852 and sold more than three hundred thousand copies during its first year in print.
The impact of Stowe’s novel extended far beyond the United States. An international success, it contributed to the abolition of serfdom in Russia following its publication there in 1857. Widely read in Britain, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was also credited with fueling that nation’s refusal to recognize the Confederacy during the Civil War.
Provenance
Alexander Purdy, National Theater, New York. George P. Howard, Marion, Mass.; purchased by NPG December 1967.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 122