April 1: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” Takes America By Storm

  On this day in 1852, the final installment of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in The National Era, a weekly abolitionist newspaper.  Written in the popular sentimental and melodramatic style of the mid-19th century, Stowe originally envisioned her story as a brief tale that would “paint a word picture…

October 17: Jupiter Hammon, First Published African-American Writer

  Jupiter Hammon, an enslaved man, poet, and devout Christian who became the first published African-American writer, was born on this day in 1711 on the Lloyd family estate on Long Island.   While little is known about the finer details of Hammon’s life, as a boy, young Jupiter was educated alongside the Lloyd family’s…

June 24: Scandal-Plagued Minister Henry Ward Beecher Born in Litchfield

  Henry Ward Beecher, one of the most famous and influential preachers and speakers of 19th century America, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut on this day in 1813.  Henry was one of many literary giants of the extended Beecher family: his father Lyman was also a notable preacher; his sister Harriet found international fame as…