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Calvin Ellis Stowe: The Untold Story of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Influential Husband 

 March 22, 2023

Introduction

We’ve all heard about Harriet Beecher Stowe, the American novelist who authored the influential novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. But have you heard of her husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe? Although he is less well-known, he was a significant influence on Harriet’s life and work. In this blog post, we’ll explore the untold story of Calvin Ellis Stowe, his contributions to Harriet’s writing career, and his own accomplishments.

Calvin and Harriet’s Love Story

Calvin and Harriet met in Cincinnati, where they both worked as professors at Lane Theological Seminary. They fell in love and got married in 1836. Calvin was supportive of Harriet’s writing, and he helped her in her research by reading her drafts and providing feedback. He even helped her with the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by finding a publisher and negotiating a good deal for the book.

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Calvin’s Academic Career

Calvin was an accomplished academic in his own right. He was a professor of Biblical Literature at Lane Theological Seminary and later at Bowdoin College in Maine. He also served as the chair of the department of languages at Dartmouth College. Calvin published several books on Biblical studies, including Introduction to the Study of the Bible and Origin and History of the Books of the Bible.

Calvin’s Anti-Slavery Activism

Calvin shared Harriet’s anti-slavery beliefs, and he played a role in the Underground Railroad, a network of secret safe houses that helped enslaved people escape to freedom in the North. He also served as a delegate to the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in 1837. In addition, he supported women’s rights and was a member of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, which allowed women to play an active role in anti-slavery activism.

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Calvin and Harriet’s Travel Adventures

Calvin and Harriet traveled extensively throughout their lives. They went on a year-long trip to Europe in 1853, which inspired Harriet’s travelogue Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands. They also went on a trip to the West in 1860 and documented their journey in a travelogue called The Pearls of the Western Slope.

Calvin and Harriet’s Family Life

Calvin and Harriet had seven children together, but tragically, only three survived to adulthood. Their son, Henry Ellis Stowe, became a professor of chemistry, and their daughter, Georgiana May Stowe, also became a writer. Their youngest child, Samuel Charles Stowe, was also a writer and published several books.

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FAQs

Q1: What was Calvin Ellis Stowe’s profession?

Calvin Ellis Stowe was a professor of Biblical Literature and an academic.

Q2: What was Calvin’s role in the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin?

Calvin Ellis Stowe helped Harriet Beecher Stowe find a publisher for Uncle Tom’s Cabin and negotiate a good deal for the book.

Q3: Did Calvin and Harriet have children together?

Yes, Calvin and Harriet had seven children together, but tragically, only three survived to adulthood.

Q4: Was Calvin involved in anti-slavery activism?

Yes, Calvin shared Harriet’s anti-slavery beliefs, and he played a role in the Underground Railroad and served as a delegate to the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in 1837.

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Q5: Did Calvin participate in women’s rights activism?

Yes, Calvin supported women’s rights and was a member of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, which allowed women to play an active role in anti-slavery activism.

Q6: Did Calvin write any books?

Yes, Calvin published several books on Biblical studies, including Introduction to the Study of the Bible and Origin and History of the Books of the Bible.

Q7: Where did Calvin and Harriet travel?

Calvin and Harriet traveled extensively throughout their lives, including trips to Europe, the West, and many other locations.

Conclusion

Calvin Ellis Stowe was a significant influence on Harriet Beecher Stowe and a remarkable figure in his own right. His contributions to anti-slavery activism, women’s rights, and Biblical studies should not be overlooked. Although he is often overshadowed by his wife’s accomplishments, it’s important to acknowledge and appreciate Calvin’s role in their shared history. We can all learn from Calvin and Harriet’s love and dedication to each other, their family, and their passions.

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