On Crumpling Paper and Throwing Books Down

In 1850 Harriet Beecher Stowe was a thirty-nine year old, little known writer living in Brunswick, Maine. Late that year, Harriet received a letter from her sister-in-law Mrs. Edward Beecher, who along where her husband, were firm and active abolitionists.

Mrs. Edward Beecher, with many Northerners, was incensed at the passing of a fundamentally pro-slavery law, the Compromise of 1850. Realizing that the abolitionist cause was losing ground politically, Mrs. Edward Beecher turned to drama, and to “Hattie” (as Harriet was known to her family): “If I could use a pen as you can, I would write something that will make this whole nation feel what an accursed thing slavery is.”[1] As the story goes, Harriet Beecher Stowe, on reading these words rose to her feet, crumpled the letter in one hand, and vowed passionately, “I will write something…I will if I live.”[2] The result was her first novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which became and instant bestseller and galvanized the nation—fueling the debate that eventually led to the abolition of slavery in the United States.[3]

I write this “blogr” to elicit a similar response from you—as you consider the beauty and brilliance of Jesus Christ–and the needs of the world–I hope that you will have a “hattie moment.” You take your computer or ipad or better—why don’t you print off this blog post–and throw it on the ground and vow passionately,  “I will live for Christ…come what may. I will find my identity and hope in Christ and point others to Him in all I do.” Jesus is worthy! He has created each of you for a purpose–to live a dramatic life of service to God and man.

Have you ever had a “hattie moment”? If so, I’d love to hear about it–post a comment below.



[1] Ann Douglas, “Introduction,” to Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (New York: Penguin Books, 1981), 8.

 [2] Ibid.

 [3] Indeed Lincoln greeted Stowe in 1863 as “the little lady who made this big war.” Ibid., 19.

One Response to On Crumpling Paper and Throwing Books Down

  1. Pingback: Gould paper | Jamesandjenniferclare

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