ALS to an unknown recipient, naming her sources for the characters Uncle Tom and George Harris. [with] Autobiographical fragment addressed to Ticknor, undated but probably early.
Mandarin (FL): Dec. 1, 1881. [ALS] 8vo sheet of writing paper, with two horizontal folds, with two tiny mounting tabs on the back (presumably once in an album). Written in brown ink, boldly signed H.B. Stowe.[Autobiography] 2 pp., written front and back on a single sheet of paper. A fascinating pair of documents found inside a copy of the Key to Uncle Toms Cabin. The letter is unpublished and, although it was known from fairly early on that Stowe had read Hensons autobiography, this short note adds important information hitherto unknown. Stowe wrote a preface for the republication of Henson's autobiography in 1858 which indicated that she held him in high regard - but she is certainly known to have mentioned other slave accounts. The added information about Lewis Clarke being the model for George Harris is believed to be new. And, as Stowe adds at the end much of the incident in both cases was imaginary.The autobiographical fragment is addressed Dear Mr. Ticknor and opens I received your letter and cheque... as to your request for a biographical note I am somewhat puzzled about it but will say with simplicity the facts". She goes on to sketch her childhood in Lichfield Connecticut "a beautiful mountain town, with the loveliest lakes and hills and the biggest snow drifts and coldest winters ever got up this side [of] Labrador", and to describe the inspirational teaching she received from John Brace of the Lichfield Female Academy and her subsequent education, "Mostly educated by hearing him talk to his classes... trained to write from the moment could hold a pen constantly stimulated to write by his influence... went to Hartford to Miss C. Beechers school at sixteen... then Dr. Beecher removed to Cincinnati taught school there for four years and married Prof. C.E. Stowe. Living..." and there the fragment ends. Full transcriptions available.
(Item Id: 108053)