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Women, Dissent, and Anti-Slavery in Britain and America, 1790–1865$
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Elizabeth J. Clapp and Julie Roy Jeffrey

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199585489

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585489.001.0001

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Writing Against Slavery: Harriet Beecher Stowe

Writing Against Slavery: Harriet Beecher Stowe

(p.175) 8 Writing Against Slavery: Harriet Beecher Stowe
Women, Dissent, and Anti-Slavery in Britain and America, 1790–1865

Judie Newman

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the strategies which Harriet Beecher Stowe mobilized from her religious background in order to further the abolitionist cause. In Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) revivalist and camp-meeting religion informs character and action. Dred (1856) focuses on the struggles between self-serving American pro-slavery clergy, heroic abolitionist ministers, and prophetic African-American Christianity, dramatized in the context of the role reversals of a camp-meeting. The Christian Slave (1855), a dramatized reading or ‘closet drama’, written for Mary Webb, one of the first African American dramatic performers, developed the role reversal topos of abolitionist closet drama (as did Herman Melville's Benito Cereno) for abolitionist purposes.

Keywords:   abolitionist, camp-meeting, closet drama, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, Mary Webb, The Christian Slave, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Dred

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