HARRIET BEECHER STOWE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 05/24/1856 For Sale
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HARRIET BEECHER STOWE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 05/24/1856:
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Take a Look at This Week's Specials!HARRIET BEECHER STOWE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 05/24/1856 - HFSID
BEECHER STOWE She
signs a detailed autograph 1856 letter to an English couple, enthusiastically endorsing
the talent for dramatic reading of Mary Webb, daughter of a fugitive slave, for whom
Stowe has written a special dramatized reading of Uncle Tom. Framed in the Gallery of
History style to 41x21 Autograph Letter Signed: "With truest
regard I remain/Ever Yours/H B Stowe", 2¼ pages, 7x8¾
and 6x7¾, separate sheets. Boston, 1856 May 24.
To Mr. & Mrs. Wilman, London. Begins: "
In full: "Permit me to introduce to your kind
regards Mr & Mrs. Webb in whose welfare and success I am greatly interested.
Mrs Webb is the Daughter of a fugitive slave
and had her freedom secured by a heroic effort: on the part of her mother: a short
time previous to her birth. She was born in New Bedford, New England and was
subsequently sent to Cuba where she passed the earlier years of her life in a convent.
Having been endowed with an extraordinary genius for Elocution She has adopted the
profession of a Dramatic Reader. And she has already aquired (sic)
considerable reputation Her success is attested by hundreds of notices written by some
of the most competent critics in this country Indeed her success has been such as to
induce even Pro-Slavery Lyceums to avail themselves of her services in their causes
Her reading of Uncle Tom:' which I have dramatised (sic) expressly for her
has been considered unequaled. Longfellow also has expressed himself much gratified
with her rendering of Hiawatha with regard to which he has made her some valuable
suggestions The reading season being over in this country she has been induced to try
her success in England. I am induced
to recommend her to your notice because she has made the tragedy of Fasio an Especial
study & her rendering of it has been highly spoken of by persons better qualified to
judge than I am, It has less of
stage effect than common but much of
delicate tact tenderness & pathos & I think it could not but give you pleasure to hear
it Permit me to say in closing with how much pleasure I remember the short time in
which it was my good fortune to enjoy your society, during my London sojourn.
" On verso of signature sheet: "To be copied/Mr & Mrs Wilman/London". Author and abolitionist
BEECHER STOWE (1811-1896) is best known for
Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly, which was serialized in the abolitionist newspaper "National Era"
(June 5, 1851-April 1, 1852) before being published in book form in March 1852. Stowe,
who made her first European tour in 1853, followed the work, which helped to solidify
Northern sentiment against slavery, with
Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp
in 1856, the year of this letter (she made a second visit to England to obtain a
British copyright for this book). Stowe had made the acquaintance of MARY E. WEBB
(1829-1859), who had made her public debut as a
speaker in Philadelphia on April 19, 1855, in May 1855 at a reading in Massachusetts.
During the summer of 1855, she became Webb's
patron, writing The Christian Slave: A
Drama, based on a portion of
Uncle Tom's Cabin, for Webb to read. The recital, which took place on December 6,
1855 in Boston's Tremont Temple, was attended by poet HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
(1807-1882), whose 1855 poem, "Hiawatha", was recited by Webb in performances in 1856.
Shortly after receiving Stowe's letter of recommendation, Mary and her husband, FRANK
JOHNSON WEBB, whom she had married in 1845, traveled to Great Britain, where Stowe's
friend, The Duchess of Sutherland, became Mary's patron. Mary, who gave her first
reading in Britain at the home of the Duchess, London's Stafford House on July 28,
1856, was visited by Stowe's sister, Mary Beecher Perkins, the following year.
When her health began to decline, Webb traveled to
France before returning to the U.S. in 1858.
One of the few Black women to attain international fame before the U.S. Civil War,
Mary died in Jamaica in 1859. Lightly creased,
vertical creases touch the "H" and "B" of signature. Light stain at upper margin of
signature sheet touches 1 word. Overall, fine condition. Framed in the Gallery of History style: 41¼x20½.
See more material from these signers:HARRIET BEECHER STOWE See more listings in our AUTHORS (1,677) category.
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