Harriet Beecher Stowe
In 1832, when Harriet was 21, Lyman Beecher was appointed head of the Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. The family packed up and moved. Though it's not exactly thought of as a swinging cultural marketplace today, at the time Cincinnati was considered "the London of the West." The market town – at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers – attracted a diverse population. It was a great place for a young writer. Harriet was exposed to people of different backgrounds and accents, details she stored away for her future writing career.4 She also joined a literary group called the Semi-Colon Club, where members would submit their writing anonymously and critique each other's work.
In 1836, Harriet Beecher married Calvin Stowe, a professor at Lane Theological Seminary. Later that same year, she gave birth to twin girls named Eliza and Harriet. Calvin Stowe shared his wife's intelligence and ideals, and was far more supportive of her literary career than most men of his age would have been. "My dear, you must be a literary woman," he wrote to his wife early in their marriage. "It is so written in the book of fate."5 Over the next fourteen years, Beecher Stowe bore children (seven in total) and wrote articles and stories about domestic life. The Mayflower, a collection of her short stories, was published in 1843.