Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Page 3 of 8

Table Of Contents: Lives of Girls Who Became Famous

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

At seven, with a remarkably retentive memory,--a thing which many of us spoil by trashy reading, or allowing our time and attention to be distracted by the trifles of every-day life,--Harriet had learned twenty-seven hymns and two long chapters of the Bible. She was exceedingly fond of reading, but there was little in a poor minister's library to attract a child. She found Bell's Sermons, and Toplady on Predestination. "Then," she says, "there was a side closet full of documents, a weltering ocean of pamphlets, in which I dug and toiled for hours, to be repaid by disinterring a delicious morsel of a Don Quixote, that had once been a book, but was now lying in forty or fifty dissecta membra, amid Calls, Appeals, Essays, Reviews, and Rejoinders. The turning up of such a fragment seemed like the rising of an enchanted island out of an ocean of mud." Finally Ivanhoe was obtained, and she and her brother George read it through seven times.

At twelve, we find her in the school of Mr. John P. Brace, a well-known teacher, where she developed great fondness for composition. At the exhibition at the close of the year, it was the custom for all the parents to come and listen to the wonderful productions of their children. From the list of subjects given, Harriet had chosen, "Can the Immortality of the Soul be proved by the Light of Nature?"

"When mine was read," she says, "I noticed that father brightened and looked interested. 'Who wrote that composition?' he asked of Mr. Brace. 'Your daughter, sir!' was the answer. There was no mistaking father's face when he was pleased, and to have interested him was past all juvenile triumphs."

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

A new life was now to open to Harriet. Her only sister Catharine, a brilliant and noble girl, was engaged to Professor Fisher of Yale College. They were to be married on his return from a European tour, but alas! the Albion, on which he sailed, went to pieces on the rocks, and all on board, save one, perished. Her betrothed was never heard from. For months all hope seemed to go out of Catharine's life, and then, with a strong will, she took up a course of mathematical study, his favorite study, and Latin under her brother Edward. She was now twenty-three. Life was not to be along the pleasant paths she had hoped, but she must make it tell for the future.

With remarkable energy, she went to Hartford, Conn., where her brother was teaching, and thoroughly impressed with the belief that God had a work for her to do for girls, she raised several thousand dollars and built the Hartford Female Seminary. Her brothers had college doors opened to them; why, she reasoned, should not women have equal opportunities? Society wondered of what possible use Latin and moral philosophy could be to girls, but they admired Miss Beecher, and let her do as she pleased. Students poured in, and the seminary soon overflowed. My own school life in that beloved institution, years afterward, I shall never forget.

Page 3 of 8 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004