The Two Altars; or, Two Pictures in One
Harriet Beecher Stowe's first antislavery story, published in her Uncle Sam's Emancipation collection (1853) and reprinted as a tract by the American Anti-Slavery Society. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) produced a large oeuvre beyond Uncle Tom’s Cabin, yet it is rare for modern readers to encounter her writing beyond this most-successful of American novels. Yet as Stowe developed she became one of the finest American novelists of her century, appreciated by her contemporaries for the depth and quiet aesthetic of her fiction. A deep social conscience infuses her work, together with the evangelical piety for which she was noted. She develops these qualities through domestic characterizations that frequently fit within a finely-balanced moral plot scheme.
This sense of balance characterizes Stowe’s first story, which she wrote prior to Uncle Tom’s Cabin and published as her novel’s popularity raged. The story is directed against the Fugitive Slave Law; for this reason the American Anti-Slavery Society arranged to reprint it as a tract.
The first part of the story is set in a
The second half of the story takes place in