Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)

Stowe is best remembered for the melodramatic and sentimental "Uncle Tom's Cabin", an antislavery novel written in 1851. This work, which made Stowe famous virtually overnight, intensified North and South antagonism in the pre-Civil War era, making her a hated figure in the South and the darling of the English abolitionists.

However, the modern impression of her most famous characters--such as Uncle Tom, Topsy, Little Eva, and Simon Legree-- brought to mind by "Uncle Tom's Cabin" are less the products of her work than of the 1852 play by George L. Aiken.