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The Human Medium

The Human Medium

Harriet Beecher Stowe and the New-York Evangelist

Chapter:
(p.110) 3 The Human Medium
Source:
Apocalyptic Geographies
Author(s):
Jerome Tharaud
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691200101.003.0004

This chapter examines Harriet Beecher Stowe's work for one of the nation's most prominent evangelical newspapers, the New-York Evangelist. It recounts how Stowe's literary apprenticeship altered the cultural significance of the most popular book in nineteenth-century America. It cites several pieces Stowe's work published in the Evangelist between 1835 and 1852, which reframed Uncle Tom's Cabin as a sustained reflection on modern media. It also explains how Stowe theorized the human itself as a medium through which information, feeling, and divine power circulate by crafting a novel that scrutinizes the problems of apocalyptic interpretation. The chapter explores how Stowe became the medium through which a distinctive form of modern sacred space reached a vast reading public and stamped itself indelibly on American culture. It reconsiders the cultural significance of Uncle Tom's Cabin by reframing it as the culmination of Stowe's early writing career in the evangelical press.

Keywords:   Harriet Beecher Stowe, New-York Evangelist, Uncle Tom's Cabin, apocalyptic interpretation, American culture, evangelical press

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