Stowe witnessed the evils of slavery first-hand while touring the neighboring state of Kentucky and visited the home of abolitionist John Rankin in Ripley, Ohio. During her residency in Ohio, she interviewed several former slaves who had escaped to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Many of the characters in Uncle Tom's Cabin mirrored real-life individuals such as Josiah Henson, a fugitive slave who escaped from Kentucky to Canada via the Underground Railroad with his wife and two children. While living in Cincinnati, Stowe also befriended Dr. Gamaliel Bailey who helped run the magazine Philanthropy and who would later become editor of National Era, the antislavery weekly that first published Uncle Tom's Cabin in serial format. In 1850, Harriet Beecher Stowe moved from Ohio to Brunswick, Maine, after her husband accepted a teaching position at Bowdoin College. Writing Uncle Tom's Cabin after arriving in Maine, Stowe drew upon her Ohio experiences which inspired her to write the book that would expose the horrors of slavery on a national level.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe House is located at 2950 Gilbert Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is open to the public May 1st - Labor Day on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdary from 10:00am to 3:00pm. In April and the fall it is only open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00am to 2:00pm, and the first Saturday of the month from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Additionally, a cultural program is offered the last Sunday of every month from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Appointments should be made for group tours. Call 513/751-0651 for further information.