Thursday, July 31, 2008

Today's Quote

Sometimes I prepare books to send to other libraries. I was processing one that was a collection of famous letters from history. So I flipped through it and read a couple. I found some interesting correspondence.

Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom's Cabin), received a letter from her sister saying:
"Hattie, if I could use a pen as you can, I would write something to make this whole nation feel what an accursed thing slavery is."

This is Harriet's response:
"Tell Katy I thank her for her letter and will answer it. As long as the baby sleeps with me nights I can't do much at anything, but I will do it at last. I will write that thing if I live.
What are folks in general saying about the slave law, and the stand taken by Boston ministers universally, except Edward? To me it is incredible, amazing, mournful!! I feel as if I should be willing to sink with it, were all this sin and misery to sink in the sea... I wish father would come on to Boston and preach on the Fugitive Slave Law, as he once preached on the slave-trade, when I was a little girl in Litchfield. I sobbed aloud in one pew and Mrs Judge Reeves in another. I wish some Martin Luther would arise to set this community right."

Now, am I the only one who noticed something unusual there?
"I wish some Martin Luther would arise to set this community right."

Of course, Harriet is referring to Martin Luther who nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a Catholic church and sparked the Reformation in the 1500's. But isn't it uncanny that she would choose him as her example, when so many years down the line, Martin Luther King Jr. would be the one to nail his own reformation to the hearts and minds of the entire world? Don't you think that is amazing? I never even thought, until now, about how Martin Luther King's namesake was right there staring me in the face all these years, and that he was the inspiration for a revolution of his own.

What would Mrs. Stowe say had she known that her wish would be satisfied so many years later?

1 comment:

Hugs from mom said...

Thank you for the beautiful thoughts today. You're insight was appreciated.