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 Harriet Beecher Stowe
Photo of Harriet Beecher Stowe courtesy of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.

Mark Twain Remembers Mrs. Stowe's Final Years

The Stowe property abuts the Samuel Clemens's property, and he recalled her final years in the neighborhood when her mind had begun to wander.

   -- from Mark Twain's Autobiography

"Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe was a near neighbor of ours in Hartford, with no fence between. In those days she made as much use of our grounds as of her own in pleasant weather. Her mind had decayed, and she was a pathetic figure. She wandered about all the day long in the care of a muscular Irishwoman, assigned to her as a guardian. Among the colonists of our neighborhood the doors always stood open in pleasant weather. Mrs. Stowe entered them at her own free will, and as she was always softly slippered and generally full of animal spirits, she was able to deal in surprises, and she liked to do it. She would slip up behind a person who was deep in dreams and musings and fetch a war whoop that would jump that person out of his clothes."

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