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The Beecher Sisters$
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Barbara A. White

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300099270

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300099270.001.0001

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Calvinist Childhoods, 1800–1837

Calvinist Childhoods, 1800–1837

(p.1) 1 Calvinist Childhoods, 1800–1837
The Beecher Sisters

Barbara A. White

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the childhood of the Beecher sisters, who had the good fortune to be born into one of the most famous and controversial families of the nineteenth century. Lyman Beecher, the family patriarch, was an energetic Puritan minister who dedicated his life to defending religious orthodoxy. Mary was named after Roxana's younger sister, Mary Foote Hubbard, who lived with the Beechers during much of their time in East Hampton and who had a tragic clash with the inhumane practice that would touch the lives of all the Beechers, chattel slavery. The negative Calvinist philosophy might suggest that the Beecher sisters had bleak childhoods, but in general, they recalled their early years as lively and happy.

Keywords:   Beecher sisters, childhood, controversial family, Lyman Beecher, East Hampton

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