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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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The Beecher-Tilton Scandal, 1872–1875

The Beecher-Tilton Scandal, 1872–1875

(p.205) 9 The Beecher-Tilton Scandal, 1872–1875
The Beecher Sisters

Barbara A. White

Yale University Press

This chapter elaborates on the different aspects of the Beecher–Tilton scandal. The accusation that Henry Ward Beecher had an affair with Elizabeth Lib Tilton, one of his parishioners, did not come as news to the Beecher sisters. When Beecher was publicly accused, everyone was pressured to choose sides. Most of Henry's siblings decided to believe him innocent. Harriet admitted to her daughter that she could not even entertain the possibility of guilt. Harriet wrote George Eliot a long letter about Henry after the scandal was over that continues with a summary of the siblings' adult lives, in which Harriet emphasizes their similar beliefs and actions. She wrote one correspondent that she could not think of Henry as anything other than young and another that he is more angel than brother.

Keywords:   Beecher–Tilton scandal, Beecher sisters, Henry Ward Beecher, Elizabeth Lib Tilton

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