Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), famed author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) and noted abolitionist, is remembered for her New England roots and Northern perspectives. However, Stowe both influenced and was influenced by Florida.
After the Civil War, in 1867, Stowe and her family wintered in Mandarin, FL on the east bank of the St. Johns River, now a neighborhood of Jacksonville.
During her Florida winters, Stowe wrote Palmetto Leaves, published in 1873, a travel memoir of her years in Mandarin. Palmetto Leaves’ literary sketches include: “A Flowery January in Florida,” “Swamps and Orange-Trees,” “The Laborers of the South,” and “Buying Land in Florida” among others.
Until its destruction in 1964 by Hurricane Dora, the Church of Our Saviour in Mandarin, FL housed the Stowe Memorial Stained Glass Window created by Louis Comfort Tiffany.