An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Beecher, Catharine Esther

(Sept. 6, 1800-May 12, 1878). Influential advocate of women's concerns. She was born in East Hampton, Long Island, New York, and was raised a Presbyterian. She was a daughter of Lyman Beecher, a leading clergyman who served Presbyterian and Congregational churches. Later in life she rejected the “soul-withering doctrines” of her family's Calvinistic background and converted to the Episcopal Church. She wrote extensively in defense of women's responsibilities in the home and of their family management skills. Among her many books are A Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841); The Duty of American Women to their Country (1845); The Evils Suffered by American Women and Children: Causes and Remedy (1846); and with her sister Harriett Beecher Stowe, The American Woman's Home (1869). In 1852 she organized the American Woman's Educational Association. Beecher had a major impact through her popular books on homemaking and on the role of women as shapers of moral and spiritual values for their families.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.