Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896) was an American abolitionist and author. Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) depicted life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the U.S. and Britain and made the political issues of the 1850s regarding slavery tangible to millions, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. Upon meeting Stowe, Abraham Lincoln allegedly remarked, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!" -- Wikipedia.
jdayh writes. regarding "Back by semi-popular demand: The Window War" --
Mike very good story. I am a bit confused about one thing though, and was wondering if you could please clarify something.... did these events really happen? or is the entire thing made up..? (meaning did you just change some details in a true story?) If so please let us know.. I am about to present this as a piece to a major college and want to know if what I am putting out there is just a made up story..or a protected true story..
This re-release appeared in February of this year. I prefaced it with this:
I have received an email or three about The Window War so I thought I would bring it back here for a return engagement. I originally wrote this in either late 1999 or early 2000 because the GOP was waffling (don't they always) on more gun control, Dubya was signing on to an AWB and he looked like he was going to be the nominee. Because your freedom of speech about presidential candidates is always filtered through the Secret Service spyglass, I wrote this fiction piece instead. It probably worked out better in the end.
I wrote this then as fiction (instead of an advocacy piece) at the urging of lawyer friends who read the rough draft, because they were afraid I'd get myself arrested by writing straight non-fiction. The finished, fictional piece did not describe (at that time) anything that happened in real life. It was after the piece appeared that things got interesting.
I suppose it was close to a year after it first appeared on the Internet that the 2000 election recount crisis happened. On 11 November 2000, Jeff Head reposted it on Free Republic, copied from the earlier post on the Liberty Town Square Forum, with the comment:
"Not advocating anything here -- just wondering if Mike thought about a work of fiction called "Window war II" as it applies to fraudulent elections?"
At the time, Free Republic was the premier conservative activist forum. (Long before its sadly self-neutered state later on, when any criticism of George Bush would get you banned.) So it got seen by a lot of people.
On 25 November, at the height of the crisis, someone writing under the moniker Pa. Patriot posted a Reuters story with the following header:
"THE WINDOW WAR HAS BEGUN!"
An excerpt from the story:
By Friday around noon, The Broward (County) officials had completed review of 573 of these ambiguous ballots. According to unofficial figures Gore had an overall net gain from the manual recount in Broward of 280 votes. Mindful that such small gains could end up tipping the balance Gore's way, Republican supporters were angry. One man with a bullhorn repeatedly yelled "you can't steal this election," as Florida Democratic Congressman Peter Deutsch was interviewed by a television channel . . .
Unknown persons threw a brick through a window at the Democratic Party's Broward County headquarters late on Thursday or early on Friday when the office was closed, police said. Scrawled on the brick was the message: :We would not tolerate an illegal government."
After this event, the Freepers had a field day, many denouncing it as a work Democratic provocateurs. But Pa. Patriot wrote:
"Interesting theory. I would not be surprised. BUT, given the re-posting of the Window War story here on FR recently I think the act was genuine."
Though the rock didn't stop the Broward recount, it, and the unruly Republican activists who demonstrated both inside and outside the buildings where the recounts were going on, shocked and frightened the Democrat officials who were conducting the recount. This was push-back from the previously staid and button-down GOP of the kind that the Dems were supposed to be the masters of. It actually scared the crap out of them and gradually led to counties suspending recounts.
While the case was ultimately decided by the Supremes, the rock and the rowdy demonstrations were the tipping point.
So, did the rock through the Broward County Democratic Party window come from an activist who had read my fictional story?
We'll never know. But I'd like to think so.
Here's the thing. If our side in this existential debate had been more willing to resurrect the Sons of Liberty tactics fictionalized in The Window War, we would be less likely to be facing the civil war that Absolved describes.
On the one hand, I wrote The Window War hoping that folks would emulate it. (I later wrote a series entitled "Rock 'Em," plainly advocating the same tactics as a response to the Amnesty Bill in 2006.)
On the other, I am writing Absolved because I fear it WILL happen and am trying to provide a "useful dire warning" (in David Brin's words) so that it will NOT happen.
I don't think that Harriet Beecher Stowe set out to start a civil war, in Lincoln's phrase. (Indeed, coming from the mouth of the man who did his level best to start the thing, it was the height of hypocrisy, and hardly his only foray into blame displacement. He was fond of telling delegations of free black political and religious leaders that the war was all THEIR fault.)
Still, there is no doubt that fiction can provoke fact. You have only to read that neoNazi masturbatory fantasy titled The Turner Diaries and understand that it was the favorite book of the Aryan Republican Army pukes who carried out the Oklahoma City Bombing to recognize that novels can sometimes become history.
Personally, I think that right now would be a good time to review the Sons of Liberty tactics restated in The Window War. Breaking windows is preferable to killing folks, even if it is in righteous self defense.
Again, I pray that the bloody chain of events described in Absolved never happens. That is why I am writing it. As for The Window War? I think the Founders would understand that sometimes you have to break a little glass to get your point across to people who are taking your liberty and believing they can get away with it without consequence.
During a series of protests linked to the Sons of Liberty, colonists burn and sack the house of the Massachusetts lieutenant governor, Thomas Hutchinson.