|Life at the home of Harriet Beecher Stowe in Mandarin often included knitting and card games on the porch.|
|Henry Ward Beecher|
In the 1870s, a close associate and protégé accused him of having an affair with the associate’s wife. The subsequent investigations and trial became a drawn-out soap opera, every salacious tidbit covered in detail in The New York Times. Throught it all, Beecher’s wife, Eunice, in the grand Tammy Wynette-style tradition, stood by her man, visiting her dour expression upon the proceeding as she attended court sessions every day.
Beecher was eventually found to be not guilty of adultery, although public sentiment at the time was similar to the public sentiment in recent well publicized murder trials.
Eunice preaches the value of applying oneself to building a life under adverse conditions in Florida and the rewards for doing so. It is a book she wrote in later life and stands in stark contrast to the experience she and her husband had when he received his first call in 1839 to preach in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, then a frontier wilderness. Historians suggest that Eunice was miserable there and much happier when the family moved to New York City.
Eunice was a sickly woman but the regular visits to Florida must have improved her health. She outlived her husband who died in 1887. Eunice also published books of poetry as well as Motherly Tales and All Around the House, a guide for establishing a happy home. Some historians suggest that given her husband’s philandering reputation, she was hardly an authority. Still, she and her husband had 10 children.