Harriet Bedell vs. Harriet Beecher Stowe

We can’t call this the “long-anticipated” Battle of the Harriets since, be honest, did anyone predict Harriet Bedell to make it to the Elate Eight? Nonetheless, we have a match-up rivaling the earlier Battle of the Catherines (of Alexandria vs. of Siena) plus we have a better name: Welcome to Harriet Havoc! Which Harriet will prevail? Well, that’s up to you.

To get to this point, upstart Harriet Bedell bested Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky and Thomas Gallaudet while Harriet Beecher Stowe sent James Holly and Alcuin packing. Check out all the previous action and brush up on on your Harriet(s) trivia by clicking the bracket page and scrolling down to see their respective earlier match-ups.

Yesterday in the third hotly contested battle in as many days (it’s been quite the week around here!), Phillips Brooks defeated (or should we say flexed his “mite” over) Julia Chester Emery 51% to 49%.

Be sure to watch the daily Archbishops’ Update, and if there’s someone out there who hasn’t liked us on Facebook, get to it. We’re pretty sure there are more than 9,762 Facebook subscribers out there. Don’t make us contact Zuckerberg to confirm this. Here’s the latest from the Archbishops:

Photo courtesy of Florida State Archives

Photo courtesy of Florida State Archives

Harriet Bedell

When you look this photo of Deaconess Harriet Bedell standing before a sign for the Glade Cross Mission, you can be forgiven for reading it as “Episcopal Souvenirs” instead of “Glade Cross Mission-Episcopal.” Considering the tireless work she offered for 27 years as a missionary to the Seminole people in southwest Florida, it’s possible to see that it could be true no matter how you read it.

Marion Nicolay, who offers historical re-enactments as Bedell, explains how the Deaconess worked to ensure that the tribal members benefited from the income derived from their handicrafts. She would take a loan from the Collier Corporation, then pay the tribal members for their work with script from the company’s store. She would sell the crafts in the mission shop to tourists and then pay off the loans and use the excess for tribal support and to buy big items like sewing machines. She paid her $20 monthly rent for the mission buildings out of the $50 monthly salary she received as an Episcopal Church missionary. Eventually the Collier Corporation deeded the property to the church. Nicolay, acting as Bedell in the 50-minute video, quips, “I found that I was the middle man for the tribe. That was never in my deaconess job description.”

During the Depression, Bedell drove her Model A to Washington, D.C. to lobby officials to protect the Seminoles’ handicrafts from being undercut by foreign, cheaply-made knock-offs. She accosted leaders at the Department of Labor (possibly Frances Perkins) and the American Trade Authority. She even showed up at the Japanese Embassy to offer a piece of her mind on the subject of replica goods. Ultimately the U.S. Government put a halt to such imports.


Rare male Seminole doll donated to the Miami Science Museum by Deaconess Harriet Bedell in 1952.

While in D.C. she got the idea to drive up to New York City to pitch the department stores like Saks and Bergdorf Goodman to see if they would place orders for Seminole crafts. As the Depression deepened and the tourists stopped visiting Florida, the orders from New York stores kept some money coming in. The Deaconess had some pretty good ideas.

Bedell’s passion for the people she served was noticed well beyond The Episcopal Church and the local and tribal unnamedcommunities. In 2000 she was named a “Great Floridian” by the Florida Department of State. A commemoration plaque is mounted at the front door of the Museum of the Everglades.

unnamedSt. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Marco Island established the Bedell Chapel to honor her life and ministry. Local artist Hannah Ineson painted this gorgeous mural depicting the Everglades – complete with alligator — behind the altar of the chapel. (Here’s a crazy Episcopal thing for those of you who like crazy Episcopal things: Hannah’s husband John is the priest who baptized our sons and was a long-time rector of St. Andrew’s in Newcastle, Maine, which, get this, was Frances Perkins’ summer parish).

In 1943 Harriet Bedell turned 68 and was told by the bishop she would have to unnamedretire. She brokered a deal where she would get $50 a month in pension (eerily similar to her salary) and be allowed to carry on with her ministry as long as her health held out. She served for another 17 years and was often quoted as saying, “There is no retirement in the service of the Master.”

Perhaps it was inevitable that someone who worked so hard to improve that lives of the people she served, not least by helping to improve the quality of their handcrafted dolls, would one day have a doll created in her likeness. On display at St. Mark’s is the cross from the Glade Cross Mission that survived Hurricane Donna as well as a doll depicting a Seminole child and the Deaconess herself.

Not for sale.

Heidi Shott 

Harriet Beecher Stoweunnamed

I know that one of the problems that plagues you, the Lent Madness voter, is a crippling loneliness — a fear that you might one day be without Harriet Beecher Stowe. Well, I am here to tell you — that day will never, ever come, because she is everywhere.

Do you want to always remember her most influential work? Why not wear it around your wrist! 

unnamedHow about as a t-shirt? You can do that too! Every blessed word, printed artfully on a tshirt!   (This is actually an incredibly cool idea, and money goes to promote literacy around the world).

Note: Uncle Tom’s Cabin has so much merchandise behind it, that, were you to contemplate it all,  your head would explode. The book was so popular, that for the first time, diverse companies jumped unnamedon its popularity to sell their own products — from lamps to playing cards to hankerchiefs, etc. If it was possible to stamp Eva and Tom on a thing, it was done, and so Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the first mass marketed work of art in Western culture, and all without licensing agreements, so poor Harriet never saw a dime extra. If you’re interested, however, there’s an excellent roundup here.

unnamedBut this is distracting us from dealing with all things Beecher Stowe. Do you need to mail a strongly worded, yet eloquently phrased letter to your congress person? Harriet postage stamps to the rescue!

When night comes, are you seized by fits of anxious indecision and moral turpitude? Don’t worry! You can buy a Harriet Beecher Stowe stuffed doll to counsel you! (and it’s on sale!).unnamed

But most of all, you require what everyone does. When you’re out with your friends, you need something to show them. Something to hand them, to guide them to a saintly path.

I give you, Harriet Beecher Stowe trading cards Suitable for trading, collecting, or distributing to wayward individuals.

Megan Castellan


Harriet Bedell vs. Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • Harriet Bedell (74%, 3,102 Votes)
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe (26%, 1,095 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,195

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101 Comments to "Harriet Bedell vs. Harriet Beecher Stowe"

  1. Joan Verret's Gravatar Joan Verret
    April 10, 2014 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    You didn’t mention any of her other important missionary work in the west and Alaska.
    Not fair!!!

    • Heidi Shott's Gravatar Heidi Shott
      April 10, 2014 - 8:20 am | Permalink

      Joan, those two chapters in her long ministry
      as a deaconess are covered in the first two rounds.
      I couldn’t find suitable nuggets from those periods
      to use in this round.

    • Denise Passmore's Gravatar Denise Passmore
      April 10, 2014 - 10:10 am | Permalink

      Hi Joan,
      Glad to see I’m not the only one of our clan following. But during the first round I did read about her work in the west and Alaska.

  2. April 10, 2014 - 8:07 am | Permalink

    I voted for Harriet. But I’m ambivalent.

    • Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
      April 10, 2014 - 8:46 am | Permalink

      Cynthia, that’s cheating!

    • WebFoot's Gravatar WebFoot
      April 10, 2014 - 11:12 am | Permalink

      Where’s that button?

    • Jim Harrison's Gravatar Jim Harrison
      April 10, 2014 - 11:20 am | Permalink

      The Via Media, Cynthia?

  3. Joy's Gravatar Joy
    April 10, 2014 - 8:09 am | Permalink

    Harriet Bedell for me today. I’m exhausted just reading her story. And so moved by her constant unfailing never ceasing discipleship. Whew!

  4. Thomas van Brunt's Gravatar Thomas van Brunt
    April 10, 2014 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    The mystical connection to Francis Perkins is enough for me?

  5. Geri Swanson's Gravatar Geri Swanson
    April 10, 2014 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    Harriet Bedell atteneed the New York School for Deaconesses and led a life of service and innovation. She deserves your vote.

    • Bruce K's Gravatar Bruce K
      April 10, 2014 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Curious bout this school I Googled the program and found that”The courses included Old Testament, New Testament, church history, and theology, which were usually taught by local priests. There were also practical courses in household management, ecclesiastical embroidery, missionary instruction, and the cutting and making of wearing apparel. The school offered summer internships in hospitals or city ministries.”
      Bedell’s career took her a long way from such subservient preparation, and undoubtedly raised a lot of consciousness, including mine.

  6. Lauren Stanley's Gravatar Lauren Stanley
    April 10, 2014 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    In the Battle of the Harriets, this missionary votes for the missionary. Imagine walking into Saks and Bergdorf Goodman in your habit and selling them dolls made by Seminoles in Florida! And that far-fetched tie to Frances Perkins delighted me and made me laugh.

  7. Lore Yao's Gravatar Lore Yao
    April 10, 2014 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    I found myself focusing on more current Saints. It wasn’t that those oldies but goodies , Lydia, Basel etc., aren’t worthy of consideration but I wanted to learn and be inspired by those who lived , in time, closer to me. I voted for Deaconess Harriet Bedall because I wanted her light to shine forth from under the basket. Everyone knows about Harriet Beecher Stowe but Harriet Bedell?

    • April 10, 2014 - 9:19 am | Permalink

      “I found myself focusing on more current Saints.”
      This is actually a common phenomenon, as the human brain is predisposed to favor information, events, etc. closer in time and distance rather than those less recent in time and distance. So, FYI to the SEC, as you contemplate the future of Lenten Bracketology “science”.

  8. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 10, 2014 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    The t-shirt got me, I’m sticking with Stowe! Other Harriet got to go!

  9. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    April 10, 2014 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    I am so impressed by this feisty little deaconess. What a wonderful servant she was.

  10. Mike Spring's Gravatar Mike Spring
    April 10, 2014 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    Do we value the effect of someone’s life, or do we value the life itself? Bedell for me.

  11. Cate M.'s Gravatar Cate M.
    April 10, 2014 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    In honor of the Energizer Bunny we call our Deacon at Church of the Holy Spirit (shout out to Johnine Byrer), I have cast my lot with Harriet Bedell!

  12. April 10, 2014 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    You missed another link – they were both Florida girls (or rather women). Harriet Stowe lived for years in Mandarin Florida and was a great tourist attraction herself at $.10.

  13. Kristin Rollins's Gravatar Kristin Rollins
    April 10, 2014 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    As a Canadian of the appropriate age, I’m now thinking about Magic Hats. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm8REOibmgA

  14. Nancy Moore's Gravatar Nancy Moore
    April 10, 2014 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Heidi–but I have to go with my Brunswick woman this morning! Looks like your Harriet is still going to take the day, though.

  15. MaurineRuby's Gravatar MaurineRuby
    April 10, 2014 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    I’m voting for Harriet Bedell. I’ve voted for Other Harriet up to this point, but selling those dolls in New York and that beautiful mural got me.

  16. MaurineRuby's Gravatar MaurineRuby
    April 10, 2014 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    Besides, that HBS doll was SCARY!!!

  17. Sharon Cook's Gravatar Sharon Cook
    April 10, 2014 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    I may have to vote based on Harriet trading cards. Something about that tickled my fancy this morning.

  18. Connie Keller's Gravatar Connie Keller
    April 10, 2014 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    In my lexicon of saints the deaconesses come out on top everytime. They were so feisty, imaginative, and in many ways abandoned by the church as they lived out their baptisms. The heirarchy often treated them like pesky second class citizens. And those habits!! Just for wearing those clothes they deserve sainthood.

  19. Cindy's Gravatar Cindy
    April 10, 2014 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Harriet Bedell, she a Episcopal. Thats enough for me

  20. Cynthia's Gravatar Cynthia
    April 10, 2014 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    Harriet Beecher Stowe became an Episcopalian. She found there the liturgy, music and art which nourished her soul and helped her spiritual journey with and toward Christ, who was always uppermost in her mind.

  21. Mary Robert's Gravatar Mary Robert
    April 10, 2014 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    I knew a woman who had been trained at the New York School for Deaconesses. Feisty doesn’t even begin to describe her! So it’s easy for me to imagine Harriet B making things happen the way she wanted them to happen for the Seminoles. Besides that, my family lived through Hurricane Donna on the Mississippi Coast when I was a kid.

  22. Lindsay Graves's Gravatar Lindsay Graves
    April 10, 2014 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    It is HBS for me today. As an example of her continuing influence, I would offer up the colorful re-enactment of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the musical/movie The King and I.

    • Megan Castellan's Gravatar Megan Castellan
      April 10, 2014 - 10:41 am | Permalink

      That’s true, Lindsay. And every time I think of HBS’s book, I hear the women of the King’s court singing “Run, Eliza, run! Run from Simon of Legree!”

    • Mariana Bauman's Gravatar Mariana Bauman
      April 10, 2014 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Well, I actually danced in the Uncle Tom’s Ballet and I loved it Even had the opportunity to dance the Angel George ( as a promoted understudy!) It was a fascinating experience to look at HBS’s influence on a place so far away. But I am going with HB – for her incredible ‘hands on ‘ service to our Lord and her efforts to preserve indigenous people and their cultures.

  23. Another Peg's Gravatar Another Peg
    April 10, 2014 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    Harriet Beecher Stowe has some Broadway kitsch, too–the “Small House of Uncle Thomas” sequence in the “The King and I.” http://www.rnh.com/videos.html?video=190&gallery=136

    • Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
      April 10, 2014 - 9:58 am | Permalink

      Another Peg,
      Thanks for posting this! I have long been of the opinion that “small house of Uncle Thomas” is among the best scenes in this movie.

  24. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    April 10, 2014 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    Had to go with Harriet Bedell. What a woman!

  25. Jody Gebhardt's Gravatar Jody Gebhardt
    April 10, 2014 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    The T-shirt almost got me, but when I saw they didn’t have any William Faulkner shirts, I had to go with Harriet Bedell. In my role as parish Administrator (sort of a Lord High everything else) I push saints through our calendar, newsletter and worship bulletin. This year I have tried to focus on the lesser known, especially women and minorities. So, aside from an amazing life dedicated to service to God and those least able to help themselves, Harriet Bedell gets my vote.

  26. Margaret Moran's Gravatar Margaret Moran
    April 10, 2014 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    Deaconess Bedell was IN the church, not just AT the church. I thank her.

  27. Jessica DS's Gravatar Jessica DS
    April 10, 2014 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    Harriet Bedell sounds like an incredible person, and well worthy of any haloes being handed out. However, this is the kitsch round, and fair or not, the kitsch for HBS is so much better–and I enjoyed the snappy write-up as well. I notice the summary for Harriet Bedell includes much more of her achievements than others in the kitsch round seem to do. I imagine that may be contributing to the current weight of the polls, though of course Bedell is deserving of the votes.

  28. Rev. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Rev. Lucy Porter
    April 10, 2014 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    This was a tough decision. However, in the end I had to vote for Harriet…
    Bedell. There was a time when I was feeling possibly called to be a deaconess (yes, there are deaconesses in the United Methodist Church too!) Eventually, God made it clear to me that God was calling me to ordained ministry, which explains the second half of my life. But I have enormous respect for deaconesses, who are increasingly rare as women can now be ordained. Their work has really mattered, and especially that of Harriet Bedell has been extremely important to Native Americans.

  29. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    April 10, 2014 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    Harriet! All the way to the Golden Halo!

  30. Bob Corey's Gravatar Bob Corey
    April 10, 2014 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    Though I voted for Ms. Bedell, it wasn’t without images of Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine. Would her kitsch enterprise qualify as Fair Trade goods by today’s standards? Something one might find in a 10,000 Villages store?

    As expressed before, I think the HBS simply produced an exceptionally successful example of antebellum miscegenation porn. Not a saint.

  31. April 10, 2014 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    Hmm. Perhaps because I’m a Baptist, I say both these women were saved Christians and both, in serving others, served the Lord. Thus both are saints without any votes from humans but by the Lord’s definition in His Word. God bless their works which are His and God bless the inspirational memories of the two of them. May those recollections inspire and uplift someone learning of their endeavors to do the same …in His service. Amen.

    • Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
      April 10, 2014 - 11:09 am | Permalink

      Well said, Kathy.

  32. Tom Connolly's Gravatar Tom Connolly
    April 10, 2014 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    Glad to see so many appreciate the work of HB, whose life story is kept alive by the good folks at St. Mark’s on Marco Island.

  33. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    April 10, 2014 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    As written by the celebrity blogger for a bit more kitsch, I’d give the nod to HBS, but I just love HB’s story, so to help justify my choice in the mad decision making process, some links I’ve found. The name meanings is perhaps kitschy-esque, but all interesting 🙂

    Middle school student report with portrait and garden dedication, http://www.xaviercortada.com/?page=FLOR500garden389

    Name meanings and origins as well as learning Harriet is the 759th name in the US, Bedell the 5601st, http://names.whitepages.com/Harriet/Bedell

    Featured in the “Saints Are Us” column, St. Dunstan’s Weekly Highlights, http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/527001/9704d3ac12/ARCHIVE

    The “Bedell Collection,” 126 prints, http://www.floridamemory.com/photographiccollection/collections/?id=2

  34. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 10, 2014 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    Bob…..antebellum miscegenation porn? Seriously? Uncle Tom’s Cabin was, and remains, a wonderful commentary on the evils of slavery and if the delivery was a bit unrefined, well, good for Ms. Beecher Stowe for not sugar coating it.

  35. Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
    April 10, 2014 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    Oh my, what a toughie!!!! I voted for each of the ladies before and I realize that they are both great women, but this time my vote will go with Harriet Bedell, but I will not be upset if Harriet B. Stowe takes it!!

  36. Ann Garvin's Gravatar Ann Garvin
    April 10, 2014 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    I’m totally charmed by Harriet Bedell (who I’d never even heard of before Lent 2014!). BTW, I don’t think many people name their daughters Harriet(t) these days — maybe this year, and this round of Harriet Havoc, will cause moms across America to reconsider and name their daughter Harriet(t)! One could do a lot worse!

  37. Carol Justice's Gravatar Carol Justice
    April 10, 2014 - 11:35 am | Permalink

    In honor of all my deacon and deaconess friends, I had to vote for Deaconess Harriet. That and also her concern for the Native Americans, many of whom still need our help.

  38. Rodney's Gravatar Rodney
    April 10, 2014 - 11:39 am | Permalink

    got to go with H Bedell –
    for all the comments above!

  39. April 10, 2014 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    First let me say I am enjoying Lentmadness very much , what a great idea. However I feel the “bios” used today to describe the two Harriets was heavily skewed in favor of Bedell. You go to great length to describe all her efforts of behalf of the Seminole people and reduce Stowe to a series of trinkets without ever mentioning her accomplishments that changed history forever. Very disappointed in the way this was promoted today…….

    • Another Peg's Gravatar Another Peg
      April 10, 2014 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Emily, if this is your first year of Madness, you might not know this particular round of the competition is pretty light-hearted, illuminating some of the silly products saints have inspired, or quirky things one might not know about the saint. For HBS, there is a wealth of merchandise. For HB, since her life inspired less marketing in and of itself, the blogger focused on HB’s own quirky marketing efforts, giving us the marvelous image of a sophisticated Bergdorf’s buyer studying a handcrafted doll as the little Deaconess sat smiling. If you look back at the write-ups and comments for previous rounds, you find ample material about the serious good works of both women. At this point in the Madness, frivolity is the order of the day.

  40. Jude's Gravatar Jude
    April 10, 2014 - 11:59 am | Permalink

    I’m a librarian – of course Harriet Beecher Stowe gets my vote!

    • Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
      April 10, 2014 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Amen my sister! I love books.

  41. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    April 10, 2014 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Almost voted for Harriet Beecher Stowe for her work in helping us recognize that those of African descent are people (and because she’s trailing at this point), but had to go for Harriet Bedell, partly for her work with others who were (and maybe still are) not regarded as people, partly for her feistiness, and partly for the possible connection with Frances Perkins.
    There’s *gotta* be a skit in there someplace!

  42. Brenda McH's Gravatar Brenda McH
    April 10, 2014 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh, dear. So many comments rightfully directed towards the accomplishments of both these women. And here I am stuck with the misuse of the word “script”. Script is something you write, a play or a speech. “Scrip” is also written but is used in place of cash. Harriet Bedell purchased scrip with her loan funds.

  43. Bob Andrews-Bryant's Gravatar Bob Andrews-Bryant
    April 10, 2014 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Just a bit of pedantic correction, without revealing my vote. Re: HB. What she acquired for the people was SCRIP. “Script” is what actors get to know what their lines are. “Scrip” is a substitute for cash. Sorry. I get this way sometimes.

    • Heidi Shott's Gravatar Heidi Shott
      April 10, 2014 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Forgive the typo. I was cranking this out and
      trying to get to a meeting for my real job. : )

      • Bowman's Gravatar Bowman
        April 10, 2014 - 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps an endowed chair in hagiography waits for you somewhere?

        After all of your labors in that field, you might appreciate this thought from Rowan Williams–

        ‘Just as, in relation to musical education, I might be reasonably sure of being able to identify what a musically educated person is like. I would know what sort of skills to look for and listen for in that case. Now I want to suggest that a theologically educated person is somebody who has acquired the skill of reading the world, reading and interpreting the world, in the context and framework of Christian belief and Christian worship … That means that a theologically educated person is not someone who simply knows a great deal about the Bible or history of doctrine but somebody who is able to engage in some quite risky and innovative interpretation, and who is able, if I can put it this way, to recognise holy lives. Because I think that the skill that belongs to being a theologically educated person is a very significant part – the skill of knowing what an exemplary life looks like lived in the context of doctrine and worship’.

        The rest of his talk is here– http://rowanwilliams.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/1847/cefacs-lecture-birmingham-centre-for-anglican-communion-studies

    • April 10, 2014 - 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. I, too, think correct grammar and language usage are important to understanding as well as knowledge. Nag when necessary!

  44. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    April 10, 2014 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Another toss-up: one who fought for Native Americans against one who fought (or wrote) for black slaves. I’ll go with Bedell (who seems to be winning in a landslide) because of the greater scope of her work.

  45. Ann Willis Scott's Gravatar Ann Willis Scott
    April 10, 2014 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Bedell it is! If you’d like to see a picture of authentic Seminole dolls straight from the deaconesses in Illinois, somebody tell me how to get a picture on this site. Please! I will take my dolls out of the case, photograph them and send the photo on it way.

    • Ann Willis Scott's Gravatar Ann Willis Scott
      April 10, 2014 - 3:39 pm | Permalink

      I am not to be deterred! I posted a photo of my Seminole dolls on the Lent Madness Facebook page. Next year, can we have a little camera icon on this page, too — please and thank you?

  46. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    April 10, 2014 - 1:09 pm | Permalink

    The video won me over, it’s the Deaconess for me! I was impressed by her ability to respect the beliefs of native peoples–the story about the native funeral and the version of the 23rd psalm was delightful. Now if there had been a Harriett B Stowe video it might have been a tougher call…

  47. Georgia's Gravatar Georgia
    April 10, 2014 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Gotta go with Harriet B. As I did the first go round!

  48. e-Liz's Gravatar e-Liz
    April 10, 2014 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

    SEC: Alright, already with the Facebook liking. I wouldn’t touch Facebook with 10G phone or a 10-terabyte hard-drive. It is a great way to lose friends and create enemies of your loved ones, and it is possible to be highly connected to one’s world without it. And what do Facebook likes really mean, anyway? Has nobody read “The Circle” by Dave Eggers? I understand about using new forms of media to spread the news about God’s love, but there is a point of highly nauseated oversaturation with any appeal. Sometimes, if you just leave a topic alone for a bit, people start to tune in again, and do what you are asking.

    P.S. Leaning toward Harriet Beecher Stowe, as I usually prefer to honor the older saints first. They’ve waited longer.

  49. Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
    April 10, 2014 - 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Another unusual matchup appears to be coming our way…two deaconesses pitted against one another in the Final Four.

  50. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    April 10, 2014 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I am the proud owner of a pair of “Onkel Toms Hütte” underwear — the German public transit system sold them about 10 years ago. (Rather surprisingly, Onkel Toms Hütte is a station on the Berlin U-Bahn.) Now that’s a great way to remember Harriet Beecher Stowe.

    See lower right corner:

  51. Katrina Soto's Gravatar Katrina Soto
    April 10, 2014 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    This really was the hardest one for me to decide. I stuck with Stowe, mainly because when I made out my bracket pre-madness, I had her all the way to the end, battling it out with my pick for the Golden Halo (already sadly gone from competition) Aelred. Of course, Aelred had a tough opponent in the first round (Thomas Merton). The bracket makers are quite the sadistic lot!!

  52. Anne C's Gravatar Anne C
    April 10, 2014 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

    My take-away from today’s battle is that Harriet Bedell was an incredible negotiator – the deal with the Collier corporation which eventually deeded land to the mission, the deal with high end NY shops, and best of all the pension deal that enabled her to serve for another 17 years! What a role model!

  53. rellingrw's Gravatar rellingrw
    April 10, 2014 - 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I admire HBS, but I am so delighted that Harriet Bedell is getting recognized! What an amazing life of service.

  54. Marilyn L's Gravatar Marilyn L
    April 10, 2014 - 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Another difficult choice to make! I haven’t voted yet…still in contemplation.

  55. aleathia (dolores)nicholson's Gravatar aleathia (dolores)nicholson
    April 10, 2014 - 1:37 pm | Permalink

    As an Episcopal deacon approaching my 25th ordination anniversary, I appreciate the comment: ” IN the church, not AT the church.” Bedell was a role model for deacons although I don’t know a single. solitary one who could match her devotion, energy, and brains for outwitting authorities in order to get what she needed for the Seminoles and all others she served in service to God. As I am 77 today, I am thankful to still be on this side of the dirt and still serving the Church in His Name. Thanks be to God…and the SEC for Lent Madness !

    • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
      April 10, 2014 - 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Happy Birthday, ALEATHIA! May God bless you always!

    • Bowman's Gravatar Bowman
      April 11, 2014 - 9:13 pm | Permalink

      We only got the news when your birthday was half over :–(

      No… wait!– that entitles you to extra birthday time (and more cake and ice cream ;–) tomorrow!

      Happy Birthday, aleathia!

      God grant you many blessed years!

  56. Kathy Schillreff's Gravatar Kathy Schillreff
    April 10, 2014 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Harriet Bedell!!
    Unless you have visited the Everglades, particularly in the pre-constuction boom that we are now in, its hard to fathom the work the Deaconess did.

  57. martha's Gravatar martha
    April 10, 2014 - 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Harriet Bedell.
    I am happy to tell
    She gets my ballot today.
    For Native American’s right
    She put up a fight
    In a truly loving way.

    (Bad poetry: my forte. Sorry.)

  58. Phil's Gravatar Phil
    April 10, 2014 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Harriet Beecher Stowe primarily because I know more about the pre-Civil War and Civil War history of slavery and its consequences. But I am also interested in learning more about the history of relationships with Native American groups in this country. My knowledge in that area is not what I would like it to be. What I do know is that it is an area of history that is too often glossed over, oversimplified, and otherwise distorted to serve the political agendas of various groups. That is obviously not very helpful in trying to learn to live with all men and women as brothers and sisters. I wish I knew a lot more!

    As usual I did not find the kitsch for the two Harriets as persuasive either way. I had to pick one, so I did, but I could just as easily picked the other. I really don’t have any “sage” comments on why I picked Harriet Beecher Stowe, as I said, I know a little bit more about the impact of her book and the whole history of slavery. I am well aware that interactions with the Seminole are among the saddest chapters in our history, but my knowledge is very sketchy. I have read some excellent books on the history of the Plains tribes and those of the Southwest. One of the best books I have read on the history of newcomers and their relationships with Native Americans was “Mayflower” which is a history of the Pilgrims and the Plymouth colony that follows that history through King Philip’s War. My 10th Great Grandfather was William Brewster who was originally the religious leader of the Plymouth Colony. He befriended Squanto and other Native Americans in the area and felt that both the Pilgrims and the Native Americans in the area could learn from each other. Unfortunately, Miles Standish and William Bradford were in favor of exterminating the Native American populations and they eventually allied themselves with like-minded individuals in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and that led to King Philip’s War (King Philip was a chieftain of one of the tribes who tried to organize all of the Native American groups in the Massachusetts area). My ancestor was so vehemently against this direction that he left the Plymouth Colony, although he remained nearby to be around to continue to stick his two-cents worth in.

    Anyway, I digress, I could have voted for either Harriet, but I picked one. I wish I had a better reason!

    • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
      April 10, 2014 - 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for book recommendation! May I suggest the journals of John and William Bartram, naturalists who also describe encounters with native peoples. If you’re in Philadelphia, visit Bartram Garden. Amazing plant collection!

  59. Martha Frances's Gravatar Martha Frances
    April 10, 2014 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Both Harriets are great representatives of faithful women of their times who lived within the structures of their societies yet challenged them. I think I have to go with Bedell this time.

  60. April 10, 2014 - 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Actually (and honestly!), I DID have Harriet Bedell in the Elate Eight. To be fair, that’s about the only thing I’ve been right about up until now, though.

  61. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    April 10, 2014 - 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m also thrilled that Harriet Bedell is winning this matchup. Nothing again HBS, but it’s just incredibly nice to see a gal in a habit make it to the semifinals. I’m very cheered up, really.

    We used to play a card game that I think was called “Author” (or something like that) – and I think HBS was in there, too. I can still see James Fenimore Cooper’s and Edgard Allen Poe’s likenesses when I close my eyes….

    Have to say I just loved this part:

    “On display at St. Mark’s is the cross from the Glade Cross Mission that survived Hurricane Donna as well as a doll depicting a Seminole child and the Deaconess herself.

    Not for sale.”

    Absolutely fantastic – the display and the writing, too….

    • Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
      April 10, 2014 - 7:12 pm | Permalink

      I, too, played “Authors” as a young person; I can remember Louisa May Alcott as one, perhaps Mark Twain as well. Thanks for the memory!

      • Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
        April 10, 2014 - 10:06 pm | Permalink

        Ah, Mark Twain! One of my most enduring favorites……
        “Any fool can condemn, complain and criticize…..and most do.”

    • Carolyn's Gravatar Carolyn
      April 10, 2014 - 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Learned a lot of my knowledge of books from the game Authors. James Fenimore Cooper was one of my favorites.

      • Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
        April 10, 2014 - 10:20 pm | Permalink

        Last of the Mohicans! Another good one. Hey, told y’all I like to read……

  62. Alty Grae's Gravatar Alty Grae
    April 10, 2014 - 5:19 pm | Permalink

    If I were voting based solely on Kitsch then HBS would have my vote because of that really cool t-shirt but I’m voting on more than one book. HB was a life lived in service. That there is a doll or a button is pretty fantastic for someone who didn’t look for the limelight and stayed with the people she served. Also pretty cool that she got Saks and Bergdorf-Goodman to carry native crafts to help the Seminoles survive the depression.

  63. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    April 10, 2014 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

    The deaconess did not get much press relative to the author. Both served the downtrodden. Feisty Deconness Bedell gets my vote.

  64. Mary Celestia's Gravatar Mary Celestia
    April 10, 2014 - 6:45 pm | Permalink

    As a native Floridian, born in Miami, knew about Deaconess Bedell and her work with the Seminoles, my vote had to go to her. She was and is an inspiration.

  65. Harriet Z.'s Gravatar Harriet Z.
    April 10, 2014 - 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I think today’s presentation of the two Harriets was not fairly balanced. The one for Harriet Bedell was a substantive account of her remarkable life and work. The one for Harriet Beecher Stowe dealt with trivial products and failed to remind readers of her exceptional influence in changing attitudes toward slavery and speaking for justice, leading up to the Civil War.

  66. Mollie Douglas Turner's Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner
    April 10, 2014 - 11:02 pm | Permalink

    So I finally had to vote for Harriet…no, really, it’s the first time I’ve voted for Harriet–either Harriet. And the weight of Deaconess Bedell’s ministry totally trumped Mrs. Stowe, I fear, eloquent though she was. As the SEC suggests, who’d’a thunk it?

  67. Leonora's Gravatar Leonora
    April 11, 2014 - 12:32 am | Permalink

    I’m disappointed in the margin between the two. HBS has been so misunderstood, despite the obvious monumental literary and social impact of her work. That is saintly!

  68. Julie McCord's Gravatar Julie McCord
    April 11, 2014 - 1:16 am | Permalink

    I have truly, seriously, become the kiss of death in this contest. People should be bribing me to vote for the saint they want gone.

  69. Carol Virginia's Gravatar Carol Virginia
    April 11, 2014 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Two beautiful Harriets–one vote. Prof David Davis has written prolificly on the history of slavery, and one of his more recent tomes describes the human condition manifesting a need for dominance to a greater or lesser degree in each individual’s psyche. So, for kitschyness and for real, I enthusiastically support the FAB UNDERDOG — Harriet Beecher Stowe! She’s our Man!!!?!

  70. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 11, 2014 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Julie, I know just what you mean!
    From one jinx to another,

    • Bowman's Gravatar Bowman
      April 11, 2014 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Blessings, Madeleine.

      When this is over, I will miss your cheery comments to all and sundry.

      • Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
        April 11, 2014 - 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Bowman,
        But fear not. The next lent madness will surely come, and I’ll be back to continue my campaign to get Fred Rogers in the bracket(bet you thought that I’d given that up, huh SEC? Not a chance in you know where, bubba!!!).
        I’ll miss LM too:(

        • Bowman's Gravatar Bowman
          April 11, 2014 - 9:04 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps there could be a compromise?– FRED Astaire and Ginger ROGERS.

          • Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
            April 11, 2014 - 9:20 pm | Permalink

            Um, Bowman………..
            Wouldst thou be jesting with me?
            I have been suggesting, advocating, jumping up and down flapping my arms like a deranged chicken, and nagging the sec until they cringe when they see me coming, all with the intention of getting Fred McFeely Rogers on next year’s bracket.
            I have not carried/waved/flapped this particular flag all this time to give up now.
            Art thou mad?
            Hath thy cheese slipped off thy cracker?
            Or, which seemeth more likely,
            Art thou simply pushing my buttons?
            O TEMPORA! O MORES!

  71. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 11, 2014 - 9:24 pm | Permalink


  72. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 11, 2014 - 9:27 pm | Permalink

    My stars, that did feel nice. Going to bed, y’all.
    Peace out,

Comments are closed.