Thousands of Women of the United States of America," an abolitionist plea that was entrusted to Stowe by a group of British women during her 1853 visit to England. McIntosh's essay argues that slaves are happy and well cared for under a plantation system run by nurturing, humane Christians.
McIntosh only other nonfiction, Woman in America: Her Work and Her Reward ( 1850), outlined her conservative position on the nineteenth-century woman question. In this piece, she criticizes the women's rights movement, taking a stand for domestic feminism to argue that women should use their position of spiritual and moral superiority to reform American society. Like the heroines in her fiction, the ideal for women is put forth not as independence and self-assertion but as a proud, virtuous dependence on the strength of men.
Although she began her writing career with pseudonymous children's stories and followed with anonymous adult works, McIntosh became a popular author when she finally began publishing under her own name in 1846 with Two Lives; or, To Seem and to Be. By 1855 she was included in Sarah Josepha Hale Woman's Record; Hale lauded McIntosh's "originality and freshness of mind," as well as her "unusual power in depicting the passions and interesting the feelings" (742). Hale also noted the trait that most strongly characterized nineteenth-century opinion of McIntosh: her "pure morality and religion" (742). She was cited in the 1875 edition of Evert A. and George L. Duyckinck Cyclopaedia of American Literature as the creator of fiction characterized by "truthfulness and happy style" (2:206). Even as late as the 1890s, Julia Colles applauded McIntosh's work for its nobility and high "spirituality" ( 2:176).
While many popular nineteenth-century women writers have enjoyed a resurgence of interest during the past two decades, McIntosh has received little attention in terms of scholarly articles, republication of her work, or inclusion in anthologies. In spite of efforts by Nina Baym, Bashar Akili, and Elizabeth Moss to offer a thorough analysis of McIntosh's works, she is generally remembered as one of the many creators of flowery, sentimental melodrama popular during the midnineteenth century. McIntosh also tends to inflame twentieth- century critics because of her proslavery stance.
"An Affectionate and Christian Address of Many Thousands of Women of Great Britain and Ireland to Their Sisters the Thousands of Women of the United States of America." 1853. Reprinted in Forrest Wilson, Crusader in Crinoline: The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1941. 342-343.
Colles, Julia Keese. "Miss Maria McIntosh." In Authors and Writers Associated with Morristown. With a Chapter on Historic Morristown. 2nd ed. Morristown, NJ: Vogt Brothers, 1895. 174-176.