/arts-days/march/20

March 20

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Stowe credited Reverend Josiah Henson’s memoirs about his work as an abolitionist and with the Underground Railroad as inspiration for her anti-slavery book.

Photo by the Archives of Ontario, Reference Code: F 2076-15-0-130

1852: The Little Lady's Big Book
Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published
During the entire 19th century, only one book sold more copies than the Bible. That book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, changed countless minds about the then-accepted practice of slavery or forcing people against their will to perform manual labor in Europe and the United States. Author Harriett Beecher Stowe was a preacher and an abolitionist: someone who believed that slavery was immoral and worked to end it everywhere.

Her book contains the message that Christian love can overcome the evils of slavery, which had such an impact on readers that it’s widely considered to have advanced the long-simmering feud between the northern and southern states toward the Civil War. In fact, when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the time the fighting began, he is reported to have said, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.” The power of Stowe’s words helped dismantle the cruelty of slavery.
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