Uncle Tom’s Cabin


“I would write something that would make this whole nation feel what an accursed thing slavery is.”

To say that Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a contentious yet extremely influential best-selling novel in the early 19th century is an understatement. In its time, the only book that sold more copies was The Bible. The contents of this novel have ignited controversy and debate since its publication; even today, the specter of “Uncle Tom” haunts discussions of race in American culture and society.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was first published March 20, 1852. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote the novel in response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which required the citizens in Northern states to return escaped slaves to the South. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was not the first antislavery novel, but it was by far the most successful. The novel sold 10,000 copies in the first week and 300,000 by the end of the first year. Within two years it had sold 2,000,000 copies worldwide. Stowe’s main argument had little to do with racial equality. Her arguments centered on religion and the sanctity of motherhood and family. These, she felt, were the arguments most likely to affect public opinion in the North. — From Civil War Trust

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Abridged for Use in Schools

uncle tom

Resources on Uncle Tom’s Cabin

“Uncle Tom” as an Insult


neworleans     kentucky

How many degrees of separation between USM and Harriet Beecher Stowe?

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