Saturday, October 01, 2011

Celebrate the Freedom to Read: UNCLE TOM'S CABIN

Robert Bain celebrates
UNCLE TOM’S CABIN by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or, Life Among the Lowly, is an anti-slavery novel published in 1852 by Harriet Beecher Stowe which is said to have helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. In the first year it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States. One million copies of the book were sold in Great Britain where the efforts to end slavery notably targeted the United States’ continued practice of slavery.

Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin international and domestic influence were best evidenced by the Duchess of Sutherland, whose anti-slavery “Address to the Christian Women of America,” creating a cross-Atlantic controversy in 1853, was signed by 576,000 English women and when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln declared, “So this is the little lady who started this great war.”

Robert Bain, Randolph Branch Library


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