Harriet Beecher Stowe grew up in a family where the boys were seen as assets and the girls as second-class citizens. The lack of power for women in the 1800s fueled her outrage against slavery, and she began to write religious periodicals to support her family. Uncle Tom’s Cabin appeared in weekly installments from June 1851 to April 1852 in the antislavery magazine National Era. Eventually published as a novel and a play, Uncle Tom’s Cabin argued against slavery, creating a stirring effect on the abolitionist cause and angering the South, where it was banned. Upon meeting Stowe, President Lincoln was quoted as saying, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!” Stowe became a celebrity and went on to write 10 adult novels, including a second antislavery novel called Dred. During the Civil War, she aided runaway slaves, and after the war, she built and established several schools and boarding homes for newly freed slaves. Although Uncle Tom’s Cabin cannot be denied its importance and influence, it also has been associated with the creation and popularization of negative stereotypes of blacks.
Full-color and black-and-white photographs. Bibliography. Glossary. Sidebars. Chronology and timeline. Further reading. Web sites. Index.
About the Author(s)
Liz Sonneborn has written more than 50 books for children and adults, including the Chelsea House titles The Electric Light in the Milestones of American History series and The Star-Spangled Banner in the America in Words and Song set.