Legacy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)

Published in 1852 in response to the passing of the second Fugitive Slave Act, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is credited with laying the moral foundation for the American Civil War. Written by the abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, the novel promoted anti-slavery sentiments across the country, particularly in the north, by depicting the horrors enslaved people experienced daily. Stowe brought the sufferings of enslaved people into the homes of their White counterparts through her novel, fueling the abolitionist movement in the 1850s leading up to the war. The book’s influence was so profound that it is often said, though not proven, that upon meeting Stowe, Abraham Lincoln said, “so this is the little lady who started this great war.”


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