Do you have dreams? Do you think that dreams that manifest into actions can change the status quo? Do you think one person can change the world? Robin Williams once said: “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. “This quote in many ways illustrates what Harriet Beecher Stowe wanted to accomplish with her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The anti-slavery novel was published in 1852 and according to Will Kaufman “helped lay the groundwork for the civil war.”Stowe was an active abolitionist but her true profession was a being a teacher in Connecticut, where she was born and raised. The novel’s main character is Tom, a slave who has gone through much suffering during his life and whose story the other characters revolve around.
Stowe’s novel was a bestseller and sold over 300, 000 copies in its first year and over 1 million copies in Great Britain. Its selling record was second to only the Bible. In 1855 it was credited with being “the most popular novel of our day.” In the colonial era tobacco was the number one produced cash crop in the New World. Virginia and Maryland had the largest producing plantations and the biggest importers of slave labor. In 1783 the inventor of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney introduced a whole new cash crop to America. Cotton became the dominant cash crop of America. Then need for slave labor greatly increased. More than ever the imports of slave were on high demand. Slave produced cotton between 1800-1860 spread from South Carolina to Georgia then to Mississippi.”After the abolition of the slave trade in 1808, the principal source of the expansion of slavery into the lower South was the domestic slave trade from the upper South. By 1850, 1.8 million of the 2.5 million enslaved Afri…
…imes . N.p., 26 Jun 2011. Web. 6 Jan 2014.
Beecher Stowe, Harriet (1852). Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly I. Boston: John P. Jewitt. Retrieved 4 Jan 2014.
Beecher Stowe, Harriet (1852). Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly II. Boston: John P. Jewitt. Retrieved 4 Jan 2014.
The Civil War in American Culture by Will Kaufman, Edinburgh University Press, 2006, page 18.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Spark Publishers, 2002, p. 19, states the novel is about the “destructive power of slavery and the
ability of Christian love to overcome it…”
Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White from Uncle Tom to O. J. Simpson by Linda Williams, Princeton Univ. Press, 2001, page 113.
Whitewashing Uncle Tom’s Cabin: nineteenth-century women novelists respond to Stowe by Joy Jordan-Lake, Vanderbilt University Press, 2005.