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Title page
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In 1850 Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, causing a furor among Northerners since it legally forced all citizens to pursue runaway slaves and return them to their owners. In response, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin" which portrayed slaves with human qualities and Christian ideals. This challenged her readers to reexamine their definitions of Christianity and the role of slavery in a Christian society. She further described the horrors of slavery and examined the negative moral impact to both Northerners and Southerners. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" became one of America's all-time best sellers, selling 300,000 copies in the first year. It is credited with keeping slavery as a central national issue in the years preceeding the Civil War. When President Lincoln met Stowe in 1863, he was reported as saying, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war."


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Title page from "Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly"

publisher   John P. Jewett & Company
author   Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)
date   1852
location   Boston, Massachusetts
width   4.5"
height   7.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Books/Literature
accession #   #L05.080

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See Also...

Excerpts from "A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin Presenting the Original Facts and Documents Upon Which the Story is Founded"

Pages from the diary of Martha Cochran

Letter from Teacher Mary Montague

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