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Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe

In 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom's Cabin, a novel that described, in sentimental detail, the vagaries of southern slavery and one family's attempt to escape. The book became a sensation in the North, appealing to evangelical reformers' growing humanitarian sentiment. Uncle Tom's Cabin helped to mobilize northern public opinion against the institution of slavery. Coupled with southern political leaders' increasingly severe demands for special political dispensations, the violent struggle over the fate of slavery in Kansas, the demise of the Whig Party, and other like factors, the novel set the stage for the emergence of a northern public willing and even eager to accept the idea of a Civil War fought to abolish slavery.

Image source: University of Chicago
©Copyright 2002 Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project