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.