Saturday, June 14, 2014

Uncle Tom's Cabin helped fuel Civil War

It is the birthday of abolitionist writer Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811), who is remembered for her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), which depicted the life of slaves before the Civil War. Scholars say it galvanized the abolitionist movement and helped lay the groundwork for the war. It first appeared as a serial in the abolitionist newspaper National Era in June 1851. At first, Stowe wrote only a few episodes but the response was so great she wrote a total of 40 installments. Proceeds from the book enabled Stowe to buy a vacation cottage on the banks of the St. John’s River in Florida as a respite from her family home in Maine. Stowe wrote more than 30 books, including a homemaking advice book, The American Woman’s Home (1869), with her sister Catherine. Stowe also wrote Palmetto Leaves (1873), a book about Florida as a tourist destination.

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