Simon Legree is Exposed
June 5, 1851: Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, has her work first published in serial format. The books was also known as Life Among the Lowly. The first installment of Stowe’s work was printed in the National Era, an abolitionist newspaper. It took forty weeks for the story to be completed so the book was published in this manner over a ten month period. After serialization, it was printed in book form on March 20, 1852.
During its first year, 300,000 copies of the literary work were sold. During the 19th century, Uncle Tom’s Cabin became the bestselling novel throughout the world and second in sales only to the Bible. The novel centers around the life of Uncle Tom. At the time of publication, he was seen as noble and long-suffering, a good Christian man. This was the way Stowe saw her protagonist. In more recent times, Uncle Tom has been seen as a sellout and his name has become a derogatory epithet.
Harriet was the daughter of Lyman Beecher, an abolitionist preacher and the brother of Henry Ward Beecher. She was born in Connecticut but her family eventually moved to Cincinnati, Ohio – a hotbed of anti-slavery sentiment. The Beecher family left their mark on the Cincinnati area. The house the family lived in is now called the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and is owned by the Ohio Historical Society. It is open to the public.
Harriet wrote more than ten books – this one being her first. It was also the first book in America with a African-American hero. After her marriage to Calvin Stowe, the couple eventually moved to Maine where she obtained a teaching position. There is a second Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Brunswick, Maine. This is where Uncle Tom’s Cabin was written. This house is an inn and German restaurant. There is a third Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford, Connecticut where Harriet spent the last 23 years of her life. This house is also open to the public and contains many personal items belonging to Ms Stowe. They also maintain a research library where many letters and documents are preserved.
“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!” – Bob Marley
“A slave is one who waits for someone else to free him.” – Ezra Pound
“So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.” – Abraham Lincoln, upon meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe
“So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls, why doesn’t somebody wake up to the beauty of old women.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe