Title: Uncle Tom's Cabin
Title: Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Published in 1852, Uncle Tom’s Cabin brought the abolitionists’ message to the public conscience – no woman before or since has so moved America to take action against an injustice. Indeed, Abraham Lincoln greeted Stowe in 1863 as “the little lady who made this big war.”
Eliza Harris, a slave whose child is to be sold, escapes her beloved home on the Shelby plantation in Kentucky and heads North, eluding the hired slave catchers. Aided by the underground railroad, Quakers, and others opposed to the Fugitive Slave Act, Eliza, her son, and her husband George run toward Canada.
As the Harrises flee to freedom, another slave, Uncle Tom, is sent “down the river” for sale. Too loyal to abuse his master’s trust, too Christian to rebel, Tom wrenches himself from his family. Befriending a white child, Evangeline St. Clare, Tom is purchased by her father and taken to their home in New Orleans. Although Evangeline’s father finally resolves to free his slaves, his sudden death places him in the ranks of those who mean well by their slaves but never take action. Tom is sent farther downriver to Simon Legree’s plantation, and the whips of Legree’s overseers.
I purchased this book back in March of this year (2011) and started it a couple times but put it down. Â It was a slow start, even boring would fit. Â But I decided to take to it over the summer and I was blow away by not just the content but the how vivid the writing is. Â Considering the period in which the book came out, 1850’s, I have an immense amount of respect for Mrs Stowe and am so moved to go back and read her biography fully. Â I first came across this book when I was around 11 years old back in Jamaica, right at the time I entered Jamaica College, but paid little attention to it. Â It was an old copy from years when my grandfather was a boy; to put things into perspective, my grandfather died in 1986 in his mid 70’s. Â I read about the slurs and stereotypes found in the book and see why some would find fault, but I after reading, I think this was a seminal piece of work that brought the end of Slavery as we know it in the U.S. Â I would very much recommend that everyone, regardless of color, read this book.
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