20 March 1852

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe and first published in 1852. It is a groundbreaking work of fiction that played a significant role in the abolitionist movement and is considered one of the most influential books in American history.

The novel tells the story of Uncle Tom, a slave who is sold away from his family and transported from Kentucky to Louisiana. It also follows the stories of several other slaves, including Eliza, who escapes with her young son across the frozen Ohio River, and Tom’s fellow slave, George Harris, who also escapes to Canada with his family.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin vividly portrays the brutality of slavery and the dehumanizing effects it had on both slaves and slave owners. The novel exposes the inhumanity of the institution of slavery and the many ways it corrupted the souls of those who participated in it.

The book was an instant success, selling over 300,000 copies in its first year and going on to become the best-selling novel of the 19th century. It was widely read in the North and helped to fuel the growing abolitionist movement, while also serving as a rallying cry for opponents of slavery in the South.

However, the book also sparked controversy and outrage among pro-slavery advocates, who saw it as a direct attack on their way of life. They criticized Stowe for what they saw as an unfair portrayal of the South and the institution of slavery.

Despite the controversy, Uncle Tom’s Cabin remains an important work of American literature that helped to shape public opinion on one of the most divisive issues of its time. Its impact can still be felt today, and it continues to be studied and celebrated for its powerful message of justice and humanity.