Year
1852

Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is published. The novel sold 300,000 copies within three months and was so widely read that when President Abraham Lincoln met Stowe in 1862, he reportedly said, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”

Stowe was born in 1811, the seventh child of the famous Congregationalist minister Lyman Beecher. She studied at private schools in Connecticut, then taught in Hartford from 1827 until her father moved to Cincinnati in 1832. She accompanied him and continued to teach while writing stories and essays. In 1836, she married Calvin Ellis Stowe, with whom she had seven children. She published her first book, Mayflower, in 1843.

While living in Cincinnati, Stowe encountered fugitive slaves and the Underground Railroad. Later, she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin in reaction to recently tightened fugitive slave laws. The book had a major influence on the way the American public viewed slavery. The book established Stowe’s reputation as a woman of letters. She traveled to England in 1853, where she was welcomed as a literary hero. Along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, she became one of the original contributors to The Atlantic, which launched in November 1857. In 1863, when Lincoln announced the end of slavery, she danced in the streets. Stowe continued to write throughout her life and died in 1896.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Republican Party founded

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Nerve gas attack on Tokyo subway

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Henry V ascends upon father’s death

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LBJ sends federal troops to Alabama

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Babe Didrikson goes to the mound for Philly

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Ned Buntline born

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20th annual Academy Awards celebrated

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Black Death is created, allegedly

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Tokyo subways are attacked with sarin gas

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Khrushchev begins his rise to power

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Willie and Tad Lincoln get the measles

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Auto pioneer James Packard dies

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British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma

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