Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom’s Cabin did more than anything else to spread antislavery awareness.
Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896) became the best-selling novel of the nineteenth century. It first appeared in 1851 as a forty-week serial in the abolitionist periodical The National Era, and was published in book form in March 1852. Stowe, an active abolitionist, drew heavily from abolitionist writings, including the 1849 published slave narrative The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, as Narrated by Himself. More than any other publication, Uncle Tom's Cabin helped to spread anti-slavery awareness and bolster support for the movement.
The popularity of the novel led to an "Uncle Tom Mania," with dozens of stage adaptations in the U.S. and Great Britain as well as games, keepsakes, ceramic figures, and other items. Even though the novel had a strong anti-slavery message, it also reinforced popular and often comedic stereotypes of African Americans, such as the faithful slave as epitomized by Uncle Tom. Long after the Civil War, Uncle Tom's Cabin remained popular and it has been reprinted numerous times in dozens of languages. Additionally, there have been many film adaptations, especially during the silent era, and an American television broadcast as recently as 1987.