From the Vault: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

November 5, 2015, 12:00 pm

Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or Life Among the Lowly, 1852

Among one of the most prized and recognizable treasures in the Redwood’s collection is a first edition copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. When it was published, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the most popular novel of the nineteenth century, and only the second most influential and famous book of that century (defeated only by the Holy Bible).

 Literary critics, historians and social scientists have studied this book over the past 160 years, and credit it with being a major proponent of abolitionism and, as some believe, a contributing factor of the Civil War. What makes the Redwood’s copy so intriguing is what it contains inside the front cover – a hand-written note from Harriet Beecher Stowe to her publisher.

While some recent scholarship may have dismissed the importance of this novel, it serves as a poignant reminder of where we came from and where we are going. This beautiful first edition is available for research with a reference appointment. 

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