Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Excerpt

The introduction of a new American Edition of " Uncle Tom's Cabin" gives an occasion for a brief account of that book, — how it came to be, how it was received in the world, and what has been its history throughout all the nations and tribes of the earth, civilized and uncivilized, into whose languages it has been translated.

Its author had for many years lived in Ohio on the confines of a slave state, and had thus been made familiar with facts and occurrences in relation to the institution of American slavery. Some of the most harrowing incidents related in the story had from time to time come to her knowledge in conversation with former slaves now free in Ohio. The cruel sale and separation of a married woman from her husband, narrated in Chapter XII., "Select Incidents of Lawful Trade," had passed under her own eye while passenger on a steamboat on the Ohio River. Her husband and brother had once been obliged to flee with a fugitive slave woman by night, as described in Chapter IX., and she herself had been called to write the letters for a former slave woman, servant in her own family, to a slave husband in Kentucky, who, trusted with unlimited liberty, free to come and go on business between Kentucky and Ohio, still refused to break his pledge of honor to his master, though that master from year to year deferred the keeping of his promise of freedom to the slave. It was the simple honor and loyalty of this Christian black man, who remained in slavery rather than violate a trust, that first impressed her with the possibility of such a character as, years after, was delineated in Uncle Tom.

From time to time incidents were brought to her knowledge which deepened her horror of slavery. In her own family she had a private school for her children, and as there was no provision for the education of colored children in her vicinity, she allowed them . . .

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