Uncle Tom's Cabin was first published March 20, 1852. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” to show slavery as a thing so cruel and unjust. Uncle Tom's Cabin was not the first anti-slavery novel, but it was by far the most successful. In the first year over 300,000 copies of her book were sold. In 1856, over two million copies were sold. Her book was translated into 13 different languages.
When President Lincoln went to meet her he said, "So you're the little lady that started this big war."
Answer the questions
in your on your own paper using complete sentences.
1. Why did Harriet Beecher Stowe write Uncle Tom's Cabin?
2. Why do you think Lincoln thought she started the war?
Look at the picture
3. What are the African-American people wearing?
4. Are they standing or sitting?
5. What expressions are on their faces?
6. What are the white people wearing?
7. Are they standing or sitting?
8. What expressions are on their faces?
9. Pick one of the people in the illustration and write a paragraph about why he or she is at the auction sale, what his or her feelings are, and what it is like to be there.
Read the following excerpt from the novel and answer that follow on your own paper using complete sentences.
Two slaves, Cassy and Emmeline, are hiding from their cruel master, Simon Legree. Simon threatens to beat Tom if he will not tell where Cassy and Emmeline are hiding. Tom, a Christian who has always been a loyal, hard-working slave, refuses and Simon swears that he'll conquer Tom or kill him:
"Tom looked up to his master, and answered, "Mas'r, if you was sick, or in trouble, or dying, and I could save ye, I'd give ye my heart's blood; and, if taking every drop of blood in this poor old body would save your precious soul, I'd give 'em freely, as the Lord gave his for me. O, Mas'r! don't bring this great sin on your soul! It will hurt you more than 't will me! Do the worst you can, my troubles'll be over soon; but, if ye don't repent, yours won't never end!"
"Like a strange snatch of heavenly music, heard in the lull of a tempest, this burst of feeling made a moment's blank pause. Legree stood aghast, and looked at Tom; and there was such a silence, that the tick of the old clock could be heard, measuring, with silent touch, the last moments of mercy and probation to that hardened heart. It was but a moment. There was one hesitating pause,--one irresolute, relenting thrill,--and the spirit of evil came back, with seven-fold vehemence; and Legree, foaming with rage, smote his victim to the ground.
"Scenes of blood and cruelty are shocking to our ear and heart. What man has nerve to do, man has not nerve to hear. What brother-man and brother-Christian must suffer, cannot be told us, even in our secret chamber, it so harrows the soul! And yet, oh my country! these things are done under the shadow of thy laws! O, Christ! thy church sees them, almost in silence!"
10. How does Stowe describe Simon Legree in this scene?
11. How does Stowe describe Uncle Tom?
12. How do you think white Southerners felt when they read about Simon Legree's cruelty in Uncle Tom's Cabin?
13. How do you think white Northerners felt when they read about Simon Legree's cruelty in Uncle Tom's Cabin?