Source: Wikipedia; Magic lantern series of about 1885 of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe published her famous antislavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in 1852. Stowe, inspired by the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, exposed the horrors of slaveryan extreme form of human oppression whereby an individual may "own" another person and the...
with her portrayal of slave owner Simon Legree and the Christ-like Uncle Tom, whom Legree kills. Stowe was careful to attack slavery, not southern whites, which is why she made Simon Legree a transplanted Yankee rather than a southerner. Even so, slave owners were outraged by the book and her published guide to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in which she demonstrated that fictional events in the book were based largely on fact. Upon meeting Stowe, Abraham Lincoln acknowledged the impact of her writing, saying, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”
The Haitian slave revolt of 1791 caused concern for American slave owners, who feared similar rebellions. Slave uprisings in the south intensified from the early 1800s until the Civil War, as did the abolitionist movement and efforts of the Underground Railroad. The division between North and South was further amplified by northerners who found it easy to be critical of southern slave owners, since most northern slaves already had been freed. Many northern abolitionists were Christians, and believed it was their God-given duty to protect the slaves. Southern proponents of slavery resented northern posturing in the debate over slavery, arguing that northerners would not experience the negative economic impact of manumission (emancipationfreedom from legalized slavery gained by most enslaved persons of African descent immediately following the... of slaves) since their slaves were already free.