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Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe

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Uncle Tom's Cabin Appeared in Serial Form
June 5, 1851

Have you read the book Uncle Tom's Cabin? Besides being a good read, this influential book is often included in lists of "causes of the Civil War" (1861-65). It has been translated into at least 23 languages, and has been presented on stage and in film. Harriet Beecher Stowe's story first appeared on June 5, 1851, in serial form, a chapter at a time, in a weekly publication called the National Era. It went on to become one of the nation's earliest bestsellers.

Harriet Beecher Stowe cared deeply about human rights. Her family was active in the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape to freedom in the North. (The Underground Railroad was a system formed by a group of people who were against slavery. These people helped escaped slaves secretly reach the North.) For 18 years she observed a slave-holding community in Kentucky just across the Ohio River from where she lived in Cincinnati. She didn't like what she saw.

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