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Uncle Tom's Cabin

Contexualizing Harriet Beecher Stowe

Abigail MacDougall

on 3 May 2015

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Transcript of Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin
"The New England Theology"
Hartford Female Seminary
Beecher Family moves to the West
Harriet's sympathetic heart
Calvinism to Episcopalian
"Preacher in Petticoats"
nineteenth-century views on death
Setting the Scene
Emphasis on dividing characteristics
Evolutionary idea of abolition
Social Rank
Example in
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Born June 14th, 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut
Sixth daughter of Lyman and Roxana Beecher
Lyman Beecher was well-known antebellum preacher
In 1850, 34 percent of people belonged to a religious organization
Litchfield Female Academy
Harriet's conversion experience
Natural religion vs. theology
Contexualizing Harriet Beecher Stowe's Landmark Novel
Erin Andersen, Caroline Anderson, Kelsey Campbell, Lizzy Coyle, Ivy Cheng, Katherine Meis, Abby MacDougall

introduction to Harriet Beecher Stowe
nineteenth-century views on race
Stowe and Slavery
The Vision
Uncle Tom's Cabin
the making and reaction
Journey to Publication
steps to the novel
Stowe's success in the market
The Literary Marketplace
Stowe's initial success
Novel Success
Attack on Novel
A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin
Take on the Home
The Female Influence
Stowe's role in the writing sphere
The Cabin's Cultural Influence

Uncle Tom’s Cabin
is the most vicious book that ever appeared …The book precipitated the war and made the North believe nothing but the very worst of the South.”
F. Hopkinson Smith (Virginia)
A Different View
Stowe's view on the special children
"The Institution of slavery facilitates the dehumanization process in a logical manner by posing the contradiction that a human being is simultaneously both a piece of property, a 'thing,' and a person."

(Smedley 152).
various conceptions of race
"Of course, in a novel, peoples' hearts break, and they die, and that's the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us."

Uncle Tom's Cabin p. 169
"...All men are born equally free and independent and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness"

(American Citizen).
“She didn’t know what slavery was, and so left out the worst of it.”
Freed Slave
The "cult of true womanhood"
What does it mean to be a "true woman?"
Cardinal virtues: piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity
"Feminization of American culture"

"As the literature and house plans suggest, the parlor featured prominently in the ideology of town and city middle-class social activity and family life, imparting identity and stability to these households. It provided a setting for a flourishing middle-class women's culture."

(McMurry 144)

"For Stowe…[the] home had a specifically religious function."
(Matthews 53)
introduction to Harriet Beecher Stowe
“The focus is Victorian Britain, a time in which ‘afflicted’ and ‘defective' bodies permeated not only the plots of popular literature and drama but also published debates...These texts’ recurrent ways of representing bodies...produce the distinctive identity of ‘disabled' and its co-product, ‘able,’ in a century in which disability and ability were not the established (if ambiguous) rhetorical categories that they are in Anglo-American culture today.”

(Holmes 4)

“Why, re’lly, she did seem to me to valley the child more ’cause ’twas sickly and cross, and plagued her; and she warn’t making b’lieve, neither—cried about it, she did, and lopped round, as if she’d lost every friend she had.”

Uncle Tom's Cabin
The Female Influence
Move to Cincinnati
Separation of families
Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
Picture Citations
Stowe as a mother
loss of a child
Victorian Women standing up for themselves
Misconceptions of their role as a mother
Nineteenth Century
Stowe's death
1879: Companies performing Uncle Tom's Cabin
North vs. South

Racial Term
Positive Reputation
Cinematic and Commercialized "Uncle Tom"
"Every man, woman and child, white and black, in the southern states, can bear testimony to the truth of the portrait which Mrs. Stowe, God bless her! has drawn of slavery."
Virginian Slave owner
History with
The National Era
and Gamaliel Bailey's anti-slavery periodical
Four to five times longer than anticipated
June 5, 1851:
Uncle Tom's Cabin
begins its 44-week run in
The National Era
March 1852, contract with John P. Jewett (Jewett & Co.) to publish collection
Two one-volume editions
Illustrated and paper editions
"'O, good Lord! Do look down,—give me the victory!—give me the victory over all!' prayed poor Tom, in his anguish."
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Newspapers and magazines published success
The Barre Patriot
newspaper in Massachusetts
Advertisements describing sales influenced sales
First year: more than 320,000 sets of volumes were published in the United States
Socially accepted professions for women in the 19th Century
Writing as profitable source of employment
Supplement husband's income
Voicing opinions
Primary Geography for Children
1834: Essays in
Western Monthly
Member of the coed Semi-Colon Club
Co-editor of
Hearth and Home
Stowe's writing in relation to the "cult"
Introduction: "Uncle Tom's Cabin Door (1912) Sheet Music cover. http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/songs/utcdoorf.html
4.Harriet Beecher Stowe & Husband At Home. 1881. Hulton. Britannica Imagequest. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://quest.eb.com.libproxy.furman.edu/#/search/calvin-stowe/1/115_2840479/Harriet-Beecher-Stowe--Husband-At-Home>.
Lyman Beecher. 1860. Universal History. Britannica Imagequest. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://quest.eb.com.libproxy.furman.edu/#/search/lyman-beecher/1/300_348033/Lyman-Beecher>.
5. Prezi online graphic.
6. Pilgrim, David. Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. Digital image. The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group, 2012. JPG.
7. Motherhood in Uncle Tom's Cabin. Digital image. Victoriana Magazine. Victoriana Magazine, 1996. JPG.
3. Harriet Beecher Stowe.. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 22 Feb 2015. http://quest.eb.com/#/search/113_924896/1/113_924896/cite
8. Prezi online graphic.
9. Moral Map of the United States 1853. Estlin, John Bishop. "A Brief Notice of American Slavery and the Abolition Movement." LSE Selected Pamphlets (1853): n. pag. JSTOR. Web. 12 Feb. 2015. <http://www.jstor.org.libproxy.furman.edu/stable/60221811>.
10. Uncle Tom 's Cabin. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 23 Feb 2015.
11. "Uncle Tom's Cabin, title page of first edition, 1852." 1852. House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College. Jpeg.
12. [Title page for The New Housekeeper's Manual, 1873, by Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe]. 1873. The Library of Congress. Jpeg.
14. "Uncle Tom's Serialization: The
National Era
Text." 1852. Utc.iath.virginia.edu. jpeg.
15. "Uncle Tom's Cabin Paperback 'Edition for the Million' Boston: John P. Jewett & Co., 1853." 1853. Barrett Collection, Univ. of Virginia. Jpeg.
17. Prezi online graphic.
18. A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin. 1854. Digital Image. http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/uncletom/key/kyhp.html
19. Prezi online graphic.
21. Making of a Homemaker. Smithsonian Libraries. www.sil.si.edu/ondisplay/making-homemaker/into.htm
23a. Bryon, Joseph.
Little Eva's Death Scene
. 1901. Photographic Print. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
22b. Bryon, Joseph.
Uncle Tom at the Whipping Post.
1901. Photographic Print. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
26. A.S. Seers. Uncle Tom's Cabin. 1879. Color Woodcut. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washiongton, D.C.
"Now, it was a very unusual thing for gentle little Mrs. Bird ever to trouble her head with what was going on in the house of the state, very wisely considering that she had enough to do to mind her own."
Uncle Tom's Cabin
"For Little Eva gains her force not through what she does, not even through what she is, but through what she does and is to us, the readers."

The Feminization of American Culture (2)
Setting the Scene
nineteenth-century views towards women
Setting the Scene
Setting the Scene
Stowe's Attitude:
Death of Stowe's son
Similarity of Stowe and St. Clare

Victorian Attitude:
Lack of Medical Advancement
Major attacks included criticism of literary faults and factual error
Publication of
A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin
Presented the facts and documents that the story was based on

society's and Stowe's
experience and views
"At Uncle Tom's Cabin Door" (1912)
In 1860, in 1860, those happy days before Emancipation,
Way down in Dixie, merry darkies you would see.
They had their sorrows, that's quite true,
But there were happy hours too,
Let's go back before, back before the war,
And we'll see some jubilee.

See them dancing around, watch them prance on the ground,
Uncle Tom is gay, troubles fade away,
Hear them after each encore, roar for more,.
Banjos strumming a tune,
Topsy's acting like a loon.
There's some celebration on the old plantation
At Uncle Tom's Cabin door.

Just hear them singing, Just hear them singing,
Those good ole darkey tunes they're harmonizing,
Just see them swinging, just see them swinging
to the strains of "Old Black Joe."
Here comes the Marsa from his ride,
There's little Eva by his side,
Sime Legree's away, bloodhounds are at play,
Those were happy, happy days.
Full transcript