Is Uncle Tom's Cabin Historically Correct?

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Arthur LeMar McNeil (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
Stephen W. Berry

Abstract: A couple of years after Stowe wrote her most famous novel, she responded to criticism about the novel's reliability by writing A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin. In this response she told her readers that Uncle Tom's Cabin was not a novel about a single person's life, or a group of people. Rather, it was a compilation of true events that happened in the lives of African American slaves. Stowe's response included newspaper articles about incidents that she included in her novel. It also included segments of slave narratives that Stowe had been introduced to from former slaves and their writings. A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin did not come close to sharing the success that its predecessor enjoyed, but nevertheless it proved that her best-selling novel was not a malicious lie. Stowe was in contact with many former slaves such as Rev. Josiah Henson and Theodore Weld, and it was from people such as these that she acquired ideas and stories for the characters in her novel. Although Stowe wanted to help the abolitionist effort, she did not want to simply write another book to be used as propaganda. She wanted her writings to expose the true evils of slavery and call for an all out end to slavery?

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 2002
Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 1811-1896, Slavery – United States, Slavery – Southern States, Slaves, Plantation Life, Fugitive Slaves, African Americans, McNeill, Arthur "Marty"

Email this document to