Who resisted and campaigned for abolition?

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), This edition published 1928

Object number 2.81/88
Original donor unknown

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Uncle Tom's Cabin

This book became the bestselling novel of the 1800s. It was a direct attack on slavery in the American south and was first published in 1852, a few years before the tensions between north and south erupted in the American Civil War. Its popularity continued for decades; this example was presented as a Sunday school prize in Oldham in the 1920s.

The story of Uncle Tom publicised the suffering of slaves and generated huge support for the abolitionist movement. However, because of the passive acceptance by the main character of his situation, the phrase 'Uncle Tom' gradually became an insult within African American communities. Despite abolition, African Americans would suffer the effects of institutionalised racism and segregation for many years to come.

For more information visit the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center website.

This information was provided by curators from Gallery Oldham.