A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896).
A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Boston: J.P. Jewett & Co.; Cleveland: Jewett, Proctor & Worthington, 1852.
Call Number: (SPL) PS 2954 .U5 1852a
Special Collections, Golda Meir Library
Originally a cheap paperback edition, this presentation of Uncle Tom's Cabin presented the lengthy work in only 162 pages by using a smaller typeface and dividing each page into two columns. It is here bound with:
A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin; Presenting the Original Facts and Documents upon which the story is founded. Together with Corroborative Statements Verifying the Truth of the Work. Boston: J.P. Jewett & Co.; Cleveland: Jewett, Proctor & Worthington, 1853.
Alarmed by the abolitionist sentiment stirred up by Uncle Tom's Cabin, Southern critics attacked the work's credibility as a representation of slavery. Stowe became obsessed with proving the veracity of her sources, despite the critics' lack of effect on the work's popularity.
The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (1853) presented the primary sources to the work, grouped into models for each character, religious and legal arguments, with a detailed "Index." The materials included newspaper articles, Stowe's own arguments, and legal and scholarly treatises. The presentation is that of a reference work, however much of the prose is Stowe's personal defense of the work. Scholars have noted discrepancies in Stowe's accounts of the work's sources.