"NOTHING MORE IS NEEDED THAN TO AWAKEN THE ATTENTION TO THE PUBLIC TO AN EXPOSE OF THE SLAVE LAW SYSTEM": WONDERFUL SIGNED AUTOGRAPH LETTER BY HARRIET BEECHER STOWE DISCUSSING SLAVE LAW AND ADVERTISEMENTS FOR RUNAWAY SLAVES, WRITTEN THE SAME YEAR UNCLE TOM'S CABIN WAS PUBLISHED
STOWE, Harriet Beecher. Autograph letter signed. Andover, Massachusetts, October 27, 1852. Single sheet of unlined woven cream paper, measuring 8 by 9-3/4 inches; pp. 2. $22,500.
Fascinating autograph letter written and signed by Harriet Beecher Stowe discussing slavery laws, penned at the height of Uncle Tom's Cabin's popularity.
The autograph letter, dated "Andover. Oct 27/52," was written the same year as Uncle Tom's Cabin was released. Stowe, a devoted abolitionist, was often credited with helping to spark the Civil War through the depictions of cruelty and heartbreak in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The book's impact was so widespread and powerful that Lincoln reportedly said to her: "So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war."
The letter, written to an unnamed gentleman who sent Stowe an article, reads in full: "Dear Sir, I am obliged to you for sending me the 'text to my subject' enclosed in your letter. It will be a very good one. Any one that stirs up this subject of southern law as a defence of slavery emphatically wakes up the wrong passenger—nothing more is needed than to awaken the attention of the public to an exposé of the slave law system. If they desire law on this subject they shall have it—
With regard to the benevolent plan which you have presented, I am at present in a situation where my mind is so much pressed with immediately urgent undertakings that I cannot give it my attention—and it has appeared to me that in the selection of benevolent objects, I ought to have first & chief reference to that race with whom my writings have been more immediately connected. It is stated in the printed article which you sent me that advertisements offering a price for the life of runaways never had existed. There are several specimens of them in Weld's book [American Slavery As It Wasin 1839: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses] extracted from the current papers of the time in which he wrote—I should however like some of a more recent date & if any such occur among your collection you might help the cause by furnishing me with them.
If you have any collection of advertisements indicating the low state of public sentiment toward the slave population of the South, I should be glad of them for us—and if you have been at any expense in collecting them, I will cheerfully pay it. Yours very truly, H.B. Stowe. PS I return you the article you were so kind as to send me, thinking it may be of value to you. H.B. Stowe."
Original mailing creases, a couple tiny stains, letter remargined. Near-fine condition.