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Excerpts from "A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin Presenting the Original Facts and Documents Upon Which the Story is Founded"

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Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," sold over half a million copies in its first five years. While it was widely popular in the North, it was derided in the South as a wild exaggeration of the conditions of slavery. In response to her critics, she published the "Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin" a year later. The "Key" chronicles her evidence and cites sources to prove the authenticity of her archetypical characters. Although Stowe was from Connecticut, she moved with her family to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1836. Sitting on the Ohio River separating Kentucky from Ohio, Cincinnati was a border town with an active abolitionist community. Here Stowe met many fugitive slaves and learned about the life of blacks in the South.


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