(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
In "A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin" Harriet Beecher Stowe chronicled the evidence she employed to write her moving novel of the same name. Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was so popular it sold over 300,000 copies in the United States in its first year. This letter reveals the rapture in which Stowe's novel enthralled one family. Stephen Higginson II wrote his son and sent a copy of the"Key" the day it became available. He marveled at its prepublication sales and reported that his wife was already "fearfully dipping" into the book. Higginson pinpointed the importance of "A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin" by stating the facts are more provoking than fiction. He hoped the two books would educate "even New England people" to the true horrors of slavery.