icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Online Collection
Select a transcription:

Mr "Wm G Lewis"
Recd 2 June and ?

Jamaica Plain April 15th 1850

My dear Son

I must add at the bottom a memo of the numerous
letters we have recd from you since my last, my memo being in town;
But they include those p"tion" with the drawings, which are the best
you have sent to give very great pleasure. The Sketches of Fort Tillagnon,?
? Ayres, sea peices, water, rocks &c are very good and show? that you
study the best of all teachers, nature, very faithfully. I am glad you
exercise this talent so much, for it is a beautiful one, a grateful & reprising
resource, & affords the means of giving much pleasure.

Your letters to the children & all are always welcome. Annies &
Aunt Anna's have gone to Brattleboro; where Annie will stay a
week or two longer. Aggie is writing to you by my side. Mother is
dipping fearfully with the painful revelation of Uncle Tom'sKey, which
has come out today & of which I send you a copy by this vessel.
Mr Baird may like to see it. An Edition of 80,000 copies has been
printed, of which 68,000 engaged before publication, said to the
largest first edition of any book ever published in any country.
Mrs Stowe was provoked to it by the denunciations of the American press,
charging her first book with exaggeration & injustice. I fancy the
defenders of our fretted? national institution, on the maintenance & extension
of which by the Federal Government the Union is declared to depend,
will wish they had let Uncle Tom's Cabin pass without stricture. The
facts of the case are for worse than any fiction can well be.
These two books, & the scorching comments of the English & French peoples
to magazines including the telling Satires of French, will help our
northern compromisers to see themselves & their policies in a ? light
than they have been, & while they are vexed to be so hold up to scorn &

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image.

label levels:

There is currently no available "Beginner" label. The following is the default level label: 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.


top of page

Letter to Stephen Higginson III from his father

author   Stephen Higginson II (1808-1870)
date   Apr 15, 1850
location   Boston, Massachusetts
height   10.0"
width   8.0"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Personal Documents/Letter
accession #   #L05.130

Look Closer icon My Collection icon Document Image icon Detailed info icon

ecard icon Send an e-Postcard of this object

See Also...

Pages from the diary of Martha Cochran

Title page from "Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly"

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

button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents


Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback