Uncle Tom Sparks Public
As Uncle Tom’s Cabin’s popularity soared, the novel
provoked heated debate over the authenticity of Stowe’s depiction
of slavery, and whether her characters were “real.” Stowe’s
opponents argued that her portrayal of slavery was misleading and exaggerated.
Her critics began publishing pro-slavery tracts to refute the facts presented
in the novel. Stowe responded by releasing her own book, The Key to
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which provided documentation on the facts
in her novel, and named the books and the people that served as her sources
of information. Stowe’s sources remain controversial, since she
conducted much of her research on slavery only after the novel was published.