Uncle Tom's Cabin

Anti-Tom literature

In response to Uncle Tom's Cabin, writers in the Southern United States produced a number of books to rebut Stowe's novel. This so-called Anti-Tom literature generally took a pro-slavery viewpoint, arguing that the issues of slavery as depicted in Stowe's book were overblown and incorrect. The novels in this genre tended to feature a benign white patriarchal master and a pure wife, both of whom presided over childlike slaves in a benevolent extended family style plantation. The novels either implied or directly stated that African Americans were a childlike people[79] unable to live their lives without being directly overseen by white people.[80]

Among the most famous anti-Tom books are The Sword and the Distaff by William Gilmore Simms, Aunt Phillis's Cabin by Mary Henderson Eastman, and The Planter's Northern Bride by Caroline Lee Hentz,[81] with the last author having been a close personal friend of Stowe's when the two lived in Cincinnati. Simms' book was published a few months after Stowe's novel, and it contains a number of sections and discussions disputing Stowe's book and her view of slavery. Hentz's 1854 novel, widely read at the time but now largely forgotten, offers a defense of slavery as seen through the eyes of a northern woman—the daughter of an abolitionist, no less—who marries a southern slave owner.

In the decade between the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin and the start of the American Civil War, between twenty and thirty anti-Tom books were published. Among these novels are two books titled Uncle Tom's Cabin As It Is (one by W. L. Smith and the other by C. H. Wiley) and a book by John Pendleton Kennedy. More than half of these anti-Tom books were written by white women, with Simms commenting at one point about the "Seemingly poetic justice of having the Northern woman (Stowe) answered by a Southern woman."[82]

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