This is Stowe's second book, another one depicting the horrors of southern slavery, published 4 years after Uncle Tom's Cabin and 5 years before the commencement of the Civil War, when new territories wanting admittance into the US (Texas, Oklahoma, name the states), were vying to become slave states, threatening to spread the heinous system. While a work of fiction, the book successfully documents the horrors of the slave system, and depicts how some slaves escaped into the Dismal Swamp (a real place spreading over a million acres in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina), where they often lived for years hiding from their pursuers, often in community. Dred, one of Stowe's most unusual heroic characters, proclaims his mission as follows: ". . .the burden of the Lord is upon me . . . to show unto this people their iniquity, and be a sign unto this evil nation!'" The book depicts that slaves were not all passive victims, as so often portrayed, and had many white sympathizers, but all were caught in the grips of a legal system so stacked against them that nobody could overturn it without threats to life and limb. The book was welcomed by the anti-slavery movement in Europe as well as in America, and helped move the needle of sympathy to finally overthrowing the system. - Summary by Michele Fry
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Original Print Publisher
Boston ; New York : Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1892.