The New York Times
6 July 1896


The Declaration of Independence and "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

   The Union Methodist Episcopal Church in West Forty-eighth Street, near Broadway, was fairly well filled last evening to hear a sermon on the life work of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, delivered by her pastor, the Rev. Dr. James M. King. Dr. King took for his subject "The Declaration of Independence and 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,'" and his remarks were eulogistic of the deceased authoress. In the course of his sermon Dr. King said:

   "The Declaration of Independence read that all men were created free and equal, but it was not for eighty-eight years that the free and liberty-loving American people saw the great hypocrisy of this statement. It was Mrs. Stowe's grand work, conceived in the Lord, that drove this great lie out of our Declaration of Independence. No permanent victory crowned the Union forces until the proclamation abolishing slavery was issued. It was the story of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" that quickened the spirit of the North, and many a mother gave up her son to her country with tears in her eyes but with the story of Uncle Tom's wrongs in her heart.

   "The secret of the success of Mrs. Stowe's work was simple. It came from the heart. Mrs. Stowe religiously believed that her book was divinely inspired. Once in her later married life in Connecticut, a traveler came to see her and said that it was with great pleasure and with a high appreciation of the honor that he grasped the hand of the author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Mrs. Stowe solemnly said: 'God wrote the book.'

   "The book was conceived and born in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. It was during the solemn service that the inspiration came to her. I believe that Mrs. Stowe was called, as Lincoln was, by God to come forward in the great crisis, in our Nation's history. The story of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' served admirably to quicken the National conscience until the great blot of slavery was removed from our escutcheon."