The National Era
Washington, D.C.: 29 April 1852


NEW YORK, April 24, 1852.

To the Editor of the National Era:

  . . . Mrs. Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" sells about as rapidly, I learn, in this country, as Dickens's "Bleak House" does in England. To-day two hundred copies are packing for Scotland. Orders are coming in from the South! It will be read the world over, and draw tears from the eyes of many not wont to weep. "My tears are not near my eyes," said one, "but I find myself weeping before I am aware of it." Sympathy brought about emancipation in the British West Indies. When the missionary, Knibb, appeared on the platform in London and in the provincial towns, one exclaimed, "The clothes on me were sprinkled with the blood of my fellow-laborer in Jamaica!" the people shouted, "Down accursed system!" until Parliament engrossed on parchment the voice of the people.

  Mrs. Stowe's heart was deeply affected, I have reason to believe, when the Fugitive Act was passed. She wept and agonized before the God of the oppressed; she supplicated for wisdom and grace to enable her to do something for the bondsman; and the Holy Spirit, I doubt not, put it into her head and heart to write this captivating tale. Does not its rapid circulation evince that there is, after all, a great amount of anti-slavery feeling in the community, and that this feeling is not confined to the North?

  Rev. John S.C. Abbott, the papers say, has gone to France, to procure new facts and embellishments for his memoirs of Napoleon the First, which was first published in Harper's Magazine. I confess that I am pained that a clergyman, like Abbott, should devote his fine powers to the illustration and embellishment of the life of the "Great Butcher of Mankind." Dr. Channing, in his prime, made a far different achievement, in portraying the renowned captain in a true light, as the enemy, not the friend of mankind; as an example to be avoided and detested, rather than courted and imitated, by the youth of this country. How inferior in the particular mentioned is the occupation of Mr. Abbott to that of Mrs. Stowe! How different the object and effect of their works! Mrs. Stowe did not write "Uncle Tom's Cabin" for fame or money and yet both will result from her Christian enterprise. In addition, she may expect the Savior's smile. May God bless her!

Yours, truly, MANHATTAN.