The Liberator
Unsigned (William Lloyd Garrison)
Boston: 21 January 1853

'Uncle Tom's Cabin.'


  The illustrations are what give additional interest to the present edition. These stare the reader in the face with all the vividness of reality; and what the text only conveys to the mind, the artist has portrayed to the sight.

  We can hardly notice a moiety of them; but, first, there sits the gentlemanly Mr. Shelby, chaffering with the flashy, swaggering Haley, the Negro trader, from whose presence Eliza is leading her glossy, silken-haired boy. Then we see Eliza with her indulgent mistress weeping bitterly for the fears which the horrid trader had inspired, respecting the chances of her boy. Anon, we see the manly George demanded by his master, whose jealousy of George's abilities was to be appeased by subjecting him to the meanest drudgery. There sit George and Eliza, the husband and father—the wife and mother, fondling their cherub boy, and laying their plans in view of his hard service. Next is their sorrowful parting. Here is young master George teaching Uncle Tom to read and write. Passing over many interesting scenes, we behold Eliza, with her boy clasped in her arms, leaping from cake to cake of the floating ice. Soon we see the family, where the senator found that he was only a man. We return to the cabin of Uncle Tom, who is being carried off. We open to Haley and the blacksmith, and then to Tom's parting with George. There is the auction sale of the bodies and souls of men, women and children: and there is Tom's first meeting with little Eva; then his saving her from drowning, and then his purchase by her father. Here is the princely St. Clair mansion, and there is Tom enjoying himself in his new home. Here is the freeman's defence; and anon we behold Ophelia bringing order out of confusion. There are various scenes where Eva and Tom figure, Eva and Topsy, and Miss Ophelia. There is the death scene; and again, another. We see the distress of the unprotected, and the agony of the broken-hearted and despairing. There is the middle passage; and there is one of the habitations of cruelty in one of the dark places of the earth. There is Cassy administering a cup of water to Tom, as he lay bruised and bleeding on the straw. Here the captives have won their liberty; and there is Tom getting the victory. There is the escape, the pursuit, the carouse, the stratagem. There is Tom's dying; and there are the results,—all giving a vividness of reality, that makes the narration twice as effective.