The Independent
Unsigned Article
New York: 30 September 1852

  UNCLE TOM LITERATURE.—We are indebted to Norton's Literary Gazette for this title. Evidently, Mrs. Stowe has founded a new "school" in literature, of which no one can foresee the end—a literature based upon the incidents of slavery, and which will have just begun its productiveness when slavery itself shall have been abolished from our land. Not only have 150,000 copies been published in this country, of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," but at least six editions have been issued in England, one in sixpenny numbers. Every English paper and periodical is occupied with reviewing it; and a bookseller there has undertaken to pay the author a voluntary copyright on all he may publish. Norton speaks by knowledge of "one single library where eighty copies have been kept in constant use." Then we have portions of it run into poetry and set to music, in at least eight different productions:

  1. Little Eva. Poetry by Whittier.

  2. Uncle Tom. Music by H. Swift.

  3. Death of St. Clare. Poetry by Collier.

  4. Uncle Tom's Lament. Woodbury.

  5. I am going there. J. S. Adams.

  6. Uncle Tom's Glimpse of Glory. F. Howard.

  7. Eva's Parting, and—

  8. Eliza's Flight. By Miss Collier.

  Then we have answers by the half dozen, which, if they answer no other purpose, prove that the pro-slavery folks feel the necessity of having Uncle Tom's influence neutralized—if it can be done. A poor hand they make of it, but we are not sure as they can do any better with their cause. We have:

  1. "Uncle Tom's Cabin as it is; or Incidents in the real Life among the Lowly." Very flat, and yet it is said 15,000 copies have been purchased—showing how bad the burns which seek such plasters.

  2. "Aunt Phillis's Cabin." By a lady, called Mrs. Eastman. More grammatical, but still more insipid.

  3. "Life in the South; a Companion to Uncle Tom's Cabin." Published by Peterson, Philadelphia. An old story, dug up from the pages of a magazine—pictures by Darley, which may help it along.

  4. "How do you like Uncle Tom?" A southern pamphlet, appropriately published at Cambridge. A reply, not to Uncle Tom, but to something he did not say.

  5. "Life, North and South," by Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, is designed to weaken the force of Uncle Tom's pictures, without offending "northern prejudices."

  6. Mr. Hart, of Philadelphia, has urged Miss C. Lee Hentz to write a reply to Uncle Tom's Cabin. She declined at first, but has at length undertaken the work, and it will appear forthwith.

  7. Uncle Tom's Cabin has been dramatized, both here and in Boston, and played to crowded houses night after night, bringing down the wrath of the Herald upon them for sundering the ties of the Union.

  8. An elaborate review in the London Times, probably paid for by some traveling southerner, and exemplifying the natural sympathy between despotism in the Old World and Slavery in the New, is published at full length in our daily papers, many of which would never print as much for freedom.

  This will do for the first six months. The translations into other languages are yet to follow!