Saturday Evening Post
Philadelphia: 15 March 1862

  CONCLUSIVE REASONING.—Could the authoress of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" have heard the following sweeping criticism, sustained by so conclusive an argument, she would probably have saved herself the trouble of writing her "Key," and given up the task as hopeless. It was uttered in perfectly good faith, and with an evident feeling that the speaker had made a "smashing" point. Soon after "Uncle Tom" was published, I was going down the Mississippi river. The book came up for discussion. Listening to the debate was a man who had informed us that he was once an overseer in Louisiana, but was now living in Southern Illinois. After quietly listening for some time, this Egyptian oracle spoke with the conscious power of knowledge: "I know 'Uncle Tom's' a lie, and I allays knowed it; for I knowed a man that knowed Mister Shelby, of Kentucky, and Mister Shelby told that man that he never had no such nigger as Uncle Tom."