Mrs. Stowe's Uncle Tom
Fanny Fern
Boston: Olive Branch, 28 May 1853

"Mrs. Stowe's Uncle Tom is too graphic ever to have been written by a woman." — Exchange

  "TOO GRAPHIC to be written by a woman?" D'ye hear that, Mrs. Stowe? or has English thunder stopped your American ears? Oh, I can tell you, Mrs. "Tom Cabin," that you've got to pay "for the bridge that has carried you over." Do you suppose that you can quietly take the wind out of everybody's sails, the way you have, without having harpoons, and lampoons, and all sorts of miss—iles thrown after you? No indeed; every distanced scribbler is perfectly frantic; they stoutly protest your book shows no genius, which fact is unfortunately corroborated by the difficulty your publishers find in disposing of it; they are transported with rage in proportion as you are translated. Everybody whose cat ever ran through your great grandfather's entry "knows all about you," and how long it took you to cut your first "wisdom tooth." Then all the bitter sectarian enemies your wide awake brothers have evoked, and who are afraid to measure lances with them, huddle into a corner to revenge by "making mouths" at their sister!

  Certainly; what right had you to get an "invitation to Scotland" free gratis? or to have "Apsley House" placed at your disposal, as soon as your orthodox toes touched English ground? or to have "a silver salver" presented to you? or to have lords and ladies, and dukes and duchesses paying homage to you? or in short to raise such a little tornado to sweep through the four quarters of the globe? You? nothing but a woman—an American! and a Beecher at that! It is perfectly insufferable—one genius in the family is enough. There's your old patriarch father—God bless him!—there's material enough in him to make a dozen ordinary men, to say nothing of "Henry Ward" who's not so great an idiot as he might be! You see you had no "call," Mrs. Tom Cabin, to drop your babies and darning-needle to immortalize your name.

  Well, I hope your feminine shoulders are broad enough and strong enough to bear all the abuse your presumption will call down upon you. All the men in your family, your husband included, belong to "the cloth," and consequently can't practice pistol shooting; there's where your enemies have you, you little simpleton! that's the only objection I have to Mr. Fern's "taking orders," for I've quite a penchant for ministers.

  I trust you are convinced by this time that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is a "flash in the pan." I'm sorry you have lost so much money by it, but it will go to show you, that women should have their ambition bounded by a gridiron and a darning needle. If you had not meddled with your husband's divine inkstand for such a dark purpose, nobody would have said you was "40 years old and looked like a Irish woman;" and between you and me and the vestry door, I don't believe they've done with you yet; for I see that every steamer tosses fresh laurels on your orthodox head, from foreign shores, and foreign powers. Poor unfortunate Mrs. Tom Cabin! Ain't you to be pitied.