The National Era
Unsigned (Gamaliel Bailey?)
Washington, D.C.: 22 April 1852

Literary Notices

UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; or, Life among the Lowly. By Harriet Beecher Stowe. Boston: John P. Jewett & Co. Cleveland, Ohio: Jewett, Proctor, & Worthington. 1852. For sale at the office of the National Era.

  We have not here the space in which to say all we think and feel regarding this wonderful work. It was a noble effort—it is a splendid success. The God of Freedom inspired the thought—the spirit of his love and wisdom guided the pen of the writer, so her words shall sink into the softened and repentant heart of the wrong-doer, and spring up into a harvest of good, for the poor and the oppressed.

  This beautiful new evangel of freedom—for so the book seems to us—does not suddenly flash the intolerable light of God's truth upon souls benighted in error, but softly drops veil after veil till they stand in mid-day brightness, wondering and remorseful.

  There are two characters in this work which will live as long as our literature—Tom and little Eva—the ebony statue of Christlike patience—the rose of love blossoming with immortal sweetness at its base. No human heart can receive these two visitants, and none can refuse them when they come, without taking in with them the pleading, sorrowing Spirit of humanity, and the stern Angel of justice.

  We have undertaken nothing like a critique of this book; but we must be allowed to say, even in this circumscribed notice, that the work to us gives evidence of greater power, of deeper and more various resources, than any other novel of the time. It displays rare dramatic genius, its characters are strongly drawn, refreshingly peculiar and original, yet wondrously true to nature and to many a reader's experience of life. It abounds alike with quaint, delicious humor, and the most heart-searching pathos; with the vividest word-painting, in the way of description, with argument, philosophy, eloquence, and poetry. And straight and pure through all—through characterization, conversation, description, and narrative, sweeps the continuous moral—the one deep thought, flowing ceaselessly from the soul of the writer, and fed by "under-springs of silent deity."

  So great and good a thing has Mrs. Stowe here accomplished for humanity, for freedom, for God, that we cannot refrain from applying to her sacred words, and exclaiming, "Blessed art thou among women!"