|In her Preface, Butt refers to herself as "a warm-hearted Virginian."
In her Concluding Remarks, she acknowledges that she is young and this is her
first book. In both places (and at several points inside the narrative) she
says she is writing "to defend the South" from Harriet Beecher Stowe. At the
end she invites Stowe to visit the South, sure that she'll see for herself how
kind masters are, and how contented are the slaves. That's one of the two main
motifs of Butt's novel: bringing Northerners with abolitionist sentiments into Virginia, to enjoy "Southern
Hospitality" and to go back to the North singing the praises of the slave
system. The other main motif is an account of slave life that makes it seem
main business of the plantation was to insure the slaves' happiness. The book
is poorly written, and even by the standards of pro-slavery novels fantastic in
its depiction of slavery, but there's no doubt of how sincerely Butt embraces
the fiction she's creating.
Antifanaticism: A Tale of the South, By Miss Martha Haines Butt (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co., 1853
Wright American Fiction Project, Indiana University Library.