"Man! are you conscious of your immense responsibility?
You have deliberately undone the work of Harriet Beecher Stowe!"

----Dr. Max Nordau, letter to Thomas Dixon

(Un)Reconstructing Uncle Tom's Cabin

In the 1850s the southern strategy was vigorously to attack Uncle Tom's Cabin. In the 1880s and 1890s, however, southern writers made much subtler use of Stowe's novel in a rhetorical campaign to convince the white north that whites in the south had suffered more from the Civil War and Reconstruction than any blacks had ever suffered under slavery. Stowe was spoken of more respectfully, and her characters were brought back to "life" and employed in new fictions that were intended both to create a pro-slavery vision of the American past and to imply that the nation's racial future belonged in the hands of the descendants of slave-owners rather than the descendants of slaves, or any imaginable social, economic or political mixture of the two groups.

Frontispiece portrait of Stowe
from October 1887 number of
The Century Magazine
  • Introduction to Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings
    By Joel Chandler Harris. [New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1880]
  • "Then and Now"
    By Gilbert Ireland (The Washington Post, 21 December 1883)
  • "Uncle Tom Without a Cabin"
    By Walter B. Hill. (The Century Magazine 27, April 1884)
  • "Mrs. Stowe's 'Uncle Tom' At Home in Kentucky"
    By James Lane Allen. (The Century Magazine 34, October 1887)
  • "Uncle Tom's Cabin Forty Years After"
    By Francis A. Shoup. (The Sewanee Review 2, November 1893)
  • The Refugees: A Sequel to "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
    By Annie Jefferson Holland. [Austin: Published for the Author, 1892]
  • Lyddy: A Tale of the Old South
    By Eugenia J. Bacon. [New York: Continental Publishing Co., 1898]
  • The Leopard's Spots: A Romance of the White Man's Burden
    By Thomas Dixon, Jr. [New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1902]

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