“Read, weep, and reflect”: Creating young abolitionists through Uncle Tom’s Cabin

The ardent abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe had a specific intent for readers of her blockbuster novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin: she wanted her readers to “Read, weep, and reflect” as they read about the plights of Uncle Tom and his fellow slaves. Tie-in products for children demonstrate how Stowe, her publishers, and others seeking to get in on the lucrative Uncle Tom phenomenon envisioned extending the power of the novel to every part of children’s lives. Shown here are rare examples of toys, games, and other products from the years just following the novel’s publication in 1852.