Author Harriet Beecher Stowe introduces the characters from her infamous novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin and describes life in the South before the Civil War. Each scene features Hammett Billings’ illustrations from a rare copy of the first illustrated edition of the book published in 1853. Stowe discusses how real people inspired the characters in the story and explains how slave auctions tore families apart.
In the last scene, Eva’s character comes to life. She climbs on Stowe’s lap and reads the Bible passage she once read to Uncle Tom. The realism of Uncle Tom’s Cabin struck a nerve with the entire country and hastened the Civil War.
WARNING: Some scenes may be disturbing to the viewers as either the subject matter, personalities, or their spoken language may be offensive in the 21st century. Teachers be advised. Steve Edison, founder of the Abolition News Network, has led the nonprofit in the research, development and production of DVDs about the history of slavery for more than seven years. The series is comprised of interviews with historical figures who discuss their experiences during the abolition period. This project has been meticulously researched and adapted for presentation in this format by Edison. WARNING: Adult supervision recommended.
Interview with Harriet Beecher Stowe: The Evil of Slavery
She introduces Uncle Tom, a dutiful slave who was sold to pay off debts, and Eliza, who risked her life to escape to the North with baby Harry. We also hear about Eva, an angelic eight year old who sees the evil of slavery, her despondent black playmate Topsy and the brutal slave owner Simon Legree.
Stowe reveals the people and the conditions that inspired her explosive novel about slavery and life in the South.
Published on Jan 12, 2012