Voices of Equality
The Civil War era is rich with individuals and groups that stood up for the injustices by publicly demanding the freedom of the enslaved. Many of these have become historical legends for the significant contributions to the Abolition movement. This movement would test the very foundation of this country. It challenged a practice that began in the British colonies of the Americas and had woven itself into the very fabric of the political and economic condition of the country. Millions of black people lived an enslaved life in America and endured a loss of freedom, at best and horrific torture or death, at worst.
Many believed that ending slavery would destroy ...view middle of the document...
Stowe met her husband in Cincinnati at Lane Theological Seminary where her father was President. They had seven children together, but sadly their son, Samuel, died of cholera at 18-months. Stowe would compare the pain of her loss to that of a slave woman having her children taken from her.
Stowe believed that her writing gave her the ability to speak out publicly about matters for which the opinions of a woman was typically not sought or considered. She used writing as her voice and when Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published, she was found to have one of the loudest voices of them all. The character of Uncle Tom portrayed the life of a Christian slave that was sold to multiple slave owners and befriended other slaves throughout his struggles. The story ends when Uncle Tom is whipped to death by a cruel slave owner for not disclosing the location of his wife and another runaway slave. This story ripped open the issue of slavery and laid it bare for the world to see.
Stowe often disagreed with the political actions of President Abraham Lincoln. She believed that he took too long to decide how he would address the issue of slavery and did not do enough to protect the enslaved. After the preliminary proclamation was given by Lincoln in 1862, Stowe went to Washington D.C. to determine for herself if the President would stand behind it and free the slaves. It is rumored that when the two met President Lincoln said, “so this is the little lady that wrote the book that started this great war (The Lincoln Institute, 2014). Stowe developed a great deal of respect for the President following their meeting.
Within two months of Lincoln win in the presidential election of 1861, southern states were seceding from the Union. The issue of slavery had divided the country and the election of an anti-slavery President would push the country further down the path that led to Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was born of humble beginnings in Kentucky in 1809. He is commonly recognized as the young boy chopping firewood by his family home, a traditional log cabin. He became a self-educated lawyer, was a member of state legislature in the 1830s and served in Congress in the 1840s. He debated against the expansion of slavery in the 1850s, secured the Republican Party nomination for President in 1860, and won the election with support only from northern states.
Although President Lincoln did not agree with slavery, his passion was for preserving the Union and not with the issue of slavery. In his letter to the editor of the New York Tribune, Horace Greeley, in 1862, Lincoln says
My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that (Lincoln, Letter to Horace Greeley, 1862)....