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A Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin by A. Woodward

Are common among Southern slaveholders


style="text-align: justify;"> CHAPTER II.

It is no part of my design to offer apologies for, or by any means to conceal the faults of Southern slaveholders. But the reading of Uncle Tom's Cabin, has indelibly fixed the impression on my mind that Mrs. Stowe's narrative is false. The question is, whether such, or similar occurrences, are _common_ among Southern slaveholders. If they had been _rare_, she had no right to make the impression on the whole civilized world, that they are every-day occurrences. Nor had she any right unless she had been an eye witness of the leading facts detailed in her story, to publish a book which presents her country in such an ignoble attitude before the world; she had no right to base such calumnious charges on heresay, rumor, or common report. I shall proceed to show that her tale is improbable, and that it is likely that no such transactions as are detailed in her story, ever have transpired among Southern slaveholders.

It is doubtful whether one hundreth part of what hag been published in abolition papers, during the last fifty years, in regard to Southern slavery, is true; and those who have received their impressions of African slavery in the South, from that source, are utterly incapable of expressing correct opinions on the subject. It was never the intention of abolition writers, to publish the truth on any subject, having reference to the Southern section of the United

States. Their object was to make false impressions on the minds of Northern men, and thereby to originate and sustain a party, from whom, they expected to derive certain benefits. They worked for pay. Many years ago, I stepped into a court-house, in a small town in Tennessee, and immediately after I had seated myself, a lawyer arose, and made a very vehement speech in favor of some scape-gallows who was arraigned before the court. After he had taken his seat, another gentleman of the bar arose, and replied to him. The two gentlemen alternately speechified the judge and jury for several hours; after which the judge passed sentence on the culprit, and the two lawyers left the court-house. As they passed on in the direction of their residences, I overheard one remark to the other, "in the name of ----, how can a man stand up before the court, and lie as you did to-day." "Oh!" said the gentleman in reply, "I was well paid, I received a large fee, and could afford to lie." Some of the abolition editors, I presume, are well paid for their services. But to return to Uncle Tom's Cabin. No other mental culture is necessary, in order to qualify an individual to write such a book as Uncle Tom's Cabin, except the reading of novels and abolition papers. Mrs. Stowe, I have no doubt, is well read in both. And she has performed her task in a manner that has excited the wonder, and elicited the admiration and applause of millions! Volumes of eulogiums have been lavished upon her! She is now the wonder and admiration of America, and a goddess in England; and woe to him who refuses to do her homage! This rare production bids fair to supplant the Bible in Sabbath Schools in some parts of our country! What next? This is an age of wonders and humbugs. For aught we know, Jo. Smith's Bible, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the spiritual rappers, may yet revolutionize our world. It is, however, difficult to tell, what is in the womb of the future; for many new wonders and marvelous revelations may yet spring up in the land of Yankeedom! Nothing is too hard for them. The word impossible, has no place in their vocabulary.

Having remarked, that I considered the narrative of Mrs. Stowe untrue; it now devolves on me to show the improbability of some of her statements. An old negro man, whom she calls Uncle Tom, is the hero of her tale. Uncle Tom was the servant of a gentlemen, by name Shelby, who resided in Kentucky. She represents this old negro, Uncle Tom, as a very remarkable character. She tells us that Tom was pious and honest; not simply so, indulgent reader, in the ordinary acceptation of these terms, but that he was really and truly a God-fearing man--a man of unimpeachable veracity, strict honesty, and ardent piety; above suspicion--above crime--a perfect man--a man of almost angelic purity. We, moreover, learn from her narrative, that good old Tom, (God bless his soul and preserve his dust), was a kind of overseer on Shelby's farm; that to him was committed the oversight and supervision, of whatever pertained to Shelby's farming operations and interests. And as a proof of Shelby's implicit confidence in him, she states, that he sent Tom alone at one time, to Cincinnati on business, and that he returned home with five hundred dollars in his pocket. Tom, according to her account, was a great favorite, not only with his master, but also with his mistress and the entire family. Shelby's son George was devotedly attached to him.


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