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Uncle Tom in Foreign Lands
This exhibit was developed by Janaya Kizzie.
June 14, 2011 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of American novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe. Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is said to have been one of the catalysts for the Civil War and the abolition of slavery in the United States.
Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin in installments that were originally published by the abolitionist newspaper National Era. The novel’s national popularity and controversy turned it into an international phenomenon. By the time Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published as a bound volume in the United States in 1852, it was being also published around the world. As a result of the novel’s popularity, Stowe toured Europe three times following the publication of her novel.
The Caleb Fiske Harris Collection on the Civil War and Slavery at Providence Public Library holds many English editions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and over 50 translations of the novel into 12 languages. In the 200th year since her birth, we celebrate the impact Harriet Beecher Stowe had on the United States and the world.
On display here are a few of the covers from the Providence Public Library’s collection of foreign language editions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The illustrations and even the translations of the titles reflect the world’s perspective on Stowe’s important work.
The Caleb Fiske Harris Collection on the Civil War and Slavery
The Caleb Fiske Harris Collection on the Civil War and Slavery was the first collection acquired by Providence Public Library. It was purchased for $2,000 in 1884, not long after the Library was founded, from the estate of Mr. Harris, a Providence book collector. Nearly all of this money was given to the Library by the Portsmouth Grove Hospital through the efforts of a Library Trustee, Mr. Sidney S. Rider, who was a Providence publisher and bookseller.
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