Uncle Tom's Cabin, with Harriet Beecher Stowe's Signature, 1853

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's Cabin. Boston: John P. Jewett & Company, circa 1853. Signed by Stowe. Octovo. Original three-quarter leather binding with green cloth boards. Matching archival clamshell.

Offered is a signed copy of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s work Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The book was published out of Boston by John P. Jewett & Co. in 1853. Stowe’s signature is presented on a free endpaper. The book is offered in its original leather and cloth binding with a matching, archival clamshell. 

This highly influential novel was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896). The book was first published in 1852, just one year before this copy was published. It is known famously as an influential abolitionist work of literature, which described the harsh conditions endured by enslaved African Americans. The work became extremely popular in the United States and Great Britain in the year following its publication. Over 300,000 copies were sold in the first year, and the work was adapted for theater multiple times. Theatrical adaptations made the story accessible to a widespread American audience, contributing to further praise of the story in the North and heightened animosity towards it in the South. In many ways, the novel informed the public and started conversations about slavery in both the North and South, which laid the groundwork for the American Civil War. 

Uncle Tom’s Cabin tells the story of Uncle Tom, portrayed as a dutiful slave. While being transported to an auction in New Orleans, Tom saves the life of Little Eva. Grateful, Little Eva’s father purchases Tom. Tom and Eva become fast friends, though Eva’s health begins to decline. On her deathbed, Eva requests her father to free all of his slaves. He makes plans to do so, but is killed by Simon Legree before he is able. Legree becomes Tom’s new owner, and brutally tortures and kills Tom. The story served as a dramatic yet realistic account of the horrible way that slaves were treated in the country. 

Stowe’s writings of slavery were informed by her personal experiences while living in Cincinnati, Ohio, during the 1830s and ‘40s, which was a destination for escaped slaves. She herself sheltered an escaped slave and helped along the informal underground railroad. Stowe wrote her novel based on these experiences, as well as first-hand accounts from formerly enslaved people.


Overall very good condition. Bold signature taped to slip, pasted down to free endpaper. Light shelf wear, bumping to corners. Overall healthy papers besides light toning and foxing, as to be expected with age. Original three-quarter leather binding and green cloth boards. Gilt tooling along boards and spine, with raised bands. Colored endpapers. Housed in a custom, archival clamshell case with gilt tooling, raised bands, and an image of Stowe on the front.

Dimensions: 9 7/8" H x 6.5" W x 1 3/4" D (Book); 11" H x 7.5" W x 2" D (Case).

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