Rue de Verneuil
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1850 – The American Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Law, prohibiting assistance to fugitives.
1852 – Harriet Beecher Stowe, teacher from Connecticut and passionate abolitionist, releases her first novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin or, Life Among the Lowly.
An anti-slavery sentimental novel, its success is groundbreaking: the first printing of 5000 copies sells out within two days – 300 000 copies are sold the first year.
Many readers from the North are angered by what they discover, some slave states from the South, however, pass laws outlawing the book.
Much to her surprise, she becomes the champion of abolitionism, touring all around the United States and meeting President Abraham Lincoln.
1853 – She releases a book about the facts the used for Uncle Tom: A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Presenting the Original Facts and Documents Upon Which It Is Based.
She travels to England and Scotland, where she sold more than one million and a half copies of Uncle Tom.
The audiences are overly enthusiastic and passionate about her fight, she gives speeches at receptions, dinners meetings, and over half a million british women signed a petition against slavery.
She is treated like a celebrity, but the British tour is long and exhausting, her husband give up touring and return to the United States.
In June 1853, craving calm and privacy, she travels to Paris, residing in the Faubourg Saint-Germain’s mansion of her friend Maria Chapman, editor of an anti slavery-journal and deeply involved in the Boston Female & American Anti-Slavery societies.
During three weeks she discovers the city, its museums and landscapes, enjoying the peacefulness of anonymity.
During her stay in Paris, she writes these words:
“At last I have come into a dreamland.
I am released from care. I am unknown, unknowing…”
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