Among the most "banned" books in the United States, Uncle Tomâ€™s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is a novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe which treats slavery as a central theme. Stowe was a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Academy and an active abolitionist. The novel is believed to have had a profound effect on the Northâ€™s view of slavery. In fact, when he met Harriet Beecher Stowe, President Lincoln is said to have commented, "So you're the little lady whose book started the Civil War."
Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States; one million copies were sold in Great Britain.
In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called "the most popular novel of our day." The impact attributed to the book is great, reinforced by a story that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln declared, "So this is the little lady who started this great war." The quote is apocryphal; it did not appear in print until 1896, and it has been argued that "The long-term durability of Lincoln's greeting as an anecdote in literary studies and Stowe scholarship can perhaps be explained in part by the desire among many contemporary intellectuals ... to affirm the role of literature as an agent of social change."