Uncle Tom's Cabin Told to the Children - H. E. Marshall
This short retelling of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin tells the life stories of a number of slaves and slave-owners in the south, and shows the detrimental effects of servitude on both master and slave. It follows the original story faithfully and does an excellent job of depicting complex character development in a brief space.
This tale was not at first written as a story for little girls and boys. It was told to grown-up people by a kind and gentle lady with a big loving heart. This lady was called Harriet Beecher Stowe, and she told the story to grown-up people to make them think.
Harriet Beecher Stowe lived in a country where there were slaves, that is, in a country where men and women might be bought and sold like cattle. The people who lived in that country were so used to having slaves that they never thought of the miserable and unhaopy life which the poor slaves led. But by degrees a few people began to see what a dreadful thing slavery was. Among these people was this kind lady. She loved her own little children, and she felt as if these poor black people were children too. She longed to comfort them as she comforted her own little ones when they were in trouble.
So she wrote this book about the slaves, and many of the things she tells of really happened. She told the story to make people think about the cruel way in which slaves were treated, and it did make them think about it. The book was bought by people all over the world, and those who could not read it in English had it translated into their own languages, and some time afterwards all slaves were set free.
Uncle Torn's Cabin is a sad story, but there are no slaves now who can be made to suffer like Uncle Tom and the other people in the book, so we need not be sad over it. We should rather be glad when we remember that this very story helped to make the poor slaves happy and free.
The story should be very interesting to girls, because it shows what a woman can do. We read in history of kings and queens who did great things, but the lady who wrote this book was only a simple person like ourselves, yet she did such a great thing in telling this story that she helped to make history just as much as many of these kings and queens, and perhaps her name will be remembered as long as theirs.
Of course, as the book was not really written for little girls and boys, a good deal has had to be left out or made different, but I have tried to tell the story as much as possible as Harriet Beecher Stowe did, for I do not think any one could tell it better.