My Dearest Mother:
I am sorry to say that you have quite seriously offended my lady wife. . . . She has . . . brought a note from you, in a state of excitement, supposing, of course, it would be full of — “Uncle Tom's Cabin” — and now that I have just read it to her and there is not a word about our respected Ethiopian uncle . . . she naturally feels slighted. . . . This being Mrs. H.'s one absorbing subject at present, you must be sure and not omit to mention it in your next. It certainly is an extraordinary book, unequalled in American fiction and would still be so if the characters were all snow-white. The picture of Southern life is perfectly wonderful and has made me recall the life at Farley [Virginia] more than I have done for a long while.
* “Uncle Tom’s Cabin was first published in book form on March 20, 1852.
SOURCE: Mary Potter Thacher Higginson, Editor, Letters and Journals of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1846-1906, p. 54