Annotation. The novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe, focuses on a slave named Uncle Tom to weave a portrayal of the cruelty of slavery, finding redemption in the idea that Christian love can conquer something so destructive. It turned out to be the bestselling novel of the nineteenth century, helping to further the abolitionist cause after publication in 1852. At the start of the American Civil War Abraham Lincoln met Stowe and is said to have declared "So this is the little lady who made this big war." The novel had a major effect on people's attitudes towards slavery at the time.