Slavery was not a personal issue to most Northerners. They knew about slavery, but did not have an emotional opinion. For any issue to become a movement, people must have their feelings engaged. Uncle Tom's Cabin was a best seller that moved the emotions of the people that read it. This helped to galvanize the anti slavery movement.
The North had a definite reaction to the book Uncle Tom's Cabin. This book, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was designed to show slavery in very harsh terms. Many people believe northerners were strong abolitionists and strongly against slavery in the early 1850s. This was not accurate as more northerners than people would like to believe either had no real opinion on slavery or tended to believe in racial segregation and inequality. This book was a game changer for some northerners. After reading the book, more northerners were against slavery. They were aghast at the picture portrayed about slavery by this book. They began to work to bring slavery to an end. This book upset southerners. They felt the book was an inaccurate portrayal of slavery. This book helped to widen the gap between northerners and southerners that ultimately led to the Civil War. This book had a very strong impact on the viewpoint some northerners had about slavery.