Martha Haines Butt responds to Uncle Tom's Cabin
Martha Haines Butt, Antifanaticism: A Tale of the South (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo, and Co., 1853), 266–267.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 antislavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin deeply offended many Southerners because it condemned Southern society and culture as well as slavery. The following year Virginia native Mary Henderson Eastman published a novel to refute Stowe's characterization of Southern slavery, and Norfolk resident Martha Haines Butt published another, Antifanaticism: A Tale of the South. Throughout her novel, Butt portrayed slavery as a benevolent, Christianizing institution. She repeatedly emphasized that slaves were better off than servants in the North and that they did not want freedom. Butt promoted sectional reconciliation by attempting to persuade her readers that if Northerners traveled to the South they would come to agree with Southern slave owners and adopt proslavery attitudes. "THE authoress has anticipated writing something on Southern life before she saw or read 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,'" Butt wrote. "But after the perusal of that overdrawn picture, she really felt it her duty to stand up for her own native place."