Beecher Stowe acknowledges that, although the story is fiction and a composite of different tales, it is based heavily in fact. Eliza, Uncle Tom, Old Prue, Legree, and others all come from stories Beecher Stowe has heard from others. St. Clare, too, has “parallels” in society, as do the Quakers.
Beecher Stowe makes clear that though her story has been dramatized, the cruelties of slavery have not been exaggerated, and the activities of many in the novel have a basis in real life. She wants her readers at the time to know that the awfulness of slavery that she depicts and makes you feel through the magic of fiction is in fact very real.
Beecher Stowe says she has attempted to present slavery “fairly,” showing its “best” and worst aspects, although she fears the worst is impossible to depict. The author directly addresses readers in the North, asking them to consider all that she has written, and to acknowledge that they are economically bound-up in the system of “southern” slaveholding.
In fact, if anything, the novel has not shown the worst examples of just how brutal and horrifying the conditions of slavery can be. Beecher Stowe wishes that all who read the text are “awakened” to the wickedness of the system. She hopes none will be able to make excuses for its existence.
Beecher Stowe says that establishing Liberia is a step forward, but slavery must be ended in the US, and a solution must be drawn up to deal with the education and economic fate of those who are freed. She gives examples of freed men and women who have made lives for themselves after slavery. She announces that a “Christian country” like the US will be called to account for its actions, both in the North and in the South, otherwise the wrath and judgment of God will fall upon the entire nation.
A final appeal to all those who read the novel. Beecher Stowe concludes, simply, that slavery is un-Christian, and the United States was conceived in accordance with Christian Scripture. In order to make the country more Christian, and to avoid the wrath of God, slavery must be abolished.