Stowe provides further details about her story based on actual events in A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Incidents in this chapter were based on what Stowe read and experienced. The separation of the child and the old woman was based on an eyewitness account by a Southerner. The story of the woman on the boat who was unknowingly sold down river was a personal experience for Stowe on the Ohio River. Some of the story was altered to fit into Stowe’s novel, but the image and the story of the woman of respectable upbringing was from Stowe’s own experience.
The full story of this connection can be read in Part III, Chapter XI “Select Incidents of Lawful Trade” of A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Stowe was criticized for instances in this book where children under the age of ten were being sold away from their children. Many claimed that this separation was prohibited by law, therefore it never happened. In A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she published first-hand accounts of children being separated from their mothers at auctions or private sales.
The full story of this connection can be read in Part II, Chapter I of A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Stowe also published advertisements slaveowners would post for specific needs on their plantations. “…the gentleman that has ordered a cook does not, of course, want her five children.” (pg. 271) Requests for certain help were certain to lead to separations of families.
The full story of this connection can be read in Part III, Chapter III “Separation of Families” of A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.