Stowe provides further details about her story based on actual events in A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Many struggled with the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, including Harriet Beecher Stowe and some of her characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. When the Senator and Mrs. Burr discussed the laws restricting them from aiding fugitive slaves, she expressed the conflicts between her views of Christianity and law. In A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe published a letter from John Garret about the financial consequences people faced for housing fugitive slaves. Stowe adds, “Our European friends will infer from this that it costs something to obey Christ in America, as well as in Europe.”
The full story of this connection can be read in Part 1, Chapter XIII “The Quakers” in A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.