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This Day In Founding Fathers History – 5 June
On this day in 1851, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly began running as a serial in the Washington Era, a weekly abolitionist publication. The readership of the publication was not large; however as Stowe’s story was published, it garnered increasing attention. In March of the following year, a Boston publisher issued Uncle Tom’s Cabin as a book. It immediately became a best seller, with 3,000 copies sold the first year and almost 2 million copies worldwide by 1857. The issue of slavery was brought to the mainstream of discussion and debate in America. 1
In 1805 on this day, a tornado in southern Illinois was the first recorded tornado in “Tornado Alley.” The area had a very low population density at the time, although farms and river boats were destroyed. The tornado began in southeast Missouri, crossed the Mississippi River, and hit the American Bottom area of Illinois. 2
On this day in 1794, Congress passed the Neutrality Act of 1794. The act was to be in effect for two years, to be continued at the discretion of subsequent Congresses. The act was designed to prevent offenses against neutrality, especially on the high seas. Any party with a complaint could bring it before a U.S. District Court. Any parties within the U.S. who advanced hostilities against a neutral state, meaning any country or state with whom the U.S. is at peace, would face a charge of high misdemeanor and be fined and/or imprisoned. 3
1 “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” The Library of Congress American Memory, memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jun05.html
2 “June 5, 1805: First recorded tornado in Tornado Alley,” Cosmeo, www.cosmeo.com/viewTodayInHistoryEvents.cfm?guidAssetId=477e39b4-a7b5-4219-b10b-95eeee72e7dd&eventId=815
3 “The neutrality laws of the United States,” Google Books, http://books.google.com/books?id=iuwlAAAAMAAJ&dq=%22that+if+any+person+shall+within+the+territory+or+jurisdiction+of+the+united+states%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s; “The Neutrality Act of 1794,” On Impeachment, impeachment.blogspot.com/2004/06/neutrality-act-of-1794.html