RE: Harriet Beecher Stowe
The point, I think, is that Uncle Tom’s Cabin was written in 1852, and, before then, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) never lived in the South.  While living in Cincinnati, Ohio (1832-1850), she did visit a Kentucky plantation.  "Using stereotypical descriptions, she described exactly what slaves, slavery and Southerners were about. However, she knew little if anything about these subjects from first-hand experience, but rather from abolitionist movements, combined with her own imagination."
"Many readers criticized Harriet because she had never visited the South. However, she had heard, from people she knew personally, first hand stories of conditions among the enslaved people.  Uncle Tom’s Cabin ‘humanized slavery’ by telling the story of individuals and families. Harriet portrayed the physical, sexual, and emotional ‘abuse’ endured by enslaved people."
"Slave owners’ treatment of slaves varied. People like Simon Legree were unusual. But most slaves did fear being sold to a master like Simon Legree."
"Many of the characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin mirrored real-life individuals such as Josiah Henson, a fugitive slave who escaped from Kentucky to Canada via the Underground Railroad with his wife and two children."    This brings out an interesting point, i.e., that Josiah Henson escaped "to Canada."  "Only a small minority of people in the North worked on — and even supported — the Underground Railroad. In fact, many did not welcome fugitives into their states. In 1804, Ohio passed a law prohibiting runaway slaves from entering the state."
Jim Denison