Re: "Check In" here if you plan to join the "Uncle Tom's Cabin" discussion
You don't directly refer to the popular belief I wondered about: a quotation of Lincoln's, who upon meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe allegedly said something like, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war." The key word is "allegedly," as Stowe herself would have been the only one able to report what Lincoln said, and she reported nothing resembling these words. In fact, the statement wasn't reported until over 30 years after the two met, in the year of Stowe's death in an Atlantic Monthly
article. I offer this only with the thought that it's useful to distinguish the apocryphal from the factual. It is indeed difficult to imagine Lincoln saying this in Dec. 1862 or at any other point. My guess is that the proximate cause of the Civil War--the secession of the South--would have been uppermost in his mind, rather than a book that galvanized sentiment in the North against slavery, as important as that was. He would not have been inclined to see the book as the cause of the South's secession. Even Lincoln's own abolitionism, if we can call it that, emerged during the course of a difficult war which the South appeared capable of winning. The Emancipation Proclamation had a clear military objective, that of depriving the South of a good part of its labor force.
It isn't necessarily slavery that accounts for the persistence of prejudice against African Americans. When we look broadly at prejudice based on race and ethnicity, we find that many conditions other than enslavement encourage its origin and continuance. There was a chance that the country could have healed racially after the war, but in this case, neither North nor South was capable of pulling it off.