Jewett was ingenious and innovative in his promotion of the book. He employed his friend John Greenleaf Whittier to write some verses about Little Eva, whose death in chapter twenty-six wrenched the hearts of readers. Set to music, these verses were the first of many spin-offs that spread the popularity of Uncle Tom's Cabin, from plates, spoons, wallpapers, and candlesticks to toys and games. The book, published in 1852, was an immediate sensation. It sold 10,000 copies on the first day and more than 300,000 by the end of the first year. [Harriet Beecher] Stowe's first royalty check was for $10,000, but of course Jewett had the lion's share of the profits. Stowe conferred with businessmen at home and abroad and concluded that Jewett had taken advantage of her somewhat unworldly husband. When she wrote to him to ask him for confirmation of his theory that they would make more by agreeing to 10 percent instead of 20 percent, Jewett responded angrily and broke off communication. Stowe described him as "positive, overbearing, uneasy if crossed."
Joan D. Hedrick, "Jewett, John Punchard," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-02441.html.