| Between 1852 and 1930 Uncle Tom's Cabin was read by millions of Americans. During
the same period it was seen by more -- many more. Thousands of actors
in scores of "Uncle Tom's Cabin Companies" criss-crossed the country repeatedly, in wagons, train
cars and (eventually) trucks, bringing Uncle Tom's Cabin into home towns of every size in
something like the way that television now brings popular shows into American homes.|
The full scale of this phenomenon will never be recovered, but you can get an idea of it from the selected itineraries and maps available here.
UTC on the American stage in the 1870s Five maps plotting productions of the play in 1870, 1872, 1874, 1876 and 1878.
Howards' UTC Performances, 1852 - 1887 Mr. and Mrs. Howard originally commissioned the Aiken dramatization, and staged it thousands of times over 35 years.
SELECTED MARTIN ITINERARIES Al. W. Martin produced one of the two big budget "Tom Shows" at the turn of the century, sending both an Eastern and a Western troupe across the country in custom-made railroad cars; they played in about 230 cities and towns during the 1901-02 season, and about 200 ten years later:
Al. W. Martin's 1901-02 Itinerary
Al. W. Martin's 1911-12 Itinerary
MAPS OF THESE TOURS
SELECTED HARMOUNT ITINERARIES The Harmount UTC Company was a small one, but from their home in Ohio they took the road for almost 30 years, starting in 1903, and in all were probably seen by 3,000,000 people across the midwest.
1903 Summer Tour 1904 Summer Tour
1915-16 Winter Tour 1916 Summer Tour
MAPS OF THESE TOURS
Downie's 1908-09 Itinerary Downie's itinerary lists 220 sites, mostly small towns in the northern plains and Canada, where the company performed the play at least 235 times between 17 March 1908 and about 23 December 1909 (the last of the itinerary's 16 pages is damaged, so we can't be certain when or where this tour came to a halt).
The list of Howard performances has been compiled chiefly from the Howard Family Papers in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas. The Martin itineraries are derived from notices in The Billboard magazine; the Harmount itineraries, from the collection at the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute, Ohio State University; and the Downie itinerary, from the Harry Birdoff Collection, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford CT. There are many additional items about these companies -- from scripts to playbills and flyers to reviews and photos -- elsewhere in the archive.