Scripting Uncle Tom

    Between 1852 and 1930 there were many different versions of Uncle Tom's Cabin produced theatrically. Most of the serious versions derived in some way from the Aiken script listed first below, but not all (Conway's version, for example, played against Aiken's in New York in 1853). And over the decades the hundreds of "Tom Show" companies introduced many changes and additions into the basic script, as you can see from the other scripts and the "Synopses" accessible below. In addition, the popularity of the play, as well as the strong regional and racial anxieties aroused by the story, led to numerous burlesque, minstrel or satirical re-enactments. The four such versions included below are representative of these "anti-tom" performances.
    In the mid-1850s Stowe herself wrote a dramatic version of the novel; the text of THE CHRISTIAN SLAVE is in the UTC section of the archive.

The John Hay Library
Brown University


  • Uncle Tom's Cabin: A Domestic Drama in Six Acts
    By George L. Aiken [1852; New York: Samuel French, 1858]
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin: A Drama in Five Parts
    By Henry J. Conway [1852; from the manuscript]
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin [One Act Verse Version]
    By Walter Burnot [c.1850s; from the manuscript]
  • 1869 Howard Family Promptbook [Excerpts]
    Adapted from Aiken by George Howard(?)
  • c1876 Howard Family Promptbook
    "Uncle Tom's Cabin As Perfected by G. C. Howard"
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin Dramatized by George F. Rowe
    Expressly for Messrs. Jarrett & Palmer [1878]
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin (New Version)
    Arranged by Charles Townsend [New York: Harold Roorbach, 1889]
  • c1900 7-Act Version of Aiken
    New York Library for the Performing Arts Promptbook
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
    The Wm. A. Brady Revival Text [1901]
  • The Harmount Company Scripts
    [Two Four-Act "Tom Shows," c. 1910]
  • A New Dramatization in Five Acts
    By Chas. Morton, 1912 [TWO VERSIONS]
  • Anonymous Script
    [A 3-Act Dramatization, c. 1920]
  • Synopses from Various Playbills

  • Atkinson Collection
    University of Chicago Library

    Parodies & Burlesques

  • Happy Uncle Tom: A Celebrated Plantation Scene
    [New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1868]
  • Uncle Tom: An Ethiopian Interlude
    [New York: Happy Hours Company, 1874]
  • The Landlord's Revenge; or Uncle Tom Up To Date: A Farce in Two Scenes
    By M. C. Browne [Clyde, Ohio: Ames Publishing Co., 1894]
  • A Burlesque on Uncle Tom's Cabin
    By Harry L. Newton [Chicago: Will Rossiter, 1903]
  • The Filming of "Uncle Tom's Cabin":
    A Classical Comicality in One Act

    By Arthur Leroy Kaser [Chicago: T. S. Denison & Company, 1922]

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