New York Times
Unsigned Article
29 November 1903

Woes of an "Uncle Tommer."

  HE said that his name was Roger Williams Washington when he called into the office of the Outdoor Relief Department the other day and asked for transportation to Troy. He had been playing Uncle Tom in a traveling "Uncle Tom's Cabin" company, and nature, in anticipating his calling, had given him a very dark skin.

  "Ef it wa'n't for day onery Lil' Eba I'd ben all hunky, Sah. But dat woman, wif her long curls and lil' song about 'Papa, deah papa, set Uncle Tom free,' was a hummer, Sah. She was jest full ob cussedness. It was like dis. We was playing ober in Jersey and had jest got to dat climax when Simon Legree pulls out ah whip an' goes after ol' Tom. Jest as he begin to lay on de dingbats dat Lil' Eba she cry, 'Gib it to de brack cuss! Hit him on de laigs.' And Si did.

  "Course I got angry, boss. Doan agitate mah laigs so discommoding, boss. Gorrymighty! I'se human! I'se feelings! Tickle mah back, boss, tickle mah back. I had mah back padded, and I was willing to stan' for dat. But dat low-down cuss he keep pelting me on mah laigs. I had jest got to saying, 'Oh massa, youse can kill dis poor ol' body, but youse can't hurt de soul,' when biff! And he struck me scan'lous. Den I riz and jest waded into dat man and knocked de stuffing outer him. Yes, Sah, I spects I mixed him up 'mazingly.

  "When I left de stage I jest brushed mah palm ober Lil' Eba's chalky brow and she fell down. Yah, hi, hi! She jest dropped. Den I was extinguished, dat is, I was fired out wif only four dollahs in mah jeans. I sneaked one ob de bloodhounds, jest a common bird dorg, Sah, and skipped. An here I is, busted."

  "What's become of the four dollars?" inquired the Superintendent.

  "Why, Sah, dat dorg I took was unregistered, and a officer man 'rested me for habing a dog not licensed. 'Four dollahs,' sez de Jedge, and I left de money on his desk and de pup in de pound."

  He was passed on to Troy.