The Clipper
New York: 29 October 1876


  Letters seeking information replied to only through this department; no answers by mail.

  MONS. LA THORNE.—In 1851-52 Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was furnished in weekly chapters to The National Era, an anti-slavery newspaper of Washington, D. C. On its completion it was published in 2 vols., 12mo., in Boston, Mass., in 1852, and met with extraordinary success. In the United States four different editions were published, one illustrated and one in German, and not far from 400,000 copies were sold. In England, not being protected by copyright, editions were issued at all prices from 6d. to 10s., and more than 500,000 copies were sold. It was translated into every language of Europe, and several of those of Asia, including Arabic and Armenian, and in many of these, as in the German, French, Italian, Welsh, Wallachian and Russian, there were from two to twelve different translations. In was dramatized in a great number of versions, and acted in almost every theatre in Europe and America. The British Museum, London, Eng., has a long shelf filled with its different translations, editions and versions. 2. It would be almost impossible to decide where the first dramatization of the novel was performed. The first performance in this city was a version by the late Charles Western Taylor, at the National Theatre, Chatham street, Monday, Aug. 23, 1852. Through the courtesy of "H. N. D.," we have been furnished with a copy from the MS. records of the programme announcing its first performance.


Chatham street.

MONDAY, AUGUST 23, 1852.

  First night of Mr. C. W. Taylor's dramatization of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, entitled


Uncle Tom.........C. W. Taylor

Edward Wilmot.....W. G. Jones
Arthur Sedley.....J. M. Cooke
Burley Hammond....N. B. Clarke
Rory Marks.........Mr. Toulmin
Jasper Skeggs.......J. Herbert
Joe Adams...........Mr. Siple
Sam.................Mr. Marsh
Mrs. Sedley.....Mrs. Bannister
Morna Wilmot..Mrs. H. F. Nichols
Emiline.........Miss M. Barber
Crazy Meg.....Mrs. W. G. Jones
Phillis.........Miss Armstrong
Aunt Chloe.......Miss Thompson

Exercises on tight-rope..... Herr Cline


Ginger Blue.......Mr. Rice
Dr. Galen.......J. Herbert
Capt. Rifle....J. M. Cooke
Charles.......Mr. Stafford
O'Leary...........Mr. Ryan
Lucy........Miss M. Barber
Susan...Miss M. A. Charles

  It ran two weeks, and was played (probably) for the last time Sept. 4, 1852, for the benefit of the late T. D. Rice. It will be noticed that the names of nearly all the characters taken from the novel had been changed. The blank line in the cast may have been to represent a character the prototype of Topsy, but we cannot speak with certainty on that point. On July 18, 1853, Geo. L. Aiken's version of the novel was first produced at the same theatre, with Cordelia Howard as Eva and Mrs. G. C. Howard as Topsy, and it achieved an unprecedented success. 3. We cannot state who was the original impersonator of Topsy, but Mrs. Howard may be said to have created that character on the dramatic stage, and by the American public she will ever be considered as the original.