Boston Herald
Unsigned Article
Boston Herald23 August 1888


  "I don't think the public will ever give us the full credit to which we are entitled for the careful researches we have made to present our new version of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' in as complete and as authentic manner as possible," said Mr. W.W. Randall, one of the managers of the "Uncle Tom" company, yesterday. "We have not only gone studiously over the pages of Mrs. Stowe's novel for new suggestions, but we have also visited the places from whence the authoress drew her inspirations, and some of the traditions and incidents gathered are most interesting. In Garrett count, Ky., where Mrs. Stowe found the most of her characters, the home of the man whom she has immortalized as Simon Legree, the slave dealer, still stands and the old darkies have preserved numerous traditions of the excessive heartlessness of that brutal individual. The fellow, so the stories go, seemed callous to all human sentiment except in his affection for a daughter, who was a beautiful girl, reckless in horsemanship and very passionate when crossed in her desires. Her father's cruelty to his slaves frequently aroused her temper in behalf of the poor helpless wretches, and her intervention caused many a heated quarrel between the two. A stable boy who frequently accompanied her on her rides throughout the country won her affections. He was almost white, had a much higher degree of intelligence than the slaves about him, and was handsome enough to make him quite a distinguished person in the neighborhood. One night the two lovers took two of the master's fleetest horses from his stables and eloped, and long before morning, when the slave trader started pursuit, they were united in marriage, and were hurrying to the North. The two never returned to the place, and it is believed that the father died without seeing them again. "Legree" is buried in a little plot of ground just behind the mansion, and, by a singular coincidence, the marble tombstone has been struck by lightning three times. The stone, a shaft originally 7 feet high, has been so shattered that only a small piece of it remains, and the negroes superstitiously believed that providence has marked the spot as one to be shunned. Up to quite recently it was thought to be a sure omen of ill-luck should any one stray across the grave by chance. The original George Harris, who is still living in Louisville, Ky., where he has delivered several lectures on slavery, was assisted in his escape to the North largely through the individual efforts of the late Lucretia Mott and members of the Garrett family now in Wilmington, Del., who were most active in carrying out the 'underground railway' scheme inaugurated by them and other prominent members of the Society of Friends. Austin Wolfolke's slave pen, which was standing until recently on West Pratt street, Baltimore, was the headquarters for nearly all the Kentucky slave dealers when they came into Maryland, and it was there that Mrs. Stowe is supposed to have obtained much interesting material for the book which was the greatest abolition sermon ever preached to the public."