Uncle Tom's Cabin
George F. Rowe, for Messrs. Jarrett & Palmer
Printed for Private Circulation Only, 1878



(Eva and Tom sitting on a bench.)

  EVA. There, Uncle Tom, I think; between us, we've written a lovely letter.

  TOM. Yes, Miss Evy, it does look lovely, dat's true.

  EVA. I wonder if they'll be able to read it, though.

  TOM. Chloe won't—dat's my ole woman, Miss Evy—she won't, but den she'll get young Massa George Shelby to read it for her.

  EVA. How pleased your wife 'll be, and the poor children, when they see their own daddy's writing. Papa has promised me to give you your freedom some day, Uncle Tom.

  TOM. And Missus Shelby in Kentuck, she promised to send down money for me some day to bring me home to 'em. Young Massa George said he'd come for me, and he give me this yer dollar as a token. (Shows coin tied round throat.)

  EVA. A new silver dollar! Oh, then he'll keep his word.

  TOM. So, Miss Evy, dat's why I wanted to send de letter, to let 'em know whar I was livin' and how happy I was, too.

  EVA. Can you see that little bird with the bright blue feathers, away ever so high there

  TOM. No, Missie, my eyes ain't so good as yours.

  EVA. But you can hear it singing, can't you?

  TOM. Yes, I ken hear that, Missie.

  EVA. It sings so joyously, just as if it was glad to get away from this earth. We shall feel like that the nearer we get to heaven, shan't we, Uncle Tom?

  TOM. Yes, Missy, so the Book says; but I hope dar's many bright days for you, Miss Evy, on dis 'arth afore den.

  EVA. Not many, Uncle Tom, for I'm going before long. I know it, and I'm glad. My heart beats against my breast like a caged bird longing to flutter up into the clear sky.

(Topsy speaks without.

  TOPSY. Don't yar talk; yar'se nuthin'. I'se no mo' a nigger dan you.

(Laughter and cries of "g'lang."

  EVA. Come away to the arbor by the lake, Uncle Tom; we shall be quite alone there, and you shall sing for me "A Band of Spirits Bright." Come away, come.

(Music. Eva leads Tom off R. U. E. Jeers without. Enter Topsy.)


  TOPSY. Yar g'lang, too. I ain't any mo' nigger dan you. You think yourselves white, but you aint nary white nor black. You is white niggers, dat's wot you is.

  OPHE. (Speaks without.) Where air you? Where is that critter? (Enters.) Oh, there you air, you shiftless varmint!

  TOPSY. What's de matter, Miss Feely? what's de matter?

  OPHE. What's the matter? Why did you spoil Cora's earrings?

  TOPSY. Cos she's so proud, Miss Feely! She calls me a little brack imp, and turns up her nose at me, cos she's jest a bit whiter dan I is. I was gwine by her room, and I see dem earrings as she is so proud of on de table; so I trew 'em on de flo', and jest put my foot on 'em—so—and scunch 'em all to little bits—so—he, he, he! Couldn't help it, Miss Feely; Ise so wicked!

  OPHE. Sakes alive! Was Job ever tormented with such a shiftless plague as this?

  TOPSY. (Beating her foot on the floor.) I didn't car. I 'spises dem what sets up for ladies when dey's nuffin but cream-colored niggers. Dar's Miss Rosa—she's full of 'pertinent remarks. But I get's even wid her. Last night she was gwine to de ball, in a beautiful silk dress as Missis giv her, wid her hair all done up, curled and putty. Well, she hab to go down de back stairs—and dey's dark. So I just sets a pail of bilin' water on 'em, and she just puts her foot into it, and down she goes to de bottom ob de stairs, a squealin' and a squawkin', and de water goes all ober her, and spoils her dress, and scalds de stockins off her legs, and de skin off 'em drefful bad—oh Lor'! he, he, he! I can't help laffin', Ise so wicked! (Rolls over with glee.)

  OPHE. You shiftless imp—I give ye up!

  TOPSY. Dat's right, give me up, Miss Feely; I'se only a nigger anyhow.

  OPHE. (Suddenly.) And it's because you are, that I won't!

  TOPSY. (Howls.) Oh! He-ow!

  OPHE. I'll stick to ye till I've made something human of you, at all events. Follow me, and I'll lock you up, without a morsel to eat, until you've learnt that hymn I gave you yesterday.

(As she is following Ophelia, howling, she steals an orange out of her pocket, and spectacles, puts them on, eats the orange, and chuckles. Exit Ophelia.)

  TOPSY. He, he, he! Dere's nobody can't do nuffin wid me! I'se so awful wicked! I spects dat I is de wickedest critter in de world. (Song. After song Eva enters, and Topsy sees her standing before her, and suddenly flops down.) Laws a me! It's Miss Evy!

  EVA. Oh, Topsy, have you been naughty again?

  TOPSY. Yes, missee, I 'specks I has.

  EVA. Why don't you try to be good, Topsy?

  TOPSY. 'Spects I can't, missee.

  EVA. Don't you love anybody, Topsy?


  TOPSY. Dunno nothin' about love. I loves candy and dancin' and sich, that's all.

  EVA. But you love your father and mother?

  TOPSY. Never had none; ye know I tell'd ye that, Miss Evy.

  EVA. Oh, I remember, (sadly,) but hadn't you any brother or sister or aunt, or——

  TOPSY. No, none on 'em, never had nothin', nor nobody!

  EVA. But, Topsy, if you'd only try to be good, you could.

  TOPSY. No, couldn't; never couldn't be nuthin' but a nigger, no how, if I was ever so good. If I could be skinned and come white, I'd try den.

  EVA. But people can love you, if you are black, Topsy—me and Jane and Adolph.

  TOPSY. No dey can't, dey's white niggers and dey 'spises me cause I don't know nuthin'.

  EVA. But you mustn't mind that.

  TOPSY. I don't mind 'em—no—wen dey's passin' under my window I trows dirty water on em, and dat spoils deir complexuns. He! he! ha!

  EVA. But Aunt Ophelia——

  TOPSY. She can't bar me 'cause Ise a nigger. She'd sooner have a toad touch her as me. Ise too wicked and too brack, but I don't car—don't car for nuffin. (Whistles and dances.)

  EVA. Then, Topsy, if no one else love you, I do.

  TOPSY. (Frightened.) You?

(St. Clair enters, observing.

  EVA. Yes; I love you because you've been a poor abused child—because you are friendless and alone in the world. I love you and I want you to be good—to be good for my sake, and to remember that I loved you, when I'm gone. Think, Topsy, you may be one of those bright angels that Uncle Tom sings so prettily about.

  TOPSY. (Crying.) Oh, Miss Eva, don't—don't! You makes me cry. I hates to cry, but I will try to be good. I will! I will! I will! If dem other niggers 'll only let me alone. And shall I have wings like dem angels some of dose days?

  EVA. Yes, yes.

  TOPSY. Den I will be good, Missy Eva, and when I gets dem ar wings I'll fly around and flap Rosa and Jane in de eye, and Miss Feely and none on 'em shan't cotch me, for I'll fly out ob de window like a skeeter. Oh, Golly! Golly! Dat will be prime! (Dances with delight, and exit.)

  ST. CLAIR. Eva, my baby. (Takes her in his arms.)

  EVA. Oh, papa! Let me rest there; I feel so tired lately.

  ST. CLAIR. Hush, my darling, hush.

  EVA. There are some things I want to tell you—things that must be said before I go away forever, papa.

  ST. CLAIR. Eva, darling, you are low-spirited; you must not nurse such gloomy thoughts.


  EVA. No, papa, don't deceive yourself; if it were not for you and those who need love and help, I should be quite happy.

  ST. CLAIR. And are you not quite happy now, my darling?

  EVA. No, for there are so many things done, even here, that are dreadful. Oh, papa! if all our slaves were free!

  ST. CLAIR. Tut, baby; they are better off as they are.

  EVA. But all masters are not good and generous like you, and if you should die who would befriend them? Promise me, when I am gone, that you will free dear old Uncle Tom, at least?

  ST. CLAIR. I will promise anything, love, if you'll not speak of death. If I should lose you—Oh!

  EVA. And yet our parting is very near; even now I see—I see—there—there—list—

(She gasps and faints in his arms.)

  ST. CLAIR. Merciful God! Is she dead? I'll not believe it! Marie! Tom! Come all of you; bring a physician! (All enter.) Ah! She smiles again. She will live! Eva, live, live, for your father's sake; you are all I have on earth.

(Folds her arms around his neck.)

  EVA. Yes, papa, I'll try (smiling).



(Enter Bird and George.)

  BIRD. Gently, George; gently. You are yet many hundred miles from Canada.

  GEO. But I scent the free air already, Mr. Bird—the land where I shall be the equal of my fellows—where I may be a man indeed!

  BIRD. This is a terrible thing for an Ohio Senator—to be breaking the laws he helped to make! I think I ought to be fined and imprisoned!

  GEO. You ought to be honored and glorified, sir. If there were a few more such as you in every Senate, slavery would soon be wiped out.

  BIRD. And the hour will come, George Harris, when the stain and the shame shall be obliterated; but we must wade first through a sea of fire and blood before we reach the time. Yet it must come.

  GEO. God grant! and may he preserve you and yours, sir, in that perilous hour!

(Enter Phineas.


  BIRD. Amen! Ah! here's Phineas. Phineas Fletcher, I fear thou has blood guiltiness upon thy soul.

  PHIN. I guess not, senator, I guess not. The man they called Legree I barked, it is true, for I saw the bad blood trickling out of his villainous pantaloons; but he swore too lustily to have been much hurt. His companions have offered a large reward for your capture, so, friend George, thou must away at once.

  BIRD. What time does the boat leave for the up river trip?

  PHIN. At two. She will be watched closely; therefore, friend George, you must change clothes with me, and play the Quaker till you reach Sandusky.

  GEO. I'm afraid I shall play it badly, but the Friends will forgive my awkwardness for the sake of the cause.

(Eliza speaks without.

  ELIZA. I wish to speak with the Senator on important business.

(Enter Eliza in disguise as a young exquisite.

  BIRD. What is the matter, young gentleman?

  ELIZA. I am informed that it is your custom and habit, sir, to harbor runaway slaves and assist them in evading the law?

  BIRD. Sir, I—I——

  ELIZA. Don't interrupt me, sir; you are a State senator, and you are of course aware that you are liable to a fine of one thousand dollars for every such offence.

  BIRD. Sir, I—I——

  ELIZA. Don't interrupt me——

  PHIN. Young gentleman, we——

  ELIZA. Silence. Your name is Phineas Fletcher.

  PHIN. If you'll allow me——

  ELIZA. Silence! You have at this moment, I am informed, three fugitive slaves under your roof—one named George Harris, his wife Eliza, and their boy. You will be fined one thousand dollars for harboring each of these runaways. And furthermore, you will be imprisoned for eighteen calendar months.

  BIRD. Sir, I—I——

  GEO. Oh, Mr. Bird——

  PHIN. Look hyar, Mr. ——

  ELIZA. Silence! You, Phineas Fletcher, for aiding and abetting the Senator there, will be fined fifteen hundred dollars.

  PHIN. Fifteen hundred devils.

  GEO. No; you shall not suffer for me; I give myself up—I am George Harris, the runaway.


  ELIZA. (Bursting out laughing) And I am Eliza Harris, the runaway, too. Ha! ha! ha! How do I play my part?

  GEO. Eliza! (Embraces)

  BIRD. Ha, ha, ha!

  PHIN. Ha, ha, ha! Well, if you can take us in, you're booked for Canada.

  BIRD. A woman's wit against the world!

  ELIZA. Don't I make a pretty fellow? I have arranged all. I have metamorphosed Harry into a little girl, with our kind friends' help. Trust me for playing the young Southern gentleman to the life. And you shall be my servant.

  PHIN. Excellent, verily! Have a care, friend George, lest thy better half, having once got into pantaloons—take care, I say, lest she wear them for the rest of her natural life! But time's up.

  BIRD. Before you go—an act of justice! I have broken the laws. I must be punished. Therefore I fine myself in the sum of two hundred dollars. Take them, George Harris, take them. (Offers money.)

  GEO. Oh, sir, how shall we ever thank you——

  ELIZA. Oh, Mr. Bird, may heaven's blessings——

  BIRD. Tut, tut—don't talk, or I shall snivel.

  PHIN. And so shall I. (Boohoos.)

  GEO. I will accept this, but as a loan, Mr. Bird. Come, Eliza. I feel proud and thankful, for the hour is at hand when, on British territory, I may claim the right to own a name, a wife, a home, and a religion. In the dim distance I see the morning star of liberty shining forever clear under the glorious aegis of England's Queen! God bless and reward you all! Come! (All blubber.)


(Enter Topsy.

  TOPSY. (In an undertone.) What's de matter wid dis chile? I isn't a bit like myself. Ever since Miss Evy talked to me I ain't been wicked once. When I'se a gwine to stole suthin, I thinks of her, and I feels good! I feels like a brack angel, I does! Wonder if my wings is a sproutin' yet. (She feels her shoulders.)

(Enter Ophelia.

  OPHE. Topsy——

  TOPSY. Yes, missis.

  OPHE. I have something very particular to say.

  TOPSY. What is it, Miss Feely—Cata-plasm?

  OPHE. No! But this day Mr. St. Clair has given me an authority to call you mine.

  TOPSY. Golly, dat's fun! Den you b'longs to me, Miss Feely?

  OPHE. And I shall give you your liberty!

  TOPSY. Give him to me, Miss Feely; whar is he?

  OPHE. Don't you know what liberty is?

  TOPSY. Is it clothes, or wittles, or which?


  OPHE. You shiftless ignoramus. I shall soon be returning to my home in Vermont, and I shall take you with me.

  TOPSY. Is dar any overseers dar, Miss Feely?

  OPHE. No.

  TOPSY. Nor plantations, not black holes, nor cowhides?

  OPHE. Nothing of the kind.

  TOPSY. Come on den, Miss Feely; sooner we gits dar de better.

  OPHE. Not so loud, Topsy! The shadow of death is hovering about us.

  TOPSY. Whar? Golly! Keep him away from me, Miss Feely!

(Enter Tom.

  OPHE. What news, Uncle Tom?

  TOM. I was sent for you, Miss Feely.

  OPHE. Who sent you?

  TOM. Mas'r St. Clair. Oh, Miss Feely, de message has come at last!

  OPHE. What do you mean?

  TOM. Dey say dat Miss Evy won't live de night! Oh, Miss Feely, when dat blessed chile goes into de kingdom, dey'll open de do' so wide dat we'll all have a peep at de glory!

  TOPSY. (Howls.)

  OPHE. Silence, you shiftless hussy!

  TOPSY. H—e—ow! (Gulps it down.)

  OPHE. Quick, then, Uncle Tom. Come with me to the pavilion. (Exit.)

  TOPSY. Oh, Miss Evy! Oho—he—ow! (Howls.)

  TOM. What do you howl for—eh, Topsy?

  TOPSY. Cos she loved me, she did. Wish I was gwine to die too, I does, I does!

  TOM. If you love her, den, jest creep round to de pavilion, and look once mo' on de little angel fore she flies away to heaven.

(Exit Tom.

  TOPSY. Oh, she's a gwine to fly widout me, and dar's no one left to teach me but de ole gander, and he can't fly no higher dan my knee. I'd jest wish I'd never been born. I didn't want to be born, and I don't see de use on it, no how. Ah! I knows what I'll do! I'll steal a rose and put it in Miss Evy's hand, and den she'll 'member Topsy when she's a flying around up dar!



  Semi pavilion and Garden. Moonlight. Eva is lying in bed, the light streaming in upon her. Marie, St. Clair, Tom, Ophelia, grouped about the bed. Music. All the negroes kneeling without.

  ST. CLAIR. Silence! Hush!


  OPHE. All is over!

  ST. CLAIR. No, no! Speak to me, my Eva.

  EVA. (Awaking) Is that you, papa?

  ST. CLAIR. Yes, darling.

  EVA. Are all the servants here—Mammy, Uncle Tom—all?

  TOM. Oh! yes, Miss Eva.

  EVA. You gave them each a little lock of my hair?

  TOM. Yes, Miss Eva.

  ST. CLAIR. Hush! darling. Oh! my heart is breaking.

  EVA. We shall meet again, papa. I see the little boat waiting for me now to carry me over the dark sea to the heavenly shore.

  ST. CLAIR. Oh! my child, my loved one!

  EVA. Don't cry, papa. I feel no pain. Already the soft breeze fans my cheek. Look, papa, there.

(Rises, panting.

  ST. CLAIR. My darling! My darling!

  EVA. The angels hold out their hands to me. I am coming—coming—good-bye.

(She falls back dead.)

  TOM. She is gone, Massa, gone to de dear Lord forever.

  ST. CLAIR. (Falling on his knees.) Forever! Yes! Oh, my darling! Well may the angels welcome thee with a joyous clang, for we must sing a dirge here upon earth.

(Dirge by the Chorus.)