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


(Cabin door in flat.)

(Enter Emmeline, pale. Music.

  EM. Is there no way of escape? None, but to leap into the swift, muddy river. Better that than the life before me, is it not? Oh, my mother, for they have parted us, and I shall never look into your fond face again? If there is a heaven to hear a slave girl's prayer, save me, oh save me, from a shameful fate.

(She kneels, as Legree enters from the cabin door, yawning.

  LEG. Hallo! my little colored Venus, what are you up to?

  EM. (Rising hastily) Nothing, Massa, I——

  LEG. No nigger tricks, you know! I've given you the run o' the boat because the irons would spile them little wrists of yours.

  EM. (Withdrawing from his grasp.) Oh, massa——

  LEG. No virtuous airs with me, minx! You're mine; I paid a big price for your good looks, and I'll have no crying to spile 'em.

  EM. I never left my mother's side before, Massa, and——

  LEG. Never had no sweetheart, eh?

  EM. What, Massa?


  LEG. What! I do believe she speaks the truth! All right, you look chipper, and I'll make a queen of you. You shall tend the house, dress yourself right smart, and keep me company.

  EM. Oh, Mas'r, I'd rather pick cotton in the fields, if Mas'r will let me.

(Enter Cassy, listening.

  LEG. Ah, you're too high toned to hitch up along 'o me, p'rhaps; now look here, on my plantation, my word's law. I've bought ye for your pretty face, so if you're sensible, you'll make the most of it. Cassy!

  CAS. And is this the girl, Simon Legree, you've bought, to take my place—this child?

  LEG. Yes; you've had your way up on Red River too long, so keep a civil tongue, Cassy, or out you go to work along o' the field hands.

  CAS. You can threaten, Simon, but you're too great a coward to do.

  LEG. I aint afeard o' you, Cass.

  CAS. No, but I watched you last night in your sleep and I saw the sweat stand out in big drops. Did you see the spirit of the man you murdered? (Whispering)

  LEG. Hold your darn'd tongue, it was a free fight, and——

  CAS. And your own mother, when you struck her——

  LEG. Shut up—or—— (violently raising his fist)

  CAS. Or you'll strike me. Beware of the day, Simon, when the devil with death in his fist shall strike you down, never to rise again, except in——

  LEG. D—n you, shut up! Take that girl into my cabin—it's mine for the trip—I paid for it, as I paid for both of you. Take her in, and for a punishment you shall wait on her; I'll make you recollect whose property you are. (He turns to go.) Bartender, give me a smash!

(Exit Legree, R.

  EM. (Terrified.) Oh, Misse, have pity on me!

  CAS. I have. I have, as much as one slave may show another. Who was that with you in the slave pen?

  EM. My mother, Misse, my own mother. I prayed them not to separate us, but they did, and we shall never see each other again.

  CAS. Never! never! I had a girl once, my beautiful Eliza; when my master died (he was a gentleman, and I they called the handsomest quadroon in New-Orleans then), they sold my Eliza. How old are you?

  EM. Just sixteen.

  CAS. Ah! my little Eliza would be older, much older, if she lives. Her father promised to marry me, but men down here are devils; they pretend to love us for a little, and while the fancy lasts they are kind; when they're tired they turn us over to a friend, or sell us in the market, taking money for us, and for their own flesh and blood! There is no God for colored people! (Gloomily)


  EM. Oh, yes; mother told me to pray to Him, and that He would hear. If I had not that comfort, I would jump into the river here.

  CAS. And better, too, perhaps, than go where we are going. I tell you that his place on the Red River is a hell.

  EM. Heaven help us, then!

  CAS. You don't like this man, eh?

  EM. Like him? I shudder at his touch!

  CAS. And I hate him. But where I've ruled so long, I would be mistress still. I will protect you.

  EM. Don't leave me, then. Let us go in here and pray together.

  CAS. Pray! Are our prayers ever answered?

  EM. Oh, yes! Pray that you may see your child some day.

  CAS. See her! Will you ever see your mother's face again?

  EM. (Bursting into tears.) Never! Oh, never!

  CAS. Nor I my little Eliza's. But come. We know each other's sorrows, and we must comfort one another.

(Exeunt into cabin.

(Music. Ophelia enters, R., dressed in traveling guise.

  OPHE. If I ever git back to Vermont—sakes alive! but I shall plant myself thar, and take root! Whar's my work bag, and whar's my new bonnet box? I've lost track of both of 'em. Sakes alive! I vow I'm getting as shiftless as the other critters in this shiftless country. Topsy! Topsy!

(Enter Topsy, dressed extravagantly. With a bandbox.

  TOP. Here I is, Missis.

  OPHE. How dare you call me Missis!

  TOP. I didn't, Missis.

  OPHE. There again! Call me Miss Ophelia! Don't you know that you are a free girl, that you are—emancipated—and that you have now a personal responsibility?

  TOP. Golly! yar frightens me wid dem long words! Ise free, Miss Feely, but if yar don't hold on to me I'se a lost nigger, shuah.

  OPHE. But understand, Topsy, although I've rescued you from the Philistines, you must do your duty.

  TOP. Dat's so, Miss Feely, I ain't a Philistine no more. Don't steal now, only candies, and sich.

  OPHE. But you mustn't steal at all, or you must be whipped.

  TOP. Thought you said nobody mustn't whip dis chile no more.

  OPHE. No one has the right, except to correct you for your own good.

  TOP. Dat's good! I'se glad ob dat! cos a good licking now and den 'll put me in mind of ole times.

  OPHE. Now, where did you put my new bonnet?


  TOP. Your new bonnet, Miss Feely?

  OPHE. Yes, my new bonnet!

  TOP. Well, dat's curis; 'tain't in de box?

  OPHE. (Looking.) No.

  TOP. He! he! he! Well, dat's curis! 'Twas in de box.

  OPHE. (Suddenly seeing.) Why you shiftless hussy, it's on your head!

  TOP. Is it? Golly! I forgot! He! he! he! How does it look, Miss Feely, bully, eh? (She struts around stage.)

  OPHE. (Chasing Topsy about with umbrella.) You shiftless critter! to spoil my lovely new bonnet with your greasy wool!

  TOP. (Striking attitude) Don't yar touch me! Ise free! Ise mancipated! Take car, how you bust de law, or I'll show you my 'sponsibility!

  OPHE. My own pupil rebels! Catch me, some one!

(Legree enters and she falls into his arms.

  LEG. Hello! old teapot, what's the matter?

  OPHE. (Recovering suddenly) Sakes alive! Who air you?

  TOPSY. (Suddenly interposing.) Stand 'way from dis lady! Ise a mancipated brack individual! and if you touches Miss Feely I'll knock you down with my 'sponsibility and dis umbrella!

  LEG. Git out, you nigger!

  OPHE. How dare you call my child a nigger, man!

  LEG. What! Is that box of blacking your'n, Missis!

  OPHE. Yes; my adopted child.

  LEG. Will you trade for her?

  OPHE. What, wretch! Me trade in human flesh?

  LEG. Yes; cos if you will, I'll give ye ten cents a pound for her, to cut up for my dogs. (Exit Legree.)

  OPHE. Sakes alive! Let me get out o' this awful country, or I shall die!

  TOP. Hold up, Miss Feely! hold up! I'll protect you.

(Music. Enter Uncle Tom—chains on ankles.

  TOM. Miss Feely!—aboard dis here boat?

  OPHE. Uncle Tom! Sakes alive! What air you doing here?

  TOM. I is sold, Miss Feely—sold to a Mr. Legree, o' Red River, and Ise gwine up dar, wid de oder slaves.

  OPHE. The Lord forgive me! but a curse will fall on Marie St. Clair for scorning her dead husband's wishes. My poor Uncle Tom!

  TOM. Yes, I got no hope o' freedom now, Miss Feely. But you—you is going up by my old home in Kintuck; and if you'll write for me to Mrs. Shelby and de folks dar, and tell 'em whar I am, p'raps dey'll send down and buy me off. Dar's de directions, Miss Feely. (Gives her a paper.)

  OPHE. I'll do it, Uncle Tom. Oh that I had the money to free every slave in the land!


  TOM. De Lord will send us liberty in his good time, Miss Feely—if not dis side de grave, yet de great liberator, Death, will set us free; and den dar's heaven for black and white alike. Good bless yar, Miss Feely! Good-bye! (Exit.)

  OPHE. (Crying.) Good-bye, good Uncle Tom!

  TOP. (Howling.) G-ood-bye, U-un-cle T-T-om!

(She sits down on bonnet box.

  OPHE. Sakes alive! Shiftless to the last! Ah, my new bonnet box! (Screams.)

  TOP. Smashed him! Smashed him into a squash, by golly!

(Comic chase round and exeunt.