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



(Legree's House. Early morning. Stage half dark. Legree asleep in arm chair. Sambo and Quimbo asleep on the floor.)

  LEGREE. (Starting in his sleep.) Take away that lock of hair! Burn it! It strangles me! I ch—oke! (Wakes.) It was only a dream, but it was awful real. I saw a figure standing over me, and though it's face was covered I know it was my mother's. She put a lock of her own hair, dabbled in blood, around my finger, and it crawled up my arm like a snake, and jumped at my throat, and worked and squirmed and seemed to strangle me. Where's the brandy? Wake up, you dogs! (He kicks the negroes, who rise up sulkily.)

  SAM. All right, Mas'r.

  QUIM. Oh! (Groans.)

  LEG. Look out, and see what time it is.

  SAM. 'Most time, Mas'r, to start de hands out for de fields.

  LEG. Not to-day; they shall all join in the hunt. Tell 'em the first nigger who smells the two runaways out shall get five dollars.

  QUIM. Dem ar shall be mine, Mas'r.

  SAM. Bet yar I get 'em, Quimbo.

  LEG. (Drinking.) And take out the dogs. If Cassy and little Em are in the swamp, they'll find 'em, and then ——

  SAM. Ha, ha, he! And den Mas'r 'll spile dere running for some time.

  QUIM. Ha, he, he, haw! (They laugh savagely.)

  LEG. Yes, I'll break 'em in. Sambo, rouse up the hands and fetch old Tom here.

  SAM. Yes, Mas'r, I'll fetch him. (Exit.)

  LEG. And you, Quimbo, unchain the dogs, and give the niggers a drink o' rum all round.

  SAM. All right, Mas'r. (Exit.)

  LEG. Damn this old preaching, singing nigger, Tom; he knows something of Madam Cassy's movements, I'll be bound. I hate him, and I'll break his stubborn old temper, or kill him, afore I've done.


  SAM. Here's ole Tom, Mas'r. (Enter Tom.)

  LEG. Oh, there you are.

  TOM. Yes, Mas'r.


  LEG. Look yar, Tom, I didn't buy you for common work, so I'm a going to promote ye. I'm a going to make a driver on ye; and to-day you shall jest begin and get your hand in.

  TOM. I beg Mas'r's pardon, but I hope Mas'r won't set me to that—it's what I never did and can't do, no way possible.

  LEG. Ye'll larn a heap o' things, ye never did know, afore I've done with ye.

  TOM. I'm willin' to work night and day, and work while there's life and health in me, but, Mas'r, I'd rather be driven myself than drive these poor critters in de field.

  LEG. Oh, that's your game, you're rebellious, and you must taste the cowhide.

(Enter Quimbo.)

  QUIM. Dey's all ready, Mas'r, for de start.

  LEG. Hold on a minute, and keep the dogs in the leash, for they'd as soon chaw 'em up, as eat their suppers. Load the guns, and shoot Cassy, if you can't get at her, but don't mark little Em, or I'll mark you. Now, serve out the rum.

  QUIM. All right, Mas'r. (Exit Quimbo.)

  LEG. Now Tom, we're all going out after them women; so if you won't drive my niggers, you shall hunt 'em.

  TOM. I couldn't do it, Mas'r—I couldn't, it's mo' than my soul's worth.

  LEG. Oh! 'praps you know where the runaways are, then?

  TOM. I, Mas'r, I?

  LEG. You do; I can see by your skulking looks. They told ye whar they was going, and you shall tell me or I'll kill ye—d'ye hear?

  TOM. I hear, Mas'r, but I've nothing to tell.

  LEG. But you could—now speak the truth!

  TOM. I could, Mas'r, but I won't.

  LEG. Why, you black beast; aint I your master, and didn't ye never read out o' your book, "servants obey your masters?"

  TOM. Yes, Mas'r, but not when you ask me to sin.

  LEG. Oh, ho! Here's a powerful holy nigger! Lay hold of him, you, and lash him till he roars for mercy.

(Sambo and Quimbo seize Tom. They tear off his jacket and the locket of hair is seen hanging round his neck.)

  LEG. What's that?

  SAM. Dunno, Mas'r; some witch thing.

  TOM. Spare me dat, Mas'r; it was given me by a little angel.

  LEG. An angel! (Opens it.) Ah! The lock of hair again. (Flings it down.) Throw it in the fire, you Quimbo. Burn it!

(Quimbo picks up the locket. Tom kneels to beg for its return.)

  TOM. Don't, Mas'r, don't. It's de only 'membrance I've got of one who's among de saints.


  LEG. Burn it, I say, and whip the heart out of this pious old thief.

(Music. Great noise without; the barking of dogs, cries. Sambo runs to the door.)

  SAM. Here dey is, Mas'r. Dey've cotched 'em. Here's Cassy and Emmy; here dey is!

  LEG. Hurrah! (Swallows brandy hastily.)

  TOM. (Aside.) De Lord help em!

(Cassy and Emmy are brought in, their clothes torn.)

  LEG. Ha! ha! ha! So ye thought to get clear o' Red River, did ye, Mistress Cass; and rob me o' this tender chicken, too. You're jealous, are you? Ha! ha! Ha! I'll cure your jealousy with a cowhide.

(Cassy stands defiantly; Emmy crouches, clinging to her.)

  CAS. Simon Legree! I defy you!

  LEG. Do ye? It seems all my niggers are on the same tack. Now, you, Tom, I'll give you another chance to save your own skin. Take this woman down to the quarters and give her fifty lashes.

  TOM. No, Mas'r, I can't. You may kill me, but I'll raise no finger agin any helpless critter here.

  LEG. (Raising his whip.) What! you black devil! Didn't I buy ye? Didn't I pay down twelve hundred dollars cash for all that's in your cursed black shell? You are mine, mine, body and soul!

  TOM. No, no, no! My soul aint yourn, Mas'r; ye haven't bought it; ye can't buy it; for it's bought and paid for by One who's able to keep it safe. Do your worst, Mas'r, ye can't harm me.

  LEG. Take that, you pious dog!

(He knocks Tom down with the butt of his heavy whip.)

  EM. Oh! mercy, mercy!

  LEG. (Standing over Tom.) Now, will you do it, you beast?

  TOM. No, Mas'r, ye may kill me, but I won't ——

  LEG. Drag him out then, and give him such a breaking in as he wont get over in a month. (Negroes enter and seize Tom.)

  TOM. De Lord have pity on ye, Mas'r.

(Tom is dragged out.)

  LEG. Chain them two gals together, and set 'em to picking cotton in the fields; stand over 'em with the whip. I'll break their darned tempers.

  CAS. You can't, Simon Legree—and kill me you dar'n't, for you know my ghost would haunt you sleeping and waking.

  LEG. Curse you!


  CAS. The curse of Cain is on you already! You tremble! Your mother's blood cries out for vengeance!

  LEG. (Furiously.) Gag her! Take her away!

(He falls in a chair, gasping.)

  CAS. Ha! ha! ha! You are pale, Simon Legree. We shall see now whose spirit is broken first.



(Exterior of a tavern in a Mississippi village. Flats in 1st gr. Enter Marks, much dilapidated.)

  MARKS. Three miles they say to Legree's plantation; will my boots hold out three miles more? I'm afraid not. I fear I shall be under the sad necessity of communicating my business to the sheriff, and sharing the reward for Simon's arrest. Yes, Simon must be arrested, or pay just double the amount offered by the brother of the late Mr. St. Clair, nothing less can or will satisfy justice—the law—and me. Who's this?

(Enter George Shelby.)

  GEO. Good morning, sir.

  MARKS. Good morning. Fine day, sir. Cotton healthy, sugar heavy, weather warm and dry, sir.

  GEO. I was thinking so; will you join me in a liquor?

  MARKS. I'm a lawyer, sir, and I refuse nothing from a drink to a dollar. Very good poison in the bar inside, sir. (Indicating the house.)

  GEO. One question first. You are doubtless a resident?

  MARKS. No, sir, I am from New Orleans.

  GEO. Ah! Then you cannot tell me where a planter named Legree resides?

  MARKS. Curious enough, sir, but I can—and more curious still—I'm going to see him myself.

  GEO. That is fortunate. He bought a slave of ours, called Tom—since in the possession of a Mr. St. Clair, of New Orleans. You knew that gentleman, perhaps, too?

  MARKS. I did, sir, but I don't know him now.

  GEO. Indeed! why not?

  MARKS. Because, he's dead, sir.

  GEO. Dead?

  MARKS. Yes, sir, very dead! the grim sheriff, death, capiassed him six months ago, with a bowie knife, at the hands of the party you're looking for, Simon Legree.


  GEO. That is strange.

  MARKS. Strange, but true—do you see this?

  GEO. Yes, what is it?

  MARKS. A warrant, sir, for Simon's arrest. He was a dear friend of mine, but I regret to say he behaved shabbily, and as Mr. St. Clair's friends will pay handsomely for his capture, I owe it to myself, as chief witness in the case, to make use of my evidence, unless Simon will come down with double the sum offered, to suppress it.

  GEO. Then you are of course bound for his place ——

  MARKS. I was just debating the best way of getting there.

  GEO. I will hire a vehicle.

  MARKS. Do. I've nothing but a five hundred dollar bill about me, which I can't get changed in this outlandish country or I'd engage a constable to assist us.

  GEO. My purse is at your service.

  MARKS. Thank you. How refreshing it is in these degenerate days to meet a youth so fresh, so green, and so confiding. Ah, sir, I wish there were more like you.

  GEO. You are complimentary. I have a fellow traveler also, who will join our party.

  MARKS. Then we can attack Simon in force.

  GEO. (Calling.) George! Mr. Harris! (Enter George Harris elegantly dressed.) My friend, sir.

  MARKS. Bless me! where have I seen that gentleman before?

  HAR. I don't remember your face, sir, I confess. (Aside.) It's the legal slave catcher.

  GEO. This gentleman will guide us to Legree's plantation, Mr. Harris.

  MARKS. But we must liquor up before we start.

  GEO. Pardon me, I invited you —

  MARKS. Not for the world. By the way, your purse. I'm at home in the South, and our Southern hospitality is proverbial. Landlord, whiskey for three. After you. (They exeunt.) Marks, my boy, you've the law's luck, and the devil's too.

(Exit after them.)


  (A wretched cabin. Near C a bed of old cotton sacks, in recess, with a ragged mat to drop before it. Doors set L and R obliquely.)

(Music. Uncle Tom discovered in the bed emaciated. Cassy waiting on him. Emmeline watching at the door, L.)

  CAS. Drink, poor soul, drink this—water—it's all I have to give you.


  TOM. (Feebly) Bress you, Missis, it's all I need, for de hand of death is on me; my troubles will soon be over.

  CAS. Oh, that I could end mine, too! Death is our only deliverance from this accursed spot of earth.

  EM. (Terrified) Cassy! If you desert me, what could I do, but die too.

  CAS. And you so young. Well, it may be—it is left me to avenge you both.

  TOM. No—no! Suffer; be patient; and bide the Lord's time.

  CAS. (Gloomily) The face of Heaven is averted, or Heaven would not suffer one wretch to torture hundreds, as he does daily. Simon Legree shall not live. My mission is to destroy him.

  EM. No—no!

  TOM. (Painfully rising, in tears.) No; ye mustn't do that! Remember Him who shed no blood but his own; and that he poured out freely for his enemies.

  CAS. He was not mortal. I have lost child, home, hope, everything; and my soul is mad and desperate now.

  TOM. Pray, Missis; pray. I, too, have lost wife and chil'n. I shall never see them again—never. Oh, if I could only let them know—that I'm at rest, I'd have nothing else to wish for!

  CAS. Tell me where they live. I will write for you.

  TOM. At Mas'r Shelby's, in Kintuck.

  CAS. Shelby! That's strange! It was a planter named Shelby who bought my little girl, Eliza, eighteen years ago.

  TOM. Where?

  CAS. In New Orleans.

  TOM. There, bress de Lord, for dar's comfort for yar suffering heart. I remember de time well when Mas'r Shelby brought de little one home to de plantation.

  CAS. Oh! and does she live?

  TOM. She grew up good and beautiful, and was married to a good man before I left de ole home.

  CAS. Thank God!

(Falls on her knees.

  TOM. I hear a voice. It is Masr's! He is coming here.

  CAS. (Seizing Emmy, she is terrified.) Come away, then, come away. I must not meet him, or this knife (she draws a stiletto, Emmeline seizes her hand, and drags her out at door R., as Legree enters L., Sambo at the door with a whip and rope)

  LEG. Stop thar, till I see if the old black thief 'll give in. Well, Tom, ye ain't so crank as ye was at this time yesterday, eh? Ye couldn't treat a sinner to another short sermon, could ye, eh, ha, ha, ha!

  TOM. Ise too weak to say much, Mas'r.

  LEG. So you'll give in, I reckon, and do as I tell ye, eh? Ha! ha!

  TOM. I'll give ye the work of my hands, Mas'r, but my soul I'll not sell to mortal man.


  LEG. Oh, you aint broke yet—aint ye? How would ye like to be tied to a tree and have a slow fire lit under ye, eh?

  TOM. I'm not afraid to die, Mas'r. Ye may flog me, starve me, burn me, if you like; it will only send me the sooner where I want to go.

  LEG. I'll see about that. Git up, you black cuss.

(Music. Tom tries to rise as Legree stands over him with the whip. Cassy appears threateningly at the door, R. Sambo enters, L)

  SAM. Mas'r, dar's two gemmen axing for ye out dar.

  LEG. Who are they? No matter. Tell 'em I'll come.

(He drops the mat which screens Uncle Tom in the recess. Enter George Shelby and George Harris.)

  LEG. Hello!

  SHEL. You are Simon Legree?

  LEG. Yes. Who are you?

  SHEL. George Shelby of Kentucky. I understand you bought a slave called Tom—one of the late Mr. St. Clair's people. He used to belong to my father, and my errand here is to buy him back, if possible.

  LEG. Yes, I did buy such a fellow, and a bad bargain I got too. The most rebellious rascal I ever owned; and I've just given him the heaviest whipping I ever gave a nigger. I b'lieve he's a trying to die; but I don't know how he'll fix it.

(Enter Marks

  MARKS. Simon Legree——

  LEG. Marks!

  MARKS. I want you! How will you fix that?

  LEG. What d'ye mean?

  MARKS. I want you for the murder of Augustine St. Clair! Here's the warrant, issued on my evidence.

  LEG. Your evidence! You lying thief!

(Legree rushes on Marks with his whip. Marks draws a pistol and cries "Constable." The constable enters.)

  MARKS. Now, Simon, respect the law; one thousand dollars cash or to jail ye go.

  LEG. Stand from the door, or I'll murder ye.

  MARKS. Try it, Simon, try it!

(Legree rushes to the other door, when he is confronted by Cassy with the drawn knife.)

  CAS. Move, and I'll plunge this in your vile heart!

(Legree seizes her, flings her to the centre of stage, and is rushing out at L door when)

  MARKS. Shoot him. (They fire. He falls) Oh, Simon, you'd better have paid that thousand, I fancy!


  LEG. B-l-ast ye! B-l——- (Dies)

  SHEL. But where is Tom?

  TOM. (Heard) Here, Mas'r George! here!

(Shelby tears back the mat; and seeing Tom, falls on his knees)

  SHEL. Oh, Uncle Tom! Dear old friend! Do I find you thus?

  TOM. Mas'r George, dis is all I wanted. I shall die happy now. George Harris, is it?

  GEO. (Taking his hand) Yes, dear Uncle Tom.

  TOM. Whar's Cassy? See—see—dar is de man who married your Eliza.

  CAS. (Kissing his hand) You, Mas'r?

  GEO. Don't call me Mas'r—I was once a slave like you. Yes, I married a girl called Eliza de Thoux.

  CAS. My child! does she live?

  GEO. Yes, and is a free woman.

  CAS. (Falling on her knees) Thank God!

  TOM. Trust in Him always, Cassy; trust in Him, and He'll give you de victory!

  SHEL. Oh, Tom! Live, live for my sake! For your children!

  TOM. De chil'n! Too late, Mas'r George, it's too late, but Ise so happy. De gates of de kingdom is opening for me. Dar's Miss Evy holding out her little hand. We shall all meet there soon. My love to all. Good-bye.

(He dies.

The characters kneel and the scene sinks and discovers Eva in the heavens surrounded by angels. A song of triumph by the