The Billboard
Unsigned Notice
Cincinnati: 15 October 1921


Mrs. Cordella Howard MacDonald Made First Appearance in Child Part in 1852—Now 73 Years of Age

  In a large double wooden house, set well back from the roadway at No. 9 Forest street, Cambridge, Mass., is a very "young" old lady named Mrs. Cordella Howard MacDonald. This lady, who was 73 years of age on her last birthday, was the original "Little Eva" of the old standby, "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Mrs. MacDonald, at the age of 4, made her first appearance as Little Eva September 27, 1852, at the Museum, Troy, N.Y. This part she continued for twelve years and lays claim to the fact that she was the first "Little Eva" of the thousands that followed. Her statements are backed up by a program of the National Theater, Boston, which was printed in 1854 and carries her name as playing that part. The Museum at Troy, when Mrs. MacDonald was cast for the child part, was under the management of George C. Howard, her father, who, it is claimed, was instrumental in having "Uncle Tom's Cabin" dramatized and giving the first performance of the play in his theater, which ran for over four months, later on going to England and Scotland. The cast was largely made up of the Howard family. Mrs. Howard played Topsy and her sister, Mrs. Emily Fox, was Ophelia. Two nephews of Mrs. Fox, George and Frank Aiken, were in the cast. Her father had the part of St. Clair, and, with George Aiken, spent considerable time in dramatizing the famous book before the play was produced.