The National Era
Washington, D.C.: 30 October 1851


To the Editor of the National Era:

  "Uncle Tom's Cabin" improves as it progresses—it increases in interest as the story is unfolded. Long life and prosperity to its author, say I. There is one scene in the last chapter which it seems to me would make a good subject for a painting. It is that where Uncle Tom is discovered seated in his loft over the stable, "containing a bed, a chair, and a small, rough stand, where lay Tom's Bible and hymn-book," intently engaged over the slate, with Eva peeping over his shoulder, "each one equally earnest, and about equally ignorant," yet both engaged in the mysteries of pot-hooks and hangers, trying to write a letter to Chloe and "the chil'en"—the golden-haired, sinless child, and the dark-browed single-minded Tom. If such a painting were executed in the style in which the grammatical Foy used to do his horseshoeing, "agreeable to nature, and according to art," it would doubtless receive the commendation of the public. Besides the painting, the scene might be engraved as a suitable embellishment to "Uncle Tom's Cabin" when it shall be published in book form. What think you of the suggestion? Would it not be well to whisper to some of our artists, who sometimes lack subjects for their pencils, to try their hands on it? Come, gentlemen artists, don't all speak at once. G.

Washington, October 24, 1851.