Saturday Evening Post
Philadelphia: 7 March 1857

  DEATH OF THE ORIGINAL UNCLE TOM.—The Indianapolis Journal mentions the death in that city, on Sunday last, of Thomas Magruder an old negro, aged 110 years. He is supposed to have been the one who suggested the name and the leading features of the character in Mrs. Stowe's novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin." This supposition is based on the coincidence of name and character, and on the fact, says the Journal, "that Henry Ward Beecher, during his residence here, was a constant visitor of 'Uncle Tom's,' well acquainted with his history, and a sincere admirer of his virtues. We have been told that Mrs. Stowe herself sometimes called to see the old man. 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' too, was the name of his house among all his acquaintances, and was a familiar phrase here long before Mrs. Stowe immortalized it. At all events, we know that it is the impression with all the friends of Mrs. Stowe and her brother, in this city, that 'Old Uncle Tom' was the original, or at least the suggestion, of the hero of the 'Cabin.'"—Cin. Gaz.