The Daily Picayune
Unsigned Article
New Orleans: 20 March 1853

Victims to Uncle Tom.

  The Paris papers, in speaking of the furore which Mrs. Stowe's novel has produced among the excitable population of that city, tell a good story of one of the incidents of this enthusiasm.

  A bourgeois of the "Marais," Mr. B— took a fancy to see the melodrama in fashion, "Uncle Tom," and he accordingly went to the Gaite theatre. Although he found much trouble in getting a good place, our honest spectator listened with the most scrupulous attention to the "black" dialogue going on on the stage. Suddenly his curiosity was excited by the enthusiastic and vigorous applause of one of his neighbors. Mr. B—'s astonishment ceased when he had examined this stage-struck admirer more closely. The latter was a negro of the most negrofied kind: frizzled hair, flat nose, blubber lips, and coal black complexion—every trait was characteristic and complete; the most determined admirer of the black race could desire no better specimen of its peculiar features. Our honest friend immediately entered into conversation with his neighbor. "Emancipation" was the subject.

  The melodrama became more interesting, and Mr. B— became more interested in his new acquaintance, whose anecdotes of the tortures inflicted on his unhappy countrymen in America, made every hair on Mr. B—'s head stand on end.

  At the beginning of the second act, the two neighbors were the best friends in the world. it was very warm. Mr. B— offered his black friend some cooling refreshment. The offer was accepted. They went out. In the crowd they were separated. Mr. B— took his refreshment alone and returned to his seat alone. The drama passed off, and Mr. B— was still alone. His black friend was no where to be seen. The piece finished amid frantic applause and showers of tears, and Mr. B— put his hand to his watch pocket to see if he had time to wait for his black friend a few moments.

  His watch and chain were gone! His black friend was nothing more than an adroit thief.

  Mr. B— was taken home, half insensible, in a cab.

  In the Charivari there are a number of caricatures touching hard on the ridiculous points of Parisian surplus sensibility in this matter. The best one alludes to the customary procession of the butchers of Paris on Mardi Gras. The main feature of this procession is always an immense beef, who has some odd name given him. The bovine phenomenon this year was baptized "Uncle Tom."

  The caricature represents a band of musicians playing vigorously away directly in from of "Uncle Tom." The latter is not as peaceable as his namesake: he is represented as head down and tail up, evidently withheld with difficulty from making a charge on his tormentors. However, his long, sharp horns are exhibited in very dangerous proximity to one of the musicians, who holds an immense brass instrument. In fact, though the musician holds on valorously to his instrument, we are not astonished on closely examining his postion and that of the points of "Uncle Tom's" horns, at the miserable looking performer's exclamation: "While I make a base accompaniment in front, he makes an ouverture behind!" Ouverture is the French word for "opening."