The National Anti-Slavery Standard
Unsigned Notice
New York: 22 December 1855


  The Drama of "THE CHRISTIAN SLAVE" —being a dramatic version of the story of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Mrs. STOWE herself—was read at the Tabernacle, on Tuesday evening, by Mrs. MARY E. WEBB, a coloured woman, whose talents as a public reader have won for her the approbation of large audiences in New England and elsewhere. It was her first appearance in this city, and therefore it is not strange that the audience was not as numerous as we had desired and hoped it would be. The body of the house, however, was well filled by a very intelligent and discriminating assembly, who evinced their appreciation of the performance by close attention and frequent applause. We do not speak too strongly when we say that Mrs. Webb's Reading was a delight to all who heard it, and that it left a highly favourable impression as to her dramatic powers. The following notices of the performance from two of the leading daily journals will show that our strong anti-slavery sympathies have not warped our judgment in this matter.

From The Tribune.

  Mrs. WEBB—half African blood—read at the Tabernacle, last night, a drama called the Christian Slave, founded on Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was composed of the chief conversations in that work. Mrs. Webb has dramatic talent. She has a good musical ear, and intonates through the range of extensive and sympathetic voice according to the characters evolved in the text, and has evidently taken much pains to qualify herself for her task. She is not unmindful of the effects of the toilet, and is good-looking beside. Her imitation of Topsey was particularly good. Her reading was repeatedly applauded, and was a success. It was announced that she would repeat the piece at the Athenaeum, Brooklyn.

From The Times.

  Mrs. MARY E. WEBB, "the coloured Siddons," read, last night, before an appreciative audience, at the Tabernacle, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Drama of the "Christian Slave." The reading was capital, the different tones of the different characters so well sustained throughout, that with the eyes closed one would have been sure that different readers were engaged upon the parts. We hope certainly that Mrs. Webb, who is pretty and a bright mulatto, will repeat the entertainment. It was furnished last night under the auspices of the New York Anti-Slavery Society, Mr. Oliver Johnson, in the Chair, assisted by two ladies.

  It is probable, we understand, that Mrs. Webb will present the Drama in Brooklyn on Saturday (this) or Monday evening.