Illustrations for the "Splendid Edition"
That's what the Liberator called the one-volume expensively bound and lavishly illustrated edition
that Jewett & Company brought out at the end of 1852, in time for the Christmas
book trade. (Although the edition is dated 1853, it was available by mid-December 1852.) For this edition Hammatt Billings, the artist who had drawn the
seven pictures in the first edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin, was hired to
draw 117 new pictures -- 45 for the head of each chapter, 45 for the end of
each chapter, 27 inside various chapters -- as well as ornamental capitals for
the first word of each chapter.
Jewett called the volume "The Illustrated Edition." Baker and Smith engraved the drawings,
and according to the copyright page, it
was stereotyped at the Boston Stereotype Foundry, Press of George C. Rand,
Cornhill, Boston. Prices ranged from $2.50 to $5.50, depending on binding and
All 117 Billings' illustrations are available here. You can see any of them by clicking on
the icons at left. In the text only a few of the illustrations have
captions. The captions provided here are to help you decide which ones you
might want to look at, or you can use the site's search engine to
look at his drawings of specific characters.
Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly. By Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Illustrated Edition. Complete in One Volume. Original Designs by Billings; Engraved by Baker and Smith.
(Boston: John P. Jewett and Company, 1853)