Uncle Tom's Cabin in Ruins!
"Nicholas Brimblecomb, Esq."
Boston: Charles Waite, 1853


   Eva.—Her Ostentation and Self-conceit.—Echo of her Father.—Officious Attention to Mr. Haley's Niggers.—Proper Treatment of Niggers during the Middle Passage.—Eva's Acquaintance with Tom.—Persuades her Father to purchase him.—Her absurd Concern about Mammy.—Her abominable Sentiments respecting Slaves and Slavery.—Her foolish Talk with Tom about his Wife and Children.—Her treasonable Talk with her Mother.—Necessity of subduing the Intellect of the Niggers.—Eva's ridiculous Conduct towards Henrique and his Groom.—Superintending Providence


   I suppose that, in such a series of letters as this, yourself and others will think it indecorous to pass over without notice the little girl Evangeline St. Clare. I know not, however, that I have much to say of her. It is hardly worth while to take notice of children, or what they say and do. They have little or no judgment, and the medium through which they view things is well known to be generally fallacious. You, madam, obviously think Eva, as you call her, was a very wonderful child—an extraordinary specimen of precocity of intellect, as well as strength and maturity of her moral nature and sentiments. You are quite disposed to contemplate her as some being little less than an angel of light and love—too ethereal and unworldly to remain long an inhabitant of this lower creation. You will not, probably, be greatly surprised when I inform you that I entertain entirely different


sentiments respecting this little miss. It is easy to see, even through your colored presentation of the child, that she was an ostentatious and self-conceited little urchin; and having the advantage of a very good memory, she had retained in her mind many of the silly sayings and sentiments of her deluded father, whom, in her waywardness and perversity, she seems to have prized and imitated far more than she did her beautiful and illustrious mother. In fact, she seemed to pride herself on being a kind of fac-simile of her foolish father; and he, in his inveterate folly, appears to place the most of his attentions and affections upon this spoiled child. Regarding her, therefore, as a sort of echo of her father, and considering that she, too visibly, is the idol of quite a multitude who delight themselves in reading your book, I suppose I must render a passing notice to this miss, so far, especially, as she comes in contact with the glorious institution which it is the main purpose of these letters to illustrate and vindicate. I beg you, therefore, to note that, while I trace some of the shallow expressions and sentiments of this little upstart, I do so, not because what she says is of any importance as coming from her, but only as being, unhappily, the sentiments of thousands who have no more brains than has Eva herself.

   How dignified must you consider your narrative to be, madam, when you are so foolishly employing your pen, and that with so much zest, in describing Eva's attention to Mr. Haley's chained gang of slaves on board the boat! What if she did look at them with "sorrowful earnestness," and "lift their chains with her slender hands, and then sigh woefully"? Is it


worth your while to attempt to interest the reading public with such trivial matters as this? And what if she was so officious as to describe candy, nuts, and oranges among them? Was that worth noticing, except by the owner himself? Had he known of such conduct, he would probably have ordered her off, and forbidden any more interference of the kind. All such conduct as this, whether in children of larger or smaller growth, is evil, and only evil continually, and does but tend to render the niggers dissatisfied with their condition; and is, of consequence, detrimental to the system. Let slaves be well chained and manacled when on the middle passage; keep them out of sight in some remote and uncomfortable part of the boat, whether passengers and children would not think of going; feed them twice a day with coarse bannock and a little river water; allow no talking among themselves, and no whispering or sighing; an inure them to hard and wholesome discipline. A course like this will be much better for them as slaves—better for the system, better for the Union, for the nation, and for the world of mankind in general.

   Eva's scraping acquaintance with Tom is sufficiently ridiculous and disgusting; and Tom, as was very natural, was equally forward in scraping acquaintance with the miss; while her tumbling into the river, and being rescued from drowning by Tom officiously blundering in after her, and rescuing her, seems to have fully consummated the friendship between these two worthies. And nothing would do but Mr. St. Clare must buy Tom of Mr. Haley for Miss Eva's special gratification.

   As this child was wisely destined to an early death,


it has seemed to me almost a pity that she had not been drowned on the occasion of her falling into the river. It is true such an event would have been very afflicting to St. Clare; but this would not be very consequential, while thus Tom would have had a more appropriate destiny than his lazy life at New Orleans, and, under a different kind of master, would have been obliged to bestir himself more in accordance with his condition. Much other mischief would, in the event supposed, have been prevented, some of which will develop itself as we proceed.

   Presently the purchasing of Tom takes place, St. Clare, always dreamy and shallow, consulting, in his bargain for Tom, merely the wishes of his child. Behold her, while her father is negotiating with Mr. Haley, putting her arms around her father's neck, and urging on the purchase. "I want him!" she says. "What for, Pussy?" replies the father. "I want to make him happy!" adds the little simpleton. Now, how abominable that a child should be so brought up and instructed as to come, at so early an age too, to entertain such scandalous notions! It is these and kindred ideas gaining possession of the mind that work incalculable mischief upon the cherished institution. This wonderful miss wanted Tom for the purpose of making him happy! She did not want him, it seems, to serve her. She wanted him, rather, that she might serve him. This very expression ought to have induced her father to refuse the purchase, and to chastise his child, instead of gratifying her. But he proceeds, notwithstanding, buys Tom at an extravagant price, and hands the black lout over to his little ignorant and wilful child, to give her an opportunity of


making him happy, forsooth! The girl's noble mother ought to have stood in the place of her husband in this transaction, in which event old Tom would have been obliged to find his happiness under somewhat different circumstances. But Tom is bought, and Eva hastens to him to whisper of the "good times" he would have in the family, and that her "papa was very good to every body."

   The party arrives at New Orleans, at the home of Mr. St. Clare, when follows Miss Eva's salutation of the niggers, running up to them, apparently as joyful to see them as if they were a part of her friends and kindred, shaking hands with them, kissing them, making them presents, and the like. I am more and more filled with indignation at St. Clare for allowing such things in his establishment. What sort of slavery can there be where such conduct is allowed? When children must be indulged with niggers in order to make these same niggers happy? And when children are allowed to kiss, pamper, and flatter them? The whole process is an absurdity and an abomination, tending directly to sap the union of these American states.

   I am also incensed with this Eva on the occasion of her begging her mother to permit her to attend upon her for one night in order to relieve Mammy. "I think," she says, "that Mammy is not well. She told me her head ached all the time, lately." And so this officious Miss Eva desires to take the nigger's place, in order that the nigger might rest; or, to use her own language in another case, in order to make the nigger happy. In other words, she petitioned that she might be the slave herself. No language can tell the disas-


trous influence of all such management. All this regard for slaves, as if they were a part of our own race, breeds perpetual and intolerable mischief. But this headstrong, half-insane child could never learn the lesson from her angelical mother, that there is no other way to treat niggers than to put them down, and keep them down—down in the very dust.

   Next follows the ridiculous farce of Eva's lending Mammy her gold vinaigrette to relieve her headache. Her mother ascertains the fact, and, in her righteous indignation, commands her child to go and take it back in a moment. Here her abusive husband interferes, and says that Eva should do as she pleased about the matter. Thus, under this most disastrous management, the nigger actually enjoys Eva's gold vinaigrette during half a day at church. Is it possible to conceive anything more incongruous and improper, or more dangerous to the great interests?

   Precisely of a piece with the foregoing is the conversation of Eva with her father after the return of the family from church on the same day. St. Clare had been advancing to his wife and Ophelia a budget of his fanaticism about slavery, when his daughter happens into the room. He turns to her, as if her opinion was of any worth, and asks her mind as to what was "the best way of living"—as in Vermont, or to have a house full of servants. Eva replies, "Our way, of course, is the pleasantest, because it makes so many more round you to love, you now." In my indignation I ask if sentiments like that are to be considered other than treasonable? A house full of slaves is the pleasantest and best, for the reason that there are more to love! Niggers, then, are to be loved,


caressed, cherished; and this is the great use of the institution! A paragon of wisdom, truly, must this marvelous Eva have been! The whole country should unite, to a man, against the diffusion, against even the softest mention, of such horrible, and dangerous, and diabolical doctrines. I hereby call the attention of the nation to this rank anti-slavery expression. I appeal to every friend of slavery if such a sentiment is not in direct hostility to the system, and if the system would not at once break down, were such sentiments to become prevalent. No truth is clearer to my mind in the broad universe. If niggers are to be loved instead of whipped,—if they are to be managed and regarded as beings of one blood with us, instead of as horses,—then slavery is down. I do not mean that there is to be no kind of love to niggers. But how are they to be loved? As fellow-beings? Never, never. I repeat to you that this would upset slavery in an hour. How, then, are they to be loved? I answer, that they are to be loved in the character they actually sustain; that is, they are to be loved as property—loved as we love a fat and merchantable ox, sheep, or pig—loved for the amount of cash they will bring by sale, or the amount they will produce by their labor and sweat. This is the appropriate love for niggers, and this is the only kind of love at all consistent with our blessed system of servitude.

   We observe another specimen of absurdity in this perverse little girl, in her conversation with Tom about his wife and children. Referring to the letter that she had just been aiding him to write to them, she exclaims, "How pleased your wife will be, and the poor little children! O, it's a shame you ever had to


go away from them!" Here comes up again the very essence of abolition. This sentence means that slavery is a shame, and can mean nothing else. "I mean to ask papa to let you go back some time." That is, she means to ask her father to perpetrate the horrid crime of emancipation; and her father would have committed the deed at her request, without a doubt, but that he was, as we have observed, providentially prevented.

   It would seem that evil was really bound up in the heart of this wayward child, called Eva; and the depravity of her nature was perpetually exhibiting itself in various uncouth conversations. We find her, one day, with her beautiful and excellent mother, (how could there be such a mother to such a child!) and suddenly she inquires, "Mamma, why don't we teach our servants to read?" In vain her mother explains to her child the absurdity of such a thing, telling her that the slaves would not work any better, and that they are not made for anything else but work. "But they ought," resumes the little impertinent miss, "to read the Bible to learn God's will;" and then follows much more of the same kind of nonsense. In such gross ignorance was this Eva thus far brought up that she seems never to have known before that teaching niggers to read, &c., was irreconcilable with slavery. She ought to have been taught that it would be much more consistent, were the thing possible, to teach horses and oxen to read; for these could not be supposed to make any vicious use of such an acquirement. But niggers, in accordance with the lofty sentiments of Mrs. St. Clare, must be kept down. All they have to do is to work, work, work; and every species of


knowledge is to be religiously withheld from them that tends to render them discontented with their enslaves condition. It is for this reason that the excellent laws of most of the slave states forbid all teaching of the niggers to read. Books! Why, these would let in the light immediately upon the nigger mind. They would begin to conceive notions of liberty; and, could they read, like white people, the very acquirement would be likely to suggest the inquiry with them whether they might not be human beings like ourselves, and therefore possessing some claims to freedom. Hence all learning, except how to perform their daily tasks, is to be zealously forbidden to these creatures. Even if they should read the Bible only, the consequences would not be otherwise than disastrous. For although this book, as has been often shown by eminent ministers of the south, upholds slavery in the general, yet there are some passages (probably corruptions of the text) which do appear to teach differently. For example, I believe there is something taught about undoing heavy burdens, and letting the oppressed go free; and opening prison doors to such as are bound; and doing as we would be done by; and about the Lord's making of one blood all nations to dwell on all the face of the earth, and such like doctrines; which, however true they may be when rightly interpreted, would yet be unwholesome and unsavory for niggers to ponder over and talk about. I repeat it: every thing like elevation and mental improvement of these slaves must be sternly and everlastingly discouraged, forbidden, put down, and routed. It is clearly impossible to sustain and perpetuate slavery, if the slaves are to be managed according to any such policy. Degradation, crush-


ing, keeping them under foot—this is the policy imperatively demanded by the interests of slavery, and by the welfare of the nation and the world.

   But the grossest exhibition of this crazy young one, called Eva, was when her magnificent mother showed her the diamond necklace which she wore at her first ball, and which she promised to Eva when she should come out. "I wish I had them," (the jewels,) said she, "to do what I pleased with." "What would you do then?" asks the mother. "I'd sell them, and buy a place in the free states, and take all our people there, and hire teachers to teach them to read and write."

   There is a specimen for the contemplation of this nation. Here is emancipation with a vengeance! O, how lamentable that such detestable ideas should gain possession of the mind of a child! Thus are we compelled to behold the working of this corrupt leaven of abolitionism even in the very heart of slavery. Let every patriot have an eye to this concealed, yet ever-active serpent that is thus seeking to destroy the very lifeblood of the nation.

   We have still another exhibition of this Eva on the occasion of her ride with her cousin Henrique. Henrique's groom had brought his horse somewhat soiled by rolling after he had been rubbed down and led from the stable. Henrique, according to your account, struck Dodo, the groom, across the face with his riding whip, forced him on to his knees, and beat him till he was out of breath. Now, this was, doubtless, a wholesome discipline, and, as Henrique observed to Eva, after administering the whipping, if he did not deserve it then, the chastisement might go for some


time when he should deserve it, and fail of getting it. But all this sound reasoning had no influence on Miss Eva. She affects great indignation against her cousin for whipping his groom; calls him cruel and wicked; tells him that Dodo did not deserve the whipping; that the dust upon the horse was an accident, and much other such like stuff. Then, to crown the whole, after she had mounted her horse, she leans over towards the little nigger, and, as he relinquished the reins to her, called him a good boy, and thanked him!

   Now, if this had not been an impudent, meddlesome, and low-lived child, she would have taken no notice whatever of such a trifling matter as the chastisement of a nigger, whether he was deserving of it or not. But she was always affecting great compassion for these creatures, and pretends that she wished to see them happy, and the like. She reminds Tom, one day, of those "poor creatures," as she calls them, that were on the boat when they returned to New Orleans. "Some had lost their mothers," she said, "and some their husbands, and some mothers cried for their little children—and about poor Prue: O, was not that dreadful? And a great many other times I've felt that I would be glad to die if my dying would stop all this misery. I would die for them, Tom, if I could."

   Now, who ever heard of a ranker specimen of fanaticism than all this? This wonderfully pious and good Miss Eva, it appears, was ready to die for the niggers; so much did she love them! Then, in a subsequent colloquy with her father, she speaks of feeling "sad for our poor people. I wish, papa, they were free." And when her father asked her if she did not think they were


well enough off now, she responds, "O, but, papa, if any thing should happen to you, what would become of them? Think of poor Prue's owners. What hard things people do, and can do! Papa, isn't there any way to have all slaves made free?" And much other similar rigmarole followed, while St. Clare evidently more than half sympathized with is child.

   But I am weary of tracing this case further. The child died shortly; and thus the world was rid of one who, had she lived, would have, unquestionable, exerted a pernicious influence against the best interests of society.

   Thus we see that a superintending Providence always, in one and another manner, interferes for the conservation of human welfare. Subtle and dangerous enemies annoy and put in jeopardy the great cause of righteousness. But it becomes us to be well assured that not one of all these evil influences shall prosper. They shall be brought down to the dust. Thou shalt diligently seek them, but they shall not be found.