Published 24th August 2012
Like many I am aware of a literary character called Uncle Tom, but that was as far as it goes. Published in 1852 as an anti slavery novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Toms Cabin became the unsurpassed best seller of the 19th century and became a catalyst for the Civil War.
In a nutshell Uncle Tom and his family are the property of a benevolent farmer who falling on hard times sells him ‘down the (Mississippi) river’ Whilst on the riverboat he befriends Eva who encourages her father to purchase Tom and take him home where they share a mutual Christian understanding. Unfortunately Eva and her father die prematurely and Tom falls into the hands of a violent trader. Throughout Tom’s unbreakable Christianity prevails to the extent that he forgave his assailant as they whipped him to death.
A Staffordshire pottery portrait group of Uncle Tom and little Eva
Although apocryphal when Abraham Lincoln met the author he said ‘So this is the little lady that started this great war’.
Another version of the Staffortdshire group of Uncle Tom & Eva