Uncle Tom and Little Eva

Staffordshire, England, 1855-1860
Glazed ceramic
Gift of Cummings E. Davis or George Tolman (before 1909) Th4

Figures like this, depicting two of the main characters of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s abolitionist novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, were produced by a number of English potteries taking advantage of the almost unprecedented popularity of Stowe’s work. In the parlor where they were meant to be displayed, these figures would have broadcast to visitors the homeowners’ abolitionist sentiments. This group is said to have been a gift to Henry Thoreau from a former slave he helped escape to Canada.