Long Live Uncle Tom! Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the Twentieth Century

  • John W. Frick
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)


While critics of Uncle Tom’s Cabin on stage at the opening of the twentieth century were already predicting the imminent demise of the phenomenon—a prediction that would grow more common and strident as the century progressed—statistics showed that this claim was anything but true. One historian in 1902 estimated that in that year alone, over one and one-half million people (one in every 35 US citizens) would see one or more productions of the play; while 10 years later, Stowe’s son Charles claimed that there had been 250,000 separate productions.1 Although the 1890s undeniably marked the high-water mark for theatrical Toms, it is also undeniable that as the new century began, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was both ubiquitous and clearly in the public consciousness.


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© John W. Frick 2012

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  • John W. Frick

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