Uncle Tom

Title-page illustration by Hammatt Billings for Uncle Tom’s Cabin [First Edition: Boston: John P. Jewett and Company, 1852]. Shows characters of Chloe, Mose, Pete, Baby, Tom.
A term of contempt. Based on the main character, an elderly black man, in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel that protested the use of slavery. In today’s terms, it means a black person who treats whites as superiors or who is eager to please them. Do not apply it to a person.Print


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