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Uncle Tom's Cabin

  • Originally published 06/02/2013

    The Real Uncle Tom and the Unknown South He Helped Create

    Thomas Fleming

    Illustration for 1853 edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Credit: Wiki Commons.Today’s readers of Uncle Tom’s Cabin have no idea that there was a real Uncle Tom. Neither did the readers of the 1850s. His name was Josiah Henson. He was born a slave in Maryland in 1789. Harriet Beecher Stowe admitted that his story was part of the inspiration for her novel. But she never adequately explained why her fictional Uncle Tom was so different from the real one.