Little Topsy's Song


In the October 21, 1852, issue of Eliza Cook’s Journal, there is an extended article about Harriet Beecher Stowe’s new book Uncle Tom’s Cabin. “Wherever you go,” Cook wrote, “there is Uncle Tom’s Cabin for sale. … Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, an American lady … has now become a household word. It is nearly as superfluous also to say anything about the story with which the people are so familiar…”

“It is said that the characters are exaggerated. … But it must be remembered that Mrs. Stowe, throughout her work, asserts that the Black race are peculiarly distinguished by active and tender emotions,

which render them more than ordinarily faithful and affectionate,—by great patience, which makes them long-suffering,— and by a sense of, and love for, the ludicrous, which keeps them light-hearted in the midst of suffering. We confess that we are disposed to agree with Mrs. Stowe in these opinions.”

The following year, sheet music for “Little Topsy’s Song” was published with words by Eliza Cook (1818-1896) and music by Asa B. Hutichinson (1823-1884). This edition of the broadside was issued in New York City around 1860.

Eliza Cook (1818-1896) , Little Topsy’s Song ([New York]: H. De Marsan, ca. 1860). Graphic Arts GA 2011- in process