Uncle Tom's Cabin

Megan Dowell

In the early 1850's, the society of America saw whites as put together and intelligent while African Americans were seen as savages; unhygienic and mentally incapable.

Some ideas shown in these images from the 1850's other than white superiority include the glorification and beauty of the young blonde girl, and the raggedness of the African American child. These artists have portrayed children in this way in order to get whites to fear African Americans becoming a part of their society. It also shows how enslaving African Americans has made them this way; they aren't provided the opportunity to get an education and make a good life for themselves.


Most surprising about these Uncle Tom's Cabin images is the demonic portrayal of the African American girl, Topsy. She is usually shown with over exaggerated make-up as well as a crazy or intense facial expression. This could concern viewers as a result of her surprisingly deranged look.