Corn Shucking, South Carolina, 1852

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Image Reference

Robert Criswell, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" contrasted with Buckingham Hall, the planter's home (New York, 1852), facing p. 65. (Copy in Library Company of Philadelphia)

Portrays a "corn-shucking" or husking, which takes place at night and which the author describes as follows: "The corn was piled in large heaps before the row of cabins . . . . Around the large corn heaps were seated over two hundred men and women (many of whom were from neighboring plantations), tearing off the husks and throwing the ears into separate piles; and in the midst of their employment all were chattering, laughing, singing and telling stories . . . . On the top of one of the heaps was mounted Uncle Cato, one of the principle slaves . . . . He was noted for his talent of improvisation. He would sing one or more lines of a song and the chorus would be repeated by all the others . . . ." (pp. 65-66). The author travelled through the U.S. South, but Buckingham Hall may be a fictitious name.