The intriguing sepia photograph (right) of an older man of African descent labelled as “Uncle Tom” was, according to handwriting on the back, ‘Given to John W. Chapman about 1876 by Rev-Wood Missionary at Toronto (Primitive Methodist) who knew Uncle Tom for collecting five shillings in Missionary base Y52 Hessle Road'. Unfortunately, the photograph raises more question than answers, such as did this man of African descent live or work in Hull? Was the name ‘Uncle Tom’ given to him after the leading character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel, Uncle Tom'sCabin and why was the picture given to John W. Chapman by Reverend Wood? Sadly, for now these questions, along with many more, remain unanswered: so if you have any information about this image or any of the men mentioned in this post, please click here to contact us.
This picture is part of Hull Museums Collection but is not currently on display.