tense, as the minstrel version of Kunkel's Troupe played at the Maryland Institute while the "moral and religious drama" of Uncle Tom's Cabin played at the Charles St. Theatre. Ford began running advertisements stating "[see] the Real Happy Uncle Tom at the Maryland Institute,"8 promoting "the truth of slavery,"9 and warning readers to "look out for the nigger who sold himself to the Devil; Uncle Tom's Cabin performed nightly."10 Advertisements for the minstrel and melodrama versions of the novel appeared next to each other in the newspaper. Yet, even though the shows were competing for the attention of Baltimore audiences, The Sun did not take either side in the debate, nor did it report any disturbances as a result of the competing shows. The same thing happened when Christy's Minstrels visited Baltimore from their New York home, and included the "Happy Uncle Tom's Dance"11 as part of their act, while the Aiken version of the novel was being performed at the Charles St. Theatre. Baltimore, unlike other parts of the nation, was able to separate its theatre from its controversial politics because Baltimore society was extremely conscious and wary of anything that upset the social and political balance in the city. Minstrel and Southern adaptations of Uncle Tom's Cabin coexisted relatively peacefully with Northern, melodramatic adaptations on the Baltimore stage because the diversity of Baltimore's population curbed any tendency in the population to support one version over another.
The situation of Baltimore, between North and South politically, culturally, and economically, the diversity of its population, and the variety of viewpoints of its citizens allowed all adaptations of Uncle Tom's Cabin to be performed without problems, from the most unabashedly abolitionist to the most appalling minstrel burlesque. The only concrete rule in Baltimore theatre was the importance of money and success over the content of the shows. Shows were either good or bad, interesting or boring. Any theatre could milk the name of Uncle Tom for as much as it was worth, and they did. For example, beginning on November 14, 1853, "Uncle Pat's Cabin" was produced at the Baltimore Museum. Here is the newspaper description:
The new drama, written for Mr. And Mrs. B. Williams, entitled "Uncle Pat's Cabin," which has been performed in Philadelphia and New York to crowded houses, will be produced this evening. Mr. Williams performs the part of Micky Malone, and Mrs. Williams that of widow Casey. It portrays, in a vivid manner, the wrongs and misfortunes endured by the people of that beautiful but misgoverned country [Ireland] and is replete with thrilling interest…Uncle Pat's Cabin is having an unexampled run at this favorite house. On each night of its performance hundreds are unable to gain admittance.12
8 The Sun. 35, no. 42 (6 July 1854), 3.
9 The Sun. 35, no. 55 (19 July 1854), 3.
10 The Sun. 35, no. 48 (12 July 1854), 3.
11 The Sun. 36, no. 123 (10 April 1855), 3.
12 The Sun. 33, no. 45 (14 November 1853), 2.