The Riley House/Uncle Tom's Cabin is a historic resource of national and international significance because of its association with Josiah Henson, whose memoirs inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe's landmark novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin." The Riley tobacco farm was where Henson lived and worked as a enslaved African American from 1795 to 1830. The existing building is the 18th century Riley home with a log kitchen wing. Henson specifically describes this kitchen wing and his experience of sleeping in this room in his memoirs. Many of his experiences of living as a slave on the Riley property are vividly depicted in his memoirs and recreated in Stowe's novel. Henson eventually escaped to Canada, where he established a "fugitive slave" colony and became a speaker and writer. The impact of Stowe's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" cannot be underestimated. Published in 1852, it broke all sales records of the time and sold over half a million copies by 1857. It inspired and enflamed the abolitionist movement in the mid-19th Century and many believe it helped to propel the nation toward civil war.
Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.
Location: 11420 Old Georgetown Road, Rockville, Montgomery, 20910
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Peter Boettinger
Location Type: Site
People/Organizations Associated with the site: Harriet Beecher Stowe
Freedom Seekers: Josiah Henson