The original "Uncle Tom's Cabin", made famous in the renowned 19th-century novel of slavery, was sold to a suburban Washington county for one million dollars, local officials said last Tuesday.
The rustic log cabin in Bethesda, Maryland is the original home of Josiah Henson, the model for Uncle Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 story of African-American slavery.
A ceremony marking the sale of the cabin, which is attached to a more modern-looking whitewashed three-bedroom colonial home in the wealthy suburb, took place last Monday on the occasion of the birthday of US civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Montgomery County officials moved to buy the property as a historical landmark after it was put up for sale late last year by the family of the most recent owner, Hildegarde Mallet-Prevost, who died in September at the age of 100.
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission plans to restore the cabin and open it to the public.
Stowe penned "Uncle Tom's Cabin", a best-seller which galvanised anti-slavery advocates in the period running up to the US Civil War, based on Henson's own diary of his life in bondage, which he wrote in 1849.
Born in 1789, Henson was traded as a youth to a plantation on which the cabin was located.
There, he rose to become farm superintendent, running things for a white owner he branded "incompetent" in the business.
In 1830, he moved away and eventually settled near Ontario, Canada, where today another "Uncle Tom's Cabin" draws tourists.