It's pretty irksome the way people use the term "Uncle Tom." Tom is just an old man who's learned to forgive the world for stepping on him, he never did anything spiteful or malicious to anybody in the book. He actually gets beaten to death to protect the escapees.
I mean, damn, what'd he do to posterity to get this bug up its bum? Aside from being a character consciously written to be sympathetic by a contemporary abolitionist, I mean.