Stowe provides further details about her story based on actual events in A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
In Chapter XXIV, it is Little Eva who has a dramatic impact on Topsy’s behavior. Watching the children discuss Topsy’s behavior causes St. Clare and Miss Ophelia to realize that there is something they too can learn from a child. Stowe expresses Little Eva’s ability to help reform Topsy in Chapter VII of A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Stowe saw little Eva as the “childish form of the love of Christ.” Her judgement of Miss Ophelia’s character at this moment, is that of great sin.
The full story of this connection can be read in Chapter VII, “Miss Ophelia” of A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.