Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe
Release Date: February 19, 2004 [EBook #11171]
Character set encoding: Us-ASCII
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[Transcriber’s note: there is no Chapter XI.]
YOUNG FOLKS’ EDITION
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
UNCLE TOM AND LITTLE HARRY ARE SOLD
Very many years ago, instead of having servants to wait upon them and work for them, people used to have slaves. These slaves were paid no wages. Their masters gave them only food and clothes in return for their work.
When any one wanted servants he went to market to buy them, just as nowadays we buy horses and cows, or even tables and chairs.
If the poor slaves were bought by kind people they would be quite happy. Then they would work willingly for their masters and mistresses, and even love them. But very often cruel people bought slaves. These cruel people used to beat them and be unkind to them in many other ways.
It was very wicked to buy and sell human beings as if they were cattle. Yet Christian people did it, and many who were good and kind otherwise thought there was no wrong in being cruel to their poor slaves. ’They are only black people,’ they said to themselves. ’Black people do not feel things as we do.’ That was not kind, as black people suffer pain just in the same way as white people do.
One of the saddest things for the poor slaves was that they could never long be a happy family all together—father, mother, and little brothers and sisters—because at any time the master might sell the father or the mother or one of the children to some one else. When this happened those who were left behind were very sad indeed—more sad than if their dear one had died.
Uncle Tom was a slave. He was a very faithful and honest servant, and his master, Mr. Shelby, was kind to him. Uncle Tom’s wife was called Aunt Chloe. She was Mr. Shelby’s head cook, and a very good one too, she was. Nobody in all the country round could make such delicious pies and cakes as Aunt Chloe.
Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe lived together in a pretty little cottage built of wood, quite close to Mr. Shelby’s big house.
The little cottage was covered with climbing roses, and the garden was full of beautiful bright flowers and lovely fruit trees.