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Anti-slavery activist and writer Harriet Beecher Stowe could not have foreseen the phenomenal impact and undying controversy that still surrounds "Uncle Tom's Cabin," her first and most famous novel. The book, which first appeared in sections in the anti-slavery periodical The National Era, immediately set off a firestorm of controversy and heated debate about the moral consequences of owning slaves. Its publication galvanized the anti-slavery movement in America to such an extent that President Lincoln, upon meeting Stowe, jokingly suggested that she started the Civil War.
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born on June 14, 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut, one of nine children of the famous Puritan preacher and educator Lyman Beecher and his first wife, Roxanna Foote Beecher. She moved with her family in 1832 to Cincinnati, Ohio, and there she married Calvin Ellis Stowe in 1836. Through her father's work, Stowe became involved in religious and moral thought as a young child, which continued after her marriage when her husband eventually became a professor of Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati.
Stowe's first novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, is also her most famous. Stowe began writing the novel at the urging of her sister, who asked Stowe to use her writing talents in the cause of eradicating slavery. The death of her youngest child from cholera also motivated her, as she began to fully sympathize with the plight of slave mothers whose children were sold away from them. She began writing the novel after the family moved to Brunswick, Maine, where her husband had been appointed to the faculty of Bowdoin College. The novel first appeared in installments in The National Era in 1851-1852 and appeared in book form in 1852. Within a year, the novel had reached sales of 300,000, and in England, sales had reached 1,000 copies per week by August of 1852. Stowe could not have foreseen the book's immediate and controversial impact.
From the second it was published, the book galvanized anti-slavery opinion in the north and angered readers in the South. The book endured its share of critical drubbings as well, including a review from The London Times that claimed the book would only appeal to readers with strong hearts and weak intellects. But the book's impact was immediate and astonishing, creating a public reaction that cemented the book's status in American literature as a work that would endure and survive as far more than mere anti-slavery propaganda. The book's success was so surprising to Stowe, she claimed that she did not write the book so much as take dictation from God.
Despite her clear anti-slavery position, Stowe and her novel continue to draw intense criticism for the novel's condescending portrayal of blacks. While some educators have stressed the importance of understanding the time period in which the novel was written (when views toward racial equality were not nearly as progressive as they are today), others have been unable to forgive her simplistic and often startlingly insulting portrayals of black characters. The book's literary merits have also been debated from the time it was first published; it received several negative reviews, and many critics today do not consider the novel to be a remarkable aesthetic achievement.
Stowe's life before and after the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin was tumultuous, marked by poverty, ill health, and the deaths of two of her children. Though she attained financial success after the publication of the book, its sequel, Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp, was not nearly as successful. After its publication, she began writing novels set in New England, including The Minister's Wooing, Oldtown Folks, and Poganuc People. She died in Hartford, Connecticut on July 1, 1896.
Adams, John R. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1989.
Crow, Martha Foote. Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Biography For Girls. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1913.
Encyclopedia Americana, International Edition, Volume 25. Danbury, Connecticut: Grolier Incorporated, 1994.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's Cabin. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1995.
Uncle Tom, a slave on the Shelby plantation, is loved by his owners, their son, and every slave on the property. He lives contentedly with his wife and children in their own cabin until Mr. Shelby, deeply in debt to a slave trader named Haley, agrees to sell Tom and Harry, the child of his wife's servant Eliza. Tom is devastated but vows that he will not run away, as he believes that to do so would plunge his master so far into debt that he would be forced to sell every slave.
Just before Tom is taken away, Mrs. Shelby promises him that she will buy him back as soon as she can gather the funds. Tom is sold to Haley, who eventually sells him to a kindly master named Mr. St. Clare.
Eliza, however, cannot bear to part with her son and escapes the night before he is to be taken from her. She escapes successfully and makes her way to a Quaker village, with a family that harbors slaves. There, she is reunited with her husband George, who lived on a neighboring plantation and has also escaped to flee his master's cruelty. The couple and their son spend a night with the Quaker family before returning to the underground railroad.
Tom befriends his new master and especially his young daughter Eva, who shares Tom's deep religious faith and devotion. Eva abhors cruelty and eventually is so overcome with grief over slavery that when she becomes ill, she accepts her impending death peacefully and tells her family and their servants that she is happy knowing that she is going to heaven, where such cruelty does not exist. St. Clare begins to confront the realization that he believes slavery is evil, and he promises Tom that he will fill out forms guaranteeing his freedom in the event of St. Clare's death.
Shortly after Eva dies, her father dies tragically in an accident, and Tom's fate is left entirely in the hands of Marie, St. Clare's selfish and unsympathetic wife. Marie decides to move back to her parents' estate and to sell all the slaves, despite Miss Ophelia's exhortation that Marie should fulfill St. Clare's promise to give Tom his freedom. Marie refuses, and just before he is sold, he writes a letter to the Shelbys (with the help of Mr. Legree) telling them his plight and asking for their help. The letter goes unanswered, and Tom ends up in the hands of Simon Legree, an evil and bitter plantation owner whose philosophy is to work his slaves hard and replace them when they inevitably die just a few years later.
On Legree's plantation, Tom meets two fellow slaves, Emmeline and Cassy. Emmeline is a young mulatto woman sold to Legree at the same time as Tom, and she attempts to befriend the embittered Cassy, who has suffered at the hands of Legree for several years. Cassy has seen her children sold and is so destitute that Tom's pleas that she put her faith and trust in God fall on deaf ears. Legree soon comes to hate Tom after Tom refuses to beat and discipline the other slaves. Legree had planned to turn Tom into a brutal overseer, and when he realizes that Tom will not participate in cruelty, he becomes enraged and takes out his wrath on Tom. Tom becomes discouraged until he has a vision of heaven one night as he is drifting off to sleep. The vision reinvigorates him, and he decides it is his mission to suffer for the other slaves. He regularly fills their cotton baskets at the expense of his own, gives them his food and water, and reads the Bible to them.
Tom's acts of kindness enrage Legree, and when Emmeline and Cassy escape, he demands that Tom tell him everything he knows. Tom admits that he knew of their plans to escape and is aware of their whereabouts, but he refuses to disclose where they are. Legree beats Tom so severely that after a few days, he dies.
Cassy and Emmeline eventually escape, and they happen to wind up on the same northern-bound ferry as George Shelby, who is rooming next to a woman named Madame de Thoux. Through conversation, it is discovered that Eliza Harris is Cassy's daughter, and George Harris is Madame de Thoux's brother. Cassy and Madame de Thoux journey together to Canada, where they are reunited with their family. Madame de Thoux reveals that her husband has left her a large inheritance, and they all move to France together, where George is educated. The family then relocates to Africa, and Cassy's long-lost son, who has been traced, joins them. Topsy moves with Miss Ophelia to New England, then moves to Africa to work as a missionary. George Shelby gives all the servants on the Shelby farm their freedom, and tells them to be Christians and to think of Tom.
Uncle Tom: The central figure of the book, Tom is a slave on the Shelby farm in Kentucky. Honest, faithful, and deeply religious, Tom lives in a cabin on the farm with his wife Chloe and their two children. His love for his family and respect for his master is upstaged only by his unbending piety. Though he cannot write well and is a slow reader, having learned late in life, he reads his Bible nightly and leads prayer groups and hymn singing amongst the slaves. His hard work, devotion, and dedication to God make him the most valuable slave on the Shelby family, which ironically leads to Tom's undoing. When Mr. Shelby falls deeply into debt, he decides that the only way to save the estate is to sell Tom. Tom first ends up in the hands of Mr. St. Clare, and is taken to live with the St. Clare family on their plantation in Louisiana. Mr. St. Clare is extremely generous and kind, and his small daughter Eva is a delight and comfort to everyone on the plantation. But after both Eva and Mr. St. Clare die tragically, Tom's fate is left in the hands of Marie, Mr. St. Clare's selfish and unsympathetic wife. When Miss Ophelia, Mr. St. Clare's prudent but kind cousin, appeals to Marie to fulfill her late husband's promises to Tom to set him free, her pleas fall on deaf ears. Tom is eventually sold to the brutal Simon Legree, who works his slaves literally to death. On the Legree plantation, Tom endures trials he has never experienced, and his faith is nearly broken. But after he receives a vision of heaven, Tom's faith returns, stronger than ever, much to the chagrin of Mr. Legree. Tom vows to help the other slaves, who are at first suspicious of his motives. But when the slaves realize that he is sincere, they begin to treat him kindly and listen to his messages about God. When Tom refuses Mr. Legree's demands to beat other slaves (a tactic in Legree's plan to brutalize Tom, thus making him an effective overseer of other slaves), Legree becomes enraged and beats Tom severely. Though Tom eventually dies from his wounds, his faith is unshaken, and he whispers on his death bed that he is happy because he knows he will soon see heaven.
Eliza Harris: A beautiful mulatto slave on the Shelby farm. Though her mistress, Mrs. Shelby, adores her, her master, Mr. Shelby, falls into a slave trader's debt and decides to settle it by selling Eliza's beloved son Harry to the slave trader. Eliza, who has already lost two children, adores Harry and decides to flee to Canada, where she hopes to meet with her husband (a slave on a nearby plantation who decided to flee a day earlier). She is deeply pious but also brave and fiercely protective of her son. She eventually makes it to Canada with her husband and son, in part due to her steely resolve and her commitment to her faith.
George Harris: Eliza's husband. George is extremely intelligent, having invented a machine for the cleaning of hemp, and his master permits him to work in a factory off the plantation (though his master keeps George's money). But when the master sees that George is respected and admired at the factory, he yanks him out and puts him to work on mindless drudgery to 'keep him in his place.' George's intelligence is matched only by his pride and staunch refusal to be treated disrespectfully. He decides to flee to Canada, leaving his wife behind (he soon meets up with her when she is forced to flee as well). George is deeply skeptical of God, having endured endless tragedy in his life. But he learns to accept God, albeit begrudgingly at first, with the help of Eliza.
Evangeline St. Clare: The daughter of the kindly Mr. St. Clare and his selfish wife Marie, Eva is a living embodiment of Christ to Tom, Mr. St. Clare, his cousin Miss Ophelia, and the slaves on the St. Clare plantation. Unusually mature and sensitive for a child her age, Eva delights in the company of her family's servants and regards them as completely equal beings. Eva is also utterly selfless and delights in any opportunity to help others, sometimes at the expense of her own needs. She also helps others to improve themselves, often after other methods have been exhausted. But she is deeply disturbed and troubled by the injustices of slavery, so much that it wears down upon her already fragile constitution. When she sees or hears of injustice, the normally happy girl becomes so melancholy and dejected that it worries others. Eventually, Eva becomes ill; many on the plantation remark that she seemed almost too heavenly to be real, as if she were an angel sent down for a short time to touch the lives of others.
Augustine St. Clare: Tom's second master. St. Clare is kind and generous to his servants; he refuses to strike them and lets them do mostly as they please. He is not religious and is somewhat lazy and lackadaisical in nature; though he is generally benevolent, he has had a difficult life--his beloved mother died when he was young, and the woman he adored married another man. He spends his days resigned to living with his wife, a cruel and vain Southern aristocrat. He loathes the institution of slavery but does not free his slaves, and he pleads that though he detests the institution, he is resigned to it because he is powerless to stop it. His life seems to lose all meaning when his beloved daughter Eva dies, as she was St. Clare's principal reason for being. His attitude toward slavery begins to change after her death, and he decides that he must devote the rest of his life to eradicating the institution and helping the poor, though he is not certain how he plans to pursue this. His ideas are rendered moot when he is killed in a tragic accident days after Eva's death.
Marie St. Clare: Augustine St. Clare's vain and selfish wife; Eva's mother.
Miss Ophelia: St. Clare's sensible cousin, Miss Ophelia is a pious, hard-working, no-nonsense New Englander who comes to live with the St. Clare family. Though she staunchly supports abolition, Miss Ophelia is forced to confront her own hypocrisy when she finds herself in charge of a young slave girl, Topsy. Initially repulsed by Topsy and afraid to touch her, Miss Ophelia eventually realizes, through the delicate guidance of Eva, the error of her ways. She sets Topsy free and raises her in Vermont, where she returns after Mr. St. Clare dies.
Topsy: The young slave girl St. Clare purchases and puts in Miss Ophelia's charge. Topsy has been raised and treated cruelly, with no family to care for her, and is disruptive and unwelcome by all except Tom, St. Clare, Eva, and Miss Ophelia, who soon grows exasperated with Topsy and admits that she cannot truly love a black child. Eventually, Eva befriends Topsy and tells her that she loves her, something Topsy has never heard before. After Eva dies, Topsy is heartbroken, and Miss Ophelia vows that she will try to love the girl the best she can. She eventually convinces Topsy of her sincerity, and the girl begins to try to sincerely change.
Simon Legree: One of the most hated characters in American literature, Simon Legree is a plantation owner from Louisiana who terrorizes his slaves. Legree's philosophy is to work his slaves as much as possible until they die, then replace them. A hard, cruel and embittered man, Legree is secretly haunted by visions of his dead mother, who implored him on her death bed to change his ways. Though Legree almost had a change of heart, he eventually ignored his mother's pleas and continued his lifestyle. He is tortured by nightmares and plagued by superstition, and the nightmares become more vivid and frequent when Legree is at his most cruel. His cruelty reaches new highs after he purchases Uncle Tom with the hopes of turning him into a brutal overseer. Enraged by Tom's staunch refusal to participate in acts of violence against other slaves, Legree beats him so severely that he eventually dies.
George Shelby: Mr. and Mrs. Shelby's son. George adores Tom and is deeply saddened and angered when his father sells him. When he finds out, years later, that Tom has been sold at auction, he tracks him down and finds him on his death bed. George buries Tom and declares on Tom's grave that he will devote the rest of his life to trying to eradicate slavery. Later, he frees all his slaves and tells them that they are welcome to stay on the Shelby farm if they like, but that if they do, he will now pay them for their work.
Cassy: A slave woman on Legree's plantation; she is deeply skeptical of religion, but becomes close to Tom. His intervention prevents her from killing Legree; she eventually escapes with Emmeline through an ingenious plan she devises.
Tom Loker: Slave catcher dispatched to find George, Eliza and Harry. He is shot by George, but changes his profession and attitudes when the fugitives bring the wounded man to a Quaker village, where he recuperates.
Sambo: Legree's slave/overseer. He is cruel and abusive to the other slaves until Tom dies, when Tom's peace and forgiveness move him to embrace Christianity.
Haley: The slave trader who buys Tom and Harry. He is a coarse, gruff, and ill-mannered man who has little conscience regarding his line of work.
Mrs. Shelby: Mr. Shelby's wife, George's mother, and Eliza's mistress. She is shocked by her husband's decision to sell Tom and Harry, though she understands the financial reality. She adores Eliza and cannot bear to see Harry sold. Mrs. Shelby rejoices when she realizes that Eliza and Harry have escaped, and she purposely delays the search party dispatched to find them for several hours. She vows to Tom that she will raise money to redeem him, and tells her husband that she will be willing to work, if need be. Her fierce devotion to her slaves and her piety lead her to believe that the institution is cruel, and she bitterly protests a system that allows human beings to be bought and sold and treated cruelly.
Harry: George and Eliza Harris' young son, who is sold to Haley. He escapes with his parents.
God: Spoken of often in the book, God is the most important figure in the lives of many of Uncle Tom's Cabin's characters (most notably Tom, who does not reject his faith in God even after he is treated cruelly and is beaten savagely). All of the morally upstanding characters in Stowe's book either believe deeply in God or come to do so by the end of the book. Stowe, herself deeply religious, believed that God could be a source of comfort and strength to the slaves, and she viewed slavery as an unchristian institution, a point she makes repeatedly in the book.
Jesus Christ: Plays the same role as God in the lives of many of the characters. Jesus is particularly meaningful to Tom, because Christ's death at the hands of his tormentors is similar to Tom's treatment and murder. He compares his suffering to that of Christ and refuses to try to escape, believing that Jesus has endowed him with the mission to protect the poor and lowly on Earth, as Jesus himself did in Tom's beloved Bible.
Mr. Shelby: Owner of the estate where Tom is a slave. Though Mr. Shelby is kind, he finds himself deeply in debt to Haley and realizes he must sell Tom and Harry despite his wife's strong objections. He is a practical man, and though he regrets his decision deeply, he realizes that he must either sell his most valuable slaves or sell all the others combined. He does not, however, share his wife's feeling that they are duty-bound to raise money to buy Tom back, as he believes that from a businessman's perspective, it would be impossibly costly. He dies several years after Tom is sold.
Alfred St. Clare: Augustine St. Clare's (twin) brother and the father of Henrique. Though they get along well, Alfred and St. Clare could not have less in common; unlike St. Clare, Alfred is a driven businessman who sees his slaves only as a more efficient means of making money. Though not as cruel as Simon Legree, he does not treat his slaves as human beings.
Henrique: Alfred St. Clare's privileged son and Eva's cousin. Henrique adores Eva and is capable of kindness but has a hot temper and, like his father, believes that slaves should be kept in line and made to remember their station.
Mr. Bird: The Ohio senator who agrees to help Eliza in her attempt to flee, despite the fact that he had just voted on legislation that would make it a crime for Ohio residents to offer food and shelter to fugitive slaves.
Mrs. Bird: Mr. Bird's wife, who vociferously objects to Mr. Bird's legislation and insists to her husband that he would help a slave if confronted with the situation. She readily agrees to harbor Eliza for the evening, while the couple decides what to do with her.
Marks: Slave catcher in business with Tom Loker.
Emmeline: Slave girl sold at auction, along with Tom, to Legree. She is sold away from her mother, and later escapes Legree's plantation with Cassy.
Prue: Slave from a plantation near the St. Clares who drinks to escape from the horrors of her life. She is eventually beaten to death by her master.
Madame de Thoux: A woman George Shelby meets on a ferry; She is George Harris' long-lost sister.
Phineas Fletcher: Quaker man who helps George, Eliza, Harry and other fugitives from the Hallidays to their next stop in their escape to Canada.
Rachel Halliday: Quaker woman who accommodates George, Eliza and Harry during their escape.
Simeon Halliday: Rachel Halliday's husband.
Mr. Wilson: George's boss in the factory; he encourages George not to run away, then changes his mind and sympathizes with him.
Sam and Andy: Slaves on the Shelby farm; they purposely delay their search with Mr. Haley, enabling Eliza to successfully escape.
Dinah, Rosa, Adolph, Mammy: Slaves on the St. Clare plantation.
Quimbo: Legree's other slave/overseer. He is as cruel as Sambo, but undergoes a similar change of heart when Tom dies.
Chloe: Tom's wife; she is heartbroken when Tom is sold, as she believes he will end up on a Southern plantation, where she fears he will be murdered. She is overcome with grief when she learns that her suspicions have come true.
Tom's Bible: Tom's well-worn and heavily marked Bible is his most treasured possession. He keeps it with him constantly, even after he is sold to Legree, who objects strongly to Tom's piety. Though he is a slow reader, having learned late, he patiently reads his favorite verses and marks them with pencil. He also loves to have it read to him, as two of his favorite people, George Shelby and later Eva, often do. The Bible is the most visible symbol of the deep religious faith that is Tom's most prominent characteristic. Ultimately, he clings to his religion even in the face of his slow, agonizing and unjust death.
Uncle Tom's Cabin: Though it is the book's title, Uncle Tom's Cabin, where Tom lives with his wife Chloe and their two children, actually does not appear often in the book. It is, however, an extremely important locale, as it represents the kind of life Tom had before he was sold. His residence in the cabin is comfortable, and though his master owns it, the cabin is Tom's domain. His existence is nearly ideal for a slave, and it seems extremely stable. The fact that he is forced to leave his cabin, and all that it means for him, illustrates Stowe's point that no slaves, even well-treated ones, are safe as long as humans can be bought and sold to anyone who can afford it.
Eva's Curl: Just before Eva dies, she cuts off a sample of her long, beautiful curls and gives them to each of the slaves on her father's property. Everyone, particularly Topsy and Eva, treasures the curls, as they are a visible reminder of Eva's uncommonly kind and generous nature. Topsy treasures the curl because Eva was the first and only person to tell her that she loved her. Tom treasures the curl because of his deep and intimate friendship with Eva, who often read him his Bible and discussed religion and slavery with him. Just before he is sold to Legree, Tom hides Eva's curl in a sheet of paper and carries it with him at all times. When Tom is beaten, the brutal overseer and slave Sambo confiscates it and shows it to Legree, who finds the sight of it revolting and horrifying. For Legree, the curl represents his dead mother, who implored him on her deathbed to change his cruel ways. Legree ignored her and left home, and while he was at sea he received a letter, containing a message that his mother had forgiven him before she died. The letter also contained a lock of her hair. For Legree, the memory of his dead mother serves as his conscience, which he tries to avoid thinking about at all costs.
George's Dollar: George gives Tom a dollar just before he is taken away by the slave trader Haley. George attaches the dollar to a string and ties it around Tom's neck, telling him not to forget him. The dollar is taken from Tom, along with Eva's curl, when Sambo beats him.
Quote 1: "'Yes Eliza, it's all misery, misery, misery! My life is bitter as wormwood; the very life is burning out of me. I'm a poor, miserable, forlorn drudge; I shall only drag you down with me, that's all. What's the use of our trying to do anything, trying to know anything, trying to be anything? What's the use of living? I wish I was dead!'" Chapter 2, pg. 18
Quote 2: "'This is God's curse on slavery!--a bitter, bitter, most accursed thing!--a curse to the master and a curse to the slave! I was a fool to think I could make anything good out of such a deadly evil.'" Chapter 5, pg. 36
Quote 3: "'If I must be sold, or all the people on the place, and everything go to rack, why, let me be sold. I s'pose I can b'ar it as well as any on 'em.'" Chapter 5, pg. 37
Quote 4: "The huge green fragment of ice on which she alighted pitched and creaked as her weight came on it, but she staid there not a moment. With wild cries and desperate energy she leaped to another and still another cake;--stumbling--leaping--slipping--springing upwards again! Her shoes are gone--her stocking cut from her feet--while blood marked every step; but she saw nothing, felt nothing, till dimly, as in a dream, she saw the Ohio side, and a man helping her up the bank." Chapter 7, pg. 61
Quote 5: "'You ought to be ashamed, John! Poor, homeless, houseless creatures! It's a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I'll break it, for one, the first time I get a chance; and I hope I shall have a chance, I do! Things have got to a pretty pass, if a woman can't give a warm supper and a bed to poor, starving creatures, just because they are slaves, and have been abused and oppressed all their lives, poor things!'" Chapter 9, pg. 81
Quote 6: "'I have lost two, one after another,--left 'em buried there when I came away; and I had only this one left. I never slept a night without him; he was all I had. He was my comfort and pride, day and night; and, ma'am, they were going to take him away from me,--to sell him,--sell him down south, ma'am, to go all alone,--a baby that had never been away from his mother in his life!'" Chapter 9, pg. 85
Quote 7: "Her form was the perfection of childish beauty, without its usual chubbiness and squareness of outline. There was about it an undulating and aerial grace, such as one might dream of for some mythic and allegorical being. Her face was remarkable less for its perfect beauty of feature than for a singular and dreamy earnestness of expression, which made the ideal start when they looked at her, and by which the dullest and most literal were impressed, without exactly knowing why." Chapter 14, pg. 146
Quote 8: "'We don't own your laws; we don't own your country; we stand here as free, under God's sky, as you are; and, by the great God that made us, we'll fight for our liberty till we die.'" Chapter 17, pg. 194
Quote 9: "'I looks like gwine to heaven, an't thar where white folks is gwine? S'pose they'd have me thar? I'd rather go to torment, and get away from Mas'r and Missis. I had so.'" Chapter 18, pg. 216
Quote 10: "'When I have been travelling up and down on our boats, or about on my collecting tours, and reflected that every brutal, disgusting, mean, low-lived fellow I met, was allowed by our laws to become absolute despot of as many men, women and children, as he could cheat, steal, or gamble money enough to buy,--when I have seen such men in actual ownership of helpless children, of young girls and women,--I have been ready to curse my country, to curse the human race!'" Chapter 19, pg. 222
Quote 11: "'One thing is certain,--that there is a mustering among the masses, the world over; and there is a dis irae coming on, sooner or later. The same thing is working in Europe, in England, and in this country. My mother used to tell me of a millennium that was coming, when Christ should reign, and all men should be free and happy. And she taught me, when I was a boy, to pray, 'Thy kingdom come.' Sometimes I think all this sighing, and groaning, and stirring among the dry bones foretells what she used to tell me was coming. But who may abide the day of His appearing?'" Chapter 19, pg. 230
Quote 12: "'I'm going there, to the spirits bright, Tom; I'm going, before long.'" Chapter 22, pg. 259
Quote 13: "'There, you impudent dog! Now will you learn not to answer back when I speak to you? Take the horse back, and clean him properly. I'll teach you your place!'" Chapter 23, pg. 264
Quote 14: "'It's jest no use tryin' to keep Miss Eva here. She's got the Lord's mark on her forehead.'" Chapter 24, pg. 274
Quote 15: "'O, that's what troubles me, papa. You want me to live so happy, and never have any pain,--never suffer anything,--not even hear a sad story, when other poor creatures have nothing but pain and sorrow, all their lives;--it seems selfish. I ought to know such things, I ought to feel about them! Such things always sunk into my heart; they went down deep; I've thought and thought about them. Papa, isn't there any way to have all slaves made free?'" Chapter 24, pg. 275
Quote 16: "'I told you, Cousin, that you'd find out that these creatures can't be brought up without severity. If I had my way, now, I'd send that child out, and have her thoroughly whipped; I'd have her whipped till she couldn't stand!'" Chapter 25, pg. 278
Quote 17: "'No; she can't bar me, 'cause I'm a nigger!--she'd 's soon have a toad touch her! There can't nobody love niggers, and niggers can't do nothin'! I don't care.'" Chapter 25, pg. 280
Quote 18: "'O, Topsy, poor child, I love you! I love you, because you haven't had any father, or mother, or friends;--because you've been a poor, abused child! I love you, and I want you to be good. I am very unwell, Topsy, and I think I shan't live a great while; and it really grieves me, to have you be so naughty. I wish you would try to be good, for my sake;--it's only a little while I shall be with you.'" Chapter 25, pg. 280
Quote 19: "'Topsy, you poor child, don't give up! I can love you, though I am not like that dear little child. I hope I've learnt something of the love of Christ from her. I can love you; I do, and I'll try to help you to grow up a good Christian girl.'" Chapter 27, pg. 297
Quote 20: "'Delicacy! A fine word for such as she! I'll teach her, with all her airs, that she's no better than the raggedest black wench that walks the streets! She'll take no more airs with me!'" Chapter 29, pg. 320
Quote 21: "'Now, I'm principled against emancipating, in any case. Keep a negro under the care of a master, and he does well enough, and is respectable; but set them free, and they get lazy, and won't work, and take to drinking, and go all down to be mean, worthless fellows. I've seen it tried, hundreds of times. It's no favor to set them free.'" Chapter 29, pg. 323
Quote 22: "'I'm your church now!'" Chapter 31, pg. 336
Quote 23: "'Here, you rascal, you make believe to be so pious,--didn't you never hear, out of your Bible, 'Servants, obey yer masters'? An't I yer master? Didn't I pay down twelve hundred dollars, cash, for all there is inside yer old cussed black shell? An't yer mine, now, body and soul?'" Chapter 33, pg. 356
Quote 24: "'Poor critturs! What made 'em cruel?--and, if I give out, I shall get used to 't, and grow, little by little, just like 'em! No, no, Missis! I've lost everything,--wife and children, and home, and a kind Mas'r,--and he would have set me free, if he'd only lived a week longer; I've lost everything in this world, and it's clean gone, forever,--and now I can't lose Heaven, too; no, I can't get to be wicked, besides all!'" Chapter 34, pg. 359
Quote 25: "'When I was a girl, I thought I was religious; I used to love God and prayer. Now, I'm a lost soul, pursued by devils that torment me day and night; they keep pushing me on and on--and I'll do it, too, some of these days! I'll send him where he belongs,--a short way, too,--one of these nights, if they burn me alive for it!'" Chapter 34, pg. 366
Quote 26: "'You're afraid of me, Simon, and you've reason to be. But be careful, for I've got the devil in me!'" Chapter 35, pg. 368
Quote 27: "How long Tom lay there, he knew not. When he came to himself, the fire was gone out, his clothes were wet with the chill and drenching dews; but the dread soul-crisis was past, and, in the joy that filled him, he no longer felt hunger, cold, degradation, disappointment, wretchedness. From his deepest soul, he that hour loosed and parted from every hope in the life that now is, and offered his own will an unquestioning sacrifice to the Infinite. Tom looked up to the silent, ever-living stars,--types of the angelic hosts who ever look down on man; and the solitude of the night rung with the triumphant words of a hymn, which he had sung often in happier days, but never with such feeling as now ... " Chapter 38, pp. 388-389
Quote 28: "'No, time was when I would, but the Lord's given me a work among these yer poor souls, and I'll stay with 'em and bear my cross with 'em till the end. It's different with you; it's a snare to you,--it's more 'n you can stand,--and you'd better go if you can.'" Chapter 38, pg. 394
Quote 29: "'Hark 'e, Tom!--ye think, 'cause I've let you off before, I don't mean what I say; but, this time, I've made up my mind, and counted the cost. You've always stood it out again' me: now, I'll conquer ye, or kill ye!--one or t' other. I'll count every drop of blood there is in you, and take 'em, one by one, till ye give up!'" Chapter 40, pg. 410
Quote 30: "'Mas'r, if you was sick, or in trouble, or dying, and I could save ye, I'd give ye my heart's blood; and, if taking every drop of blood in this poor old body would save your precious soul, I'd give 'em freely, as the Lord gave his for me. O, Mas'r! don't bring this great sin on your soul! It will hurt you more than't will me! Do the worst you can, my troubles'll be over soon; but, if ye don't repent, yours won't never end!'" Chapter 40, pg. 410
Quote 31: "'There an't no more ye can do! I forgive ye, with all my soul!'" Chapter 40, pg. 411
Quote 32: "'Do tell us who is Jesus anyhow? Jesus, that's been a standin' by you so, all this night!--Who is he?'" Chapter 40, pg. 412
Quote 33: "'Don't call me poor fellow! I have been poor fellow; but that's all past and gone, now. I'm right in the door, going into glory! O, Mas'r George! Heaven has come! I've got the victory!--the Lord Jesus has given it to me! Glory be to His name!'" Chapter 41, pg. 416
Quote 34: "'I don't sell dead niggers. You are welcome to bury him where and when you like.'" Chapter 41, pg. 417
Quote 35: "'Witness, eternal God! Oh, witness, that, from this hour, I will do what one man can to drive out this curse of slavery from my land!'" Chapter 41, pg. 418
Quote 36: "'It was on his grave, my friends, that I resolved, before God, that I would never own another slave, while it is possible to free him; that nobody, through me, should ever run the risk of being parted from home and friends, and dying on a lonely plantation, as he died. So, when you rejoice in your freedom, think that you owe it to the good old soul, and pay it back in kindness to his wife and children. Think of your freedom, every time you see UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; and let it be a memorial to put you all in mind to follow in his steps, and be as honest and faithful and Christian as he was.'" Chapter 44, pg. 438
Quote 37: "A day of grace is yet held out to us. Both North and South have been guilty before God; and the Christian church has a heavy account to answer. Not by combining together, to protect injustice and cruelty, and making a common capital of sin, is this Union to be saved,--but by repentance, justice and mercy; for, not surer is the eternal law by which the millstone sinks in the ocean, than that stronger law, by which injustice and cruelty shall bring on nations the wrath of Almighty God!" Chapter 45, pg. 447
Morality 1: Seemingly sympathetic and upstanding characters are forced to confront their own hypocrisy with regard to their attitudes towards slavery. The Senator's wife acts as the morally just character, demanding to know how a Christian could endorse legislation against giving food or shelter to runaway slaves. In fact, Stowe based her decision to write this book partially on the passage of the "Fugitive Slave Act" in 1850.
Morality 2: Mr. Wilson, a sympathetic man, nonetheless condemns George's willingness to break the law as immoral, without acknowledging the immorality of the actions of George's master.
Morality 3: After condemning George, Mr. Wilson does a complete about-face and instead derides George's master's actions as immoral. Mr. Wilson's shifting view on what is the moral course of action is typical of the change of heart that many characters undergo after realizing the hypocrisy of their words and actions.
Morality 4: Miss Ophelia, though firmly opposed to slavery, confronts her own morality when she finds herself reviled by the sight of Eva hugging and kissing blacks. Stowe portrays Miss Ophelia as a devout Christian and a dutiful teacher who possesses only the flaw of hypocrisy. Miss Ophelia states that she knows it is immoral to feel the way she does, but she cannot bring herself to get past her feelings.
Morality 5: St. Clare denounces the morality of the preacher, who uses the Bible to justify the institution of slavery, an act St. Clare finds appallingly hypocritical, as he feels the Bible's teachings--especially the same Bible his beloved mother believed in so strongly--would never support such cruelty.
Morality 6: George Harris displays his high moral character, feeling pity for a man who had no concern for George other than how much money he could make off him. George is depicted as being morally superior to his pursuers, even though he shot Loker.
Morality 7: St. Clare is revealed to be a morally flawed character himself; while he abhors slavery, he feels that slaves cannot be expected to be honest because of the hopelessness of their circumstances. His diffidence is shocking to Miss Ophelia, who feels that he should be ashamed of himself for being so willing to simply dismiss such a moral abomination so easily.
Morality 8: Eva, along with Tom, is the moral center of the book. Though she is only a small child, Prue's story--and others like it--are almost too much for her to bear. More feeling and sensitive than most human beings, Eva takes such stories to heart, and they cause her personal sorrow that others do not share so fervently.
Morality 9: St. Clare argues that slavery, while terrible, cannot be stopped, as it is so pervasive:
"'When I have been travelling up and down on our boats, or about on my collecting tours, and reflected that every brutal, disgusting, mean, low-lived fellow I met, was allowed by our laws to become absolute despot of as many men, women and children, as he could cheat, steal, or gamble money enough to buy,--when I have seen such men in actual ownership of helpless children, of young girls and women,--I have been ready to curse my country, to curse the human race!'" Chapter 19, pg. 222
He argues that he himself is powerless to stop it, as it is so widespread. His sense of resignation stems partially from his laziness, and it is deeply contrary to the manner of Miss Ophelia, who believes that slavery must be stopped and that doing so is simply a matter of taking action.
Morality 10: Marie, portrayed as a wholly immoral and selfish woman, believes that blacks are inherently bad people who are naturally prone to criminal activity. She holds this belief so strongly that she can justify the most blatantly cruel and overzealous discipline, believing that if the person being disciplined is black, they probably did something to deserve such punishment.
Morality 11: The morality tables are turned--St. Clare is morally superior when his conscience compels him to buy Topsy, as she is clearly suffering. Miss Ophelia's hypocrisy resurfaces, as she finds the child repulsive and wants nothing to do with her.
Morality 12: Mrs. Shelby is shown as morally superior to her husband. Even though her husband is outwardly kind, he is not above owning slaves and would rather promise them nothing and not get their hopes up than to teach them morality and then honor it. This view angers Mrs. Shelby, who believes firmly that they cannot teach their slaves that the teachings of the Bible don't apply to them.
Morality 13: Eva is proven to be morally superior to her mother; yet, Eva adores her mother despite her shortcomings. Eva is of sufficient moral fiber that she has no desire whatsoever for material possessions; she only desires the happiness of others.
Morality 14: Eva is deeply saddened by her cousin's immoral treatment of his servant; she loves her cousin but cannot bear to see how he treats the boy so cruelly. Eva thanks the servant, as she feels bad for him and wants to comfort him.
Morality 15: Eva demonstrates again that she cannot bear injustice, and the normally sweet and docile girl rebukes her cousin for his brutality.
Morality 16: Miss Ophelia realizes the error of her ways and admits that Eva is morally superior to her. She compares Eva to Christ and hopes to achieve that level of morality.
Morality 17: Again, Eva is proven to be morally superior to her mother. She takes the opportunity to make sure that Topsy is not reprimanded for trying to do a good deed, and she graciously asks the girl to bring her flowers every day, knowing that it will bring Topsy pleasure to do so.
Morality 18: Eva has taught Miss Ophelia a great deal, and her teachings and love are helping Miss Ophelia to be more accepting.
Morality 19: Miss Ophelia expresses her belief that not only is slavery immoral, but it leads to immorality among the enslaved, an immorality that is not inherent to the free.
Morality 20: St. Clare begins to heed his nagging conscience, questioning his treatment of his servants and his past inaction against the institution of slavery. He tells Miss Ophelia that he cannot be a Christian until he speaks out against the injustice.
Morality 21: Miss Ophelia points out to Marie the immorality and cruelty of her actions, and Marie's utter lack of moral fiber is exposed in her belief that blacks are inferior and must be held to a lower station.
Morality 22: Here, the reader is introduced to the utterly depraved Legree, who exhibits a similar lack of moral fiber to Marie, though he dispenses violent discipline himself.
Morality 23: A product of Legree's immorality is his superstition. The hair is symbolic of his conscience; secretly, he knows that he treated his mother horribly, and he views the curl of hair with horror and revulsion, as it stirs up feelings in his subconscious that he does not want to face.
Morality 24: Legree is again made to suffer for his depravity through his subconscious. At the root of his terrifying dream is the knowledge that he may yet suffer and have to answer for his cruelty to his slaves.
Morality 25: Tom Loker is another character who raises his moral standing through the kindness and Christianity of others.
Morality 26: Tom's high moral standards are derived from his religious faith; when Cassy asks him to kill Legree, he replies that he would sooner chop off his own hand. This demonstrates his earlier belief that it is better to suffer and be redeemed later than to let one's earthly suffering degenerate into cruelty. When he tells Cassy to love her enemies, her response that mortal beings cannot do so, moves Tom to explain to her that the only way to bear these situations is through faith in God.
Morality 27: Tom's statement that he would die for his master is demonstrative of the kind of docility that enrages readers to this day; many are angry that he not only refuses to defend himself, but would die for a man who treats him so cruelly. But for Tom, it is worth risking death to save another soul; his faith in God and love of Jesus is that strong. His warning chills Legree and almost brings the guilty feelings stirring in his subconscious to the surface, but he resists them.
Morality 28: The horrifically violent manner of Tom's murder stirs George so passionately that he has a moral epiphany, realizing that he must dedicate his life to the eradication of slavery.
Redemption 1: Tom's firm belief that his soul will be redeemed in the afterlife accounts for his ability to weather otherwise unbearable circumstances. His rigid faith and piety are a major source of controversy surrounding the novel, as many critics fault the character for his servitude and willingness to bear even the most blatant injustices.
Redemption 2: Tom, knowing that St. Clare is not a practicing Christian and uncertain as to whether his master believes in God, prays that St. Clare converts, so that his kindness and good deeds on earth will not go unrewarded in the afterlife.
Redemption 3: Again, Tom prays for the redemption of St. Clare's soul, an act that St. Clare finds amusing but also secretly moving.
Redemption 4: Tom tries to comfort a suffering and afflicted person by promising that if she believes in Christ, she will be rewarded in Heaven despite her suffering on earth.
Redemption 5: Tom is confronted with a challenging case, as Prue's suffering at the hands of her white torturers has been so great that she wants no part of a Heaven filled with white people. Her utter dejection and discouragement are unsettling to Tom, who firmly believes that Prue is destined for suffering in the afterlife if she cannot accept Christ. Her utter despair fills him with sorrow, and he is overcome with pity for her.
Redemption 6: Another parallel is drawn between Eva and Christ, as Eva says she would gladly give her life so that others might not suffer, causing the servants to remark that she is too pure to be wholly of this world.
Redemption 7: Eva expresses her fear that her father will not be redeemed if he does not learn to accept and love God.
Redemption 8: St. Clare begins to reluctantly explore religion, feeling that it might somehow bring him closer to his beloved daughter.
Redemption 9: In the face of a gruesome beating by Legree and his overseers, Tom's faith is tested, but he bears it and doesn't fight back, believing that if he answers only to God, his faith and piety will be redeemed and rewarded.
Redemption 10: Tom shares with Cassy his belief that it is better to be beaten down than to become so cruel as to do the same to others, a view she has never considered, as she is not a Christian and is deeply suspicious that God exists. The thought of becoming as depraved as Legree or Sambo or Quimbo and dispensing cruelty such as she herself has suffered is too much for her.
Redemption 11: Tom reveals just how devoted he is to God when he tells Legree that he is not afraid of death, as it will bring him closer to glory in Heaven.
Redemption 12: Tom's vision makes him realize that his faith will be rewarded; seeing the figure rejuvenates him at a time when he is despairing and discouraged.
Redemption 13: Tom's forgiveness of Legree moves Sambo and Quimbo to such a degree that they begin to believe Tom that redemption in Heaven is possible and worth striving for.
Redemption 14: Tom knows his faith is going to be rewarded, and he is so peaceful at last that he does not fear death, declaring triumphantly that he has won, in spite of everything.
Religion 1: Religion is a major theme of the book and one of Tom's dominant characteristics. Tom not only reads his Bible and leads prayer meetings, he implores everyone around him to follow the teachings of Christ. One of Tom's principal reasons for his piety is his belief that God will redeem earthly mortals who have suffered by giving them glory in the afterlife. We will see this theme reviewed frequently throughout the book.
Religion 2: The idea of divine intervention is also interjected frequently into the novel; here, it is suggested that Eliza's perilous crossing could not possibly have been successful without God's help.
Religion 3: Tom uses religion as a tool to comfort the disenfranchised and suffering. Whenever he sees someone suffering, he takes the opportunity to tell them about God, believing that if the sufferer only believes, their suffering becomes easier to bear. Tom is more pious than most characters in the book, and consequently, he takes on their suffering as his own.
Religion 4: St. Clare brings up the idea of redemption with regard to his saintly daughter, who is presented in the book as an almost inhuman being, an angel sent from the heavens to earth to comfort the afflicted, if only for a short time. Though Eva's gentle and all-loving nature may cause her difficulty on earth, St. Clare explains to Marie, she will be greatly rewarded in the afterlife.
Religion 5: Here, we see that Eva feels called to Heaven, as if she knows that she belongs there. It is another hint that Eva is imbued with a divine spirit.
Religion 6: Tom's faith is sorely tested, but his dream of Eva reading the Bible to him--which Stowe depicts as half dream, half vision--stirs him to piety. He finds himself in the role of teacher and missionary, as many of the slaves on Legree's plantation either do not believe in Christ or have never heard of Him.
Religion 7: The difficulty that mistreated slaves found in subscribing to religious beliefs is demonstrated in Cassy, who has suffered horrors so significant that she cannot fathom that anyone, heavenly or otherwise, could possibly care about her. All Tom can say in response is that she should try to believe in God, as she will find comfort there.
Religion 8: George, who was initially skeptical of God's existence, had become more faithful after his speech with Mr. Wilson. Here, his faith is rewarded at last. Every religious character in the book has his or her faith rewarded in some way or another; some by reaching heaven, others on earth.
Religion 9: Tom's piety is not the product of a desire to save himself from eternal damnation; he truly believes that he has been endowed with a mission from God to help the suffering, as his words to Cassy demonstrate.
Religion 10: Though George, Eliza, Emmeline and Cassy fared better than Tom, what all share in common is a renewed faith in God, even George and Cassy, who were skeptical of God's existence for so long.
Religion 11: Stowe ends the story with George Shelby's quote, positioning it so that it stands as a reminder to readers that Christianity is its own reward, and pointedly reminding readers of her viewpoint that slavery is an unchristian institution.
Violence 1: Here, a slave violently responds to his pursuer, whereas in most of the book, violence is dealt to slaves at the hands of cruel masters and overseers. George shoots at Loker to defend himself and his family, and does so only because he sees no other means of defense. He is ready to kill, or die, to prevent his wife and child from suffering at the hands of brutal tyrants.
Violence 2: Prue, a downtrodden slave, got drunk again and was beaten to death by her master.
Violence 3: Henrique proves that despite his young age, he is already capable of violence, as he has learned and observed such behavior from his father. Here, and throughout the book, Stowe uses the actions of her characters to show the violence humans are capable of when they have complete power over others. The case of Henrique shows this, as he is only a child himself.
Violence 4: Cruel treatment leads Sambo and Quimbo to become equally violent to the other slaves. The violence of slavery is shown as a vicious cycle, causing those treated violently to turn violent.
Violence 5: Legree's fury is so boundless that he tries to beat Tom to death, despite the fact that his death would mean a loss of money, the only thing Legree truly loves. By sacrificing his own body to save Cassy and Emmeline, Tom passes the ultimate test of his faith.
In the parlor of the Shelbys, a family that lives on a farm in Kentucky with several slaves, a slave trader named Haley is discussing a matter of business with Mr. Shelby, the congenial head of the household. Mr. Shelby, clearly uncomfortable, has found himself in Haley's debt and at his mercy. Haley is steadfast in insisting that Mr. Shelby must settle the debt by selling Tom, Shelby's most valued slave. When Harry, a small slave child, enters the room, Haley is instantly taken with the boy's beauty, charm, and obvious intelligence. He immediately offers to settle up with Shelby if he will sell both Tom and the child. When Eliza, the child's mother and Mr. Shelby's wife's servant, enters the room, Haley is also taken with her beauty. She collects her child and scurries out of the room hurriedly. After she leaves, Haley expresses his admiration for Eliza and suggests that Mr. Shelby sell her as well. Mr. Shelby firmly tells Haley that he cannot sell Eliza, as his wife adores her. Haley agrees to this, but insists that Mr. Shelby sell Harry regardless. Mr. Shelby tells Haley that he will think it over and discuss the matter with his wife and tells Haley to come again later that evening. As Haley exits, Mr. Shelby bemoans his predicament silently to himself. Meanwhile, Eliza has run to Mrs. Shelby's parlor, having overheard just enough of the conversation to ascertain that Mr. Shelby was planning to sell someone. Eliza enters her mistress' room with a gloomy expression; she is sick with worry that Mr. Shelby might be planning to sell her son. When Mrs. Shelby asks Eliza if she is upset, Eliza bursts into tears and confesses what she has overheard. Mrs. Shelby insists that Mr. Shelby would never sell Harry or any other slaves on the property, and her utter sincerity calms Eliza. Mrs. Shelby is completely unaware of her husband's situation and believes what she is telling Eliza is the truth.
Eliza has been raised properly and has cultivated manners, intelligence, and bearing. George Harris, Eliza's husband, lives on a neighboring farm; he is also intelligent and well-mannered, and has been allowed by his master to work in a factory off the plantation. Though George's master collects the wages for himself, George is grateful for the opportunity to exercise his intellectual capacities. He invents a machine for the cleaning of hemp, and his boss at the factory remarks to George's master that George is an uncommonly smart and efficient employee. George's master, an ungrateful and jealous man, quickly yanks George back to the farm, telling him that he will remind George of his proper station. George becomes angry and bitter about his station:
"'Yes Eliza, it's all misery, misery, misery! My life is bitter as wormwood, the very life is burning out of me. I'm a poor, miserable, forlorn drudge; I shall only drag you down with me, that's all. What's the use of our trying to do anything, trying to know anything, trying to be anything! What's the use of living? I wish I was dead.'" Chapter 2, pg. 18
George, running an errand for his master, takes the opportunity to visit Eliza on the Shelby farm. He tells her of his predicament and bitterly wishes aloud that their son, Harry, had never been born. Eliza is shocked at his venom, and he tells her what happened in the factory. He tells her of his plan to flee to Canada, and she wishes him well and prays for him, fearing that she will never see her husband again.
In Uncle Tom's cabin, his wife Chloe, whose cooking is renowned throughout the Shelby estate, is busily preparing the evening meal. Meanwhile, Tom's two small children are playing underfoot, and two other slaves are visiting in the cabin. George, Mr. Shelby's son, age 13, is instructing Tom in his writing lesson. After the meal, Tom holds his weekly prayer meeting, and George reads scripture, to the delight of all present.
Topic Tracking: Religion 1
Tom not only reads his Bible and leads prayer meetings, he implores everyone around him to follow the teachings of Christ. One of Tom's principal reasons for his piety is his belief that God will redeem earthly mortals who have suffered by giving them glory in the afterlife.
Meanwhile, in the Shelby home, Mr. Shelby signs the bills of sale and gives them to Haley, asking him to promise that Tom does not end up in cruel hands. Haley assures Mr. Shelby that he will do his best to sell Tom to a kind master.
Mr. Shelby tells his wife that he has agreed to sell Tom and Harry to Haley. Mrs. Shelby begs and pleads with him to find another way to settle his debt, and she argues that she knew all along that no good could come of slavery:
"'This is God's curse on slavery!--a bitter, most accursed thing!--a curse to the master and a curse to the slave! I was a fool to think I could make anything good out of such a deadly evil.'" Chapter 5, pg. 36
But he tells her that there is simply no other way to settle accounts. Meanwhile, Eliza, suspicious of Haley, has been eavesdropping on the conversation from a nearby closet. Terrified, she sneaks into her room, packs some clothes for Harry, scribbles a note of apology to Mrs. Shelby, and sneaks out of the house. She notices on her way out that the prayer meeting is still going on in Uncle Tom's cabin, so she stops by to tell them why she's leaving. She also tells them that Tom will soon be sold. Chloe, upon hearing the news, bursts into tears and begs Tom to run away with Eliza, but Tom insists on staying, saying that he would rather be sold himself than force his master to sell everyone on the property:
"'If I must be sold, or all the people on the place, and everything go to rack, why, let me be sold. I spose I can b'ar it as well as any on 'em.'" Chapter 5, pg. 37
He bursts into sobs at the thought of leaving his wife and children. Eliza asks them to send a message to her husband that she has fled with Harry to Canada, and after a tearful goodbye, she leaves the farm.
When Mr. Shelby arrives on the farm the next morning, he is dismayed to find that Eliza has escaped. Mr. Shelby explains that he did not tell Eliza about her son's sale and that he had no idea she was planning to escape. He dispatches two slaves, Sam and Andy, to catch Eliza and Harry. Mr. Shelby invites Haley to stay for breakfast while Sam and Andy saddle up the horses and prepare for the chase. Before they do so, Mrs. Shelby speaks to Sam and Andy, dropping gentle hints that their journey should not commence too hastily. Sam and Andy, having caught her drift, proceed to stir up the horses and excite them to such a degree that they run wild over the property, and corralling them delays the journey by several hours.
Eliza, having run with Harry all night, decides to stop for lunch at a small cafe the next day, explaining to the owner that she is on her way to visit friends. Eliza inquires about ferry passage over the Ohio River, and the cafe owner explains that while there is no boat service, she knows of a man who is planning to make a personal journey that evening. Eliza tells the woman that she needs to cross urgently, as her son is sick. The woman offers her a room to rest while she waits for the man who is planning to cross the river. Meanwhile, Sam, Andy, and Haley have proceeded in their search for Eliza, and their wagon parks at the inn where Eliza is sleeping with Harry. Upon hearing Sam's voice, Eliza grabs Harry and escapes through a side door in her room and runs toward the river. Haley catches a glimpse of her, and the whole party chases after her. She sprints toward the river's edge, and with a wild and desperate leap, hops onto a cake of ice floating in the river:
"The huge green fragment of ice on which she alighted pitched and creaked as her weight came on it, but she staid there not a moment. With wild cries and desperate energy she leaped to another and still another cake;--stumbling--leaping--slipping--springing upwards again! Her shoes are gone--her stocking cut form her feet--while blood marked every step; but she saw nothing, felt nothing, till dimly, as in a dream, she saw the Ohio side, and a man helping her up the bank." Chapter 7, pg. 61
Miraculously, she lands on it and hops across several others, her feet cut and bleeding, and manages to scramble to the Ohio side of the river. There, she sees a man she knows who owns a farm near the Shelby's. He helps her up the bank, and she explains her predicament. He points her toward a nearby house, and tells her she will be received kindly there. She thanks him profusely and proceeds to the house.
Haley returns, defeated, to the tavern where Eliza had temporarily lodged. There, he happens upon an acquaintance named Tom Loker and Tom's colleague, a man named Marks. Upon learning that Loker and Marks are professional slave catchers, he makes a deal with the two men--in exchange for their services in catching Harry, he will give them Eliza and let them take her to be sold into the New Orleans slave market. After some quarreling, they agree to the deal, and Haley gives the men a down payment for their services. Meanwhile, Sam and Andy return to the Shelby farm, where they inform Mr. and Mrs. Shelby of what happened. Mr. Shelby sounds skeptical, but Sam convinces him that it was true, and that he believes that divine intervention facilitated her crossing.
Topic Tracking: Religion 2
Sam proudly tells Mrs. Shelby that his stalling abetted Eliza's successful escape, and Mr. Shelby half-heartedly admonishes him and sends him to Chloe and Tom's cabin for dinner. There, he tells Chloe and several other slaves his story, boastfully embellishing it and exaggerating his role in her successful escape. Chloe, growing weary and in a pensive mood, sends him out, and everyone retires for the evening.
In a comfortable house in Ohio, a man and his wife are spending an evening with their young children. The woman prepares a cup of tea for her tired husband, Senator Bird, and asks him what has been happening in the Senate. Somewhat surprised, as his wife rarely asks him about matters of legislation, he begrudgingly tells her that the Senate has just passed a new law forbidding Ohio residents to give food and shelter to fugitive slaves from Kentucky. Mrs. Bird, a normally quiet and timid woman, strongly expresses her disgust at the legislation:
"'You ought to be ashamed, John! Poor, homeless, houseless creatures! It's a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I'll break it, for one, the first time I get a chance; and I hope I shall have a chance, I do! Things have got to a pretty pass, if a woman can't give a warm supper and a bed to poor, starving creatures, just because they are slaves, and have been abused and oppressed all their lives, poor things!'" Chapter 9, pg. 81
The two begin to argue fervently, with Mr. Bird insisting that the legislation is sensible and sound, and Mrs. Bird calling it cruel and "unchristian." Mr. Bird is unwavering in his argument that the law must exist, if only to quell the growing public agitation in Kentucky. Mrs. Bird tries to appeal to her husband's humanity, demanding to know if he could truly turn away a slave should one appear, cold and hungry, at their door, begging for help. Mr. Bird, clearly unnerved by the question, drags his feet and attempts to offer a rebuttal.
Topic Tracking: Morality 1
Just then, the Birds' servant Cudjoe enters the room and urgently asks Mrs. Bird to follow him into the kitchen. Upon entering the kitchen, she calls for her husband, and they discover Eliza, with torn garments and one shoe missing, passed out on a chair. When she comes to, Eliza begs them to let her stay awhile, and Mrs. Bird eagerly complies, with no objections from her husband. After making up a bed for her and seeing her to sleep, Mr. and Mrs. Bird begin conversing, wondering who Eliza is and how she got there. Mr. Bird, in a contradiction of his earlier arguments, suggests that his wife might loan her some clothing and a cloak. Just then, Eliza awakens and asks to see Mrs. Bird. Eliza explains her predicament and appeals to Mrs. Bird, asking her if she has ever lost a child. Mrs. Bird begins to sob, as she has buried a child only a month before. Eliza tells her that she herself has lost two children and couldn't bear to live if she lost Harry as well:
"'I have lost two, one after another,--left 'em buried there when I came away; and I had only this one left. I never slept a night without him; he was all I had. He was my comfort and pride, day and night; and, ma'am, they were going to take him away from me,--to sell him,--sell him down south, ma'am, to go all alone,--a baby that had never been away from his mother in his life!'" Chapter 9, pg. 85
Mrs. Bird tells her they will make up a bed for her in another servant's room and discuss what to do in the morning. When she and Mr. Bird retire to the parlor, he tells her that Eliza will have to leave that night, lest she get caught. Mrs. Bird asks where he would take her, and he tells her that he knows of a former client who set his slaves free and bought some property in a secluded area, for the purpose of helping slaves who are trying to escape to freedom. Mr. Bird says that the passage to the place is tricky and he will have to drive her himself. After Mrs. Bird gathers some provisions for Eliza, she wakes her up, and Mr. Bird, Cudjoe, Eliza and Harry all gather into Mr. Bird's carriage. After a rough passage, the group at last makes it to the house, where they are received warmly by Mr. Bird's acquaintance. After the man welcomes Eliza into the house, Mr. Bird and his friend shake hands, and the Bird party leaves.
In Uncle Tom's cabin, Chloe is ironing shirts and Tom is reading his Bible and looking sadly at his children. Chloe begins to weep, saying that she believes she will never see her husband again and expressing her fear that he will be sold to a cruel master who will work him to death. Tom soothingly tells her that wherever he ends up, he will be in the hands of God.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 1
Mrs. Shelby enters the cabin, and all begin weeping together. Mrs. Shelby promises Tom that she will buy him back as soon as she can get the money. Haley comes into the cabin to get Tom, and everyone follows them to Haley's carriage. Haley slaps fetters on Tom's feet, despite Mrs. Shelby's insistence that the precaution isn't necessary. Tom looks at Mrs. Shelby and expresses his disappointment that George Shelby, her son, was not on the farm to see him off. He tells her to give him his love, and the party is off. Mr. Haley and Tom drive a ways, then Mr. Haley stops at a blacksmith's shop to have some handcuffs altered to fit Tom. The blacksmith, recognizing Tom, tells Mr. Haley that Tom is honest and reliable and would not run away. Just then, George Shelby runs up along side the wagon, gets in and throws his arms around Tom's neck and angrily declares that the sale isn't fair. George gives Tom a dollar and tells him to look at it and think of the time in the future when George will come to rescue him. Tom accepts it at George's insistence and implores him to be good to his parents and maintain his religious faith. George promises to do so. Haley comes out of the store and puts the handcuffs on Tom, much to George's consternation. Tom tells him goodbye, and the wagon proceeds south.
A short, heavyset man strides into a tavern in Kentucky, appearing to be uneasy. He approaches a man in the tavern, a long-legged fellow who is spitting out his tobacco with gusto. The two men begin chatting when they notice a group of men gathered around a piece of paper. The man asks to see it and reads that it is an advertisement for a slave named George, who is described as an intelligent, light-skinned mulatto with an "H" branded into his right hand. The ad promises $400 to any man who can catch him or prove with satisfaction that he has been killed. The long-legged man spits a wad of tobacco juice on the advertisement, angrily declaring that anyone who treats their slaves with respect will not have them running away. Mr. Wilson, the heavyset man, agrees with the man and explains that he had employed that very slave in his factory, and that George was an ingenious, hard-working man who had invented a machine for the cleaning of hemp. Suddenly another gentleman walks into the bar, a Spanish-looking man of obviously refined bearing. He takes a look at the advertisement and remarks to his servant, Jim, that he thought they had seen a fellow matching that description the day before. The gentleman then asks the landlord of the establishment to furnish him with an apartment for the evening, as he has some writing to do immediately. The landlord obliges, and the man turns to Mr. Wilson, who is staring at him with astonishment. He introduces himself as Mr. Butler and apologizes for not immediately recognizing Mr. Wilson. Mr. Butler then asks Mr. Wilson to accompany him to his room so that they may discuss a matter of business. When they arrive in his room, Mr. Butler closes the door, and Mr. Wilson exclaims, "George!", having recognized the true identity of "Mr. Butler." George explains that he has disguised his skin color with walnut bark and dyed his hair. Mr. Wilson is disappointed in George, and he begins quoting scriptures and telling him that he should not break the law.
Topic Tracking: Morality 2
George appeals to his former boss, defensively asking Mr. Wilson if he would not try to run away if he were deprived of seeing his wife and children and bound to servitude. Mr. Wilson understands George's predicament but is nonetheless worried for him. He asks George to consider what could happen if he is caught. George shows Mr. Wilson two pistols and a Bowie knife and declares that he will kill himself rather than be captured. Mr. Wilson pities George and tells him that this way of thinking is horrible and destructive. George tells him the story of his upbringing--how his mother was sold away from her seven children, and how the only family member George was able to stay near was his sister, because a man purchased the two of them. He tells of how he saw and heard his sister being brutally beaten, how his sister was sold away from him into the New Orleans slave market, how George grew up alone, never hearing a kind word until he walked into Mr. Wilson's factory. He tells Mr. Wilson that the work made him happy and that he finally found love when he met Eliza. But then, George says bitterly, his master jerked him out of the factory to "put him in his place" and forbade him to see Eliza, telling him he would have to marry a woman on his farm. The speech moves Mr. Wilson, who angrily curses the circumstances that led to George's flight. He gives George money, which George initially refuses but accepts at Mr. Wilson's insistence, on the condition that he may one day pay him back.
Topic Tracking: Morality 3
George asks Mr. Wilson one last favor--to give Eliza a pin that she had given him as a gift and to tell her that he loved her to the last. Mr. Wilson agrees and tells George to hold fast to his faith in God. George bitterly wonders aloud if God exists, and Mr. Wilson tells him passionately to trust in God, for if God will not set things right in this life, He might in a future one.
George solemnly thanks Mr. Wilson for this advice and tells him he will think of it.
Tom and Haley arrive in Washington, where Haley plans to attend a slave auction. At the auction, he purchases three new slaves, including a boy who was sold away from his desperate mother. The mother, an old woman with rheumatism, begs Haley to buy her too, telling him that the boy is the only child she has that hasn't been sold away from her. Haley refuses, and the woman is carried off crying to her new master. Haley and his gang--Tom and the new slaves--later board a boat bound for New Orleans; the slaves are kept on the lower deck, in chains. They talk amongst each other, crying over the wives, children, and mothers left behind. A black woman boards the boat, carrying a small child in her arms, and takes her place on the lower deck.
Haley approaches the woman and speaks to her, and it is soon clear from her loud exclamations that he is telling her something she doesn't believe. He takes out a piece of paper and reads it to her--a bill of sale for the woman and her child. She exclaims that it can't be true, as her master has told her he was sending her to Louisville to work in the same restaurant where her husband works. By this time, a small crowd has gathered around, and a man in the crowd reads the bill of sale and explains to the woman that he has indeed sold her. She holds her child tightly to her and turns her back on the crowd, staring intently at the river, in silence. After a time, a man approaches her and asks how old the child is. She tells him he is ten and a half months old, and the man admires him aloud. Later, the man asks Haley if he will sell him the child. After some haggling about price, Haley agrees to sell the man the child for $45. When the boat stops at Louisville, Haley takes the child out of the woman's arms while she is sleeping and gives him to the man who bought him. After the boat leaves the dock, the woman, Lucy, awakens and demands to know where her child is. Haley tells her that he sold him to a first-rate family and that she would not have been able to keep him down south anyway. Tom, who has seen the whole ordeal and is moved to pity for the woman, gently approaches her and tearfully tells her of Jesus and heaven, but his words fall on deaf ears.
Topic Tracking: Religion 3
Tom falls asleep to the sounds of the woman's sobs. Later, he sees something brush by him and hears a large splash into the river. Haley discovers that the woman is missing and asks Tom what happened. Tom explains that he believes the woman has committed suicide by throwing herself off the boat into the river.
Eliza is sitting in a comfortable cottage with a Quaker woman named Rachel Halliday and her husband, Simeon. Rachel tells Eliza that she can stay with them as long as she needs, as no escaped slaves have ever been discovered or captured from their property. Eliza thanks her but says she must leave soon, as she is so sick with fear that Harry will be taken that she is having visions of him being snatched from her. Simeon asks Eliza if her last name is Harris, and she answers affirmatively. Simeon then tells Rachel quietly that his friend Peter is bringing several more fugitives to their home later that evening, one of whom is named George Harris. Rachel shares the joyous news with Eliza, who is so buoyed by it that she falls to sleep easily for the first time since she ran away from the Shelby farm. Later, she awakens to the sight of George, lying beside her and crying tears of joy. The next morning, the Hallidays, their children, and Eliza, George and Harry gather around the table for breakfast, and Simeon tells George that his friend Phineas Fletcher will carry them on to the next stand.
After a time on the boat with Haley, Tom has won the slave trader's trust and is permitted to walk around the boat unfettered. Tom spends his days helping workmen on the boat or reading his Bible, and one day he meets a beautiful child, aged between five and six, named Evangeline St. Clare:
"Her form was the perfection of childish beauty, without its usual chubbiness and squareness of outline. There was about it an undulating and aerial grace, such as one might dream of for some mythic and allegorical being. Her face was remarkable less for its perfect beauty of feature than for a singular and dreamy earnestness of expression, which made the ideal start when they looked at her, and by which the dullest and most literal were impressed, without exactly knowing why." Chapter 14, pg. 146
Evangeline, or Eva as she asks to be called, strikes up a friendship with Tom and tells him she is going to ask her father to buy him. The child ambles away, and just a few moments later, loses her balance as she is standing near the deck. She tumbles off the boat and into the water, and Tom immediately dives into the river and saves her. The next day, Eva's father, a kind, yet somewhat fanciful young man with a droll sense of humor, agrees to buy Tom from Haley.
Augustine St. Clare, Tom's new master, lives on an inherited estate in New Orleans with his wife Marie. Though he is kind and gentle, he is also cynical, having resigned himself to living with Marie, a woman he does not love. He had fallen madly in love with a woman years earlier and had intended to marry her, until his letters to her were suddenly returned, with a letter from her family explaining that she had agreed to marry another. Intensely jealous and angry, he married Marie, who was one of the most prominent young women in New Orleans society. One day, he received a letter from his former lover, explaining that she had just learned that her family was withholding the letters from her and that she had married someone else, believing that St. Clare no longer loved her. She expresses her affection but also her regret that they are resigned to their fates. St. Clare loses all the passion that once marked him, and bitterly resigns himself to Marie, who is extremely selfish and a hypochondriac. Worse, Marie is the exact opposite of St. Clare's mother, a woman he revered until her death, so much so that he named his treasured daughter Evangeline after her. But despite his bitterness, St. Clare remains congenial, lackadaisical and utterly unmotivated, content to while away his afternoons on the sofa with a book. He stands in direct contrast to his cousin, Miss Ophelia, who is a model of reason, order, and efficiency. Despite their differences, Miss Ophelia adores her careless cousin and agrees to move in with him and his family. It is here, at their home in New Orleans, that Tom finds himself arriving with St. Clare, Eva, and Miss Ophelia after their voyage.
At the breakfast table the next morning, Miss Ophelia learns of Marie's selfishness when Marie rants about how selfish her servant Mammy is for not staying up with her all night, each night, to help her deal with her "sick headaches." The selfless Eva asks Marie if she could stay up with her one night to relieve Mammy, an idea Marie instantly rejects. After breakfast, Marie confides to Miss Ophelia that Eva is nothing like she was as a girl, because Eva regrettably seems to regard the servants as equal beings, while she was raised to make sure servants "know their place." She also confesses that she disagrees with St. Clare's insistence that their servants never be struck. Though Miss Ophelia disagrees with Marie that servants are not equal beings, she reveals her own prejudice when she reveals to St. Clare that she does not understand how Eva can bring herself to hug and kiss Tom and the other servants.
Topic Tracking: Morality 4
Meanwhile, Eva reveals her generous nature when she gives Mammy her gold vinagrette, explaining that she knows Mammy hasn't been feeling well and that Marie tells her that the vinagrette helps with her headaches. Marie demands that Eva take it back, but St. Clare tells him to leave her alone. When Marie asks how the child will ever get along in the world, St. Clare replies, "The Lord knows, but she'll get along better in heaven than you or I."
Topic Tracking: Religion 4
With that, the whole family--except St. Clare, who is not religious--heads to church. When they return, Marie tells St. Clare how she thought the sermon was splendid, as the pastor endorsed slavery as God's design, that some should naturally occupy a higher station in life. The sermon sparks a discussion, in which Miss Ophelia asks St. Clare if he supports slavery. He refuses to answer her question, teasingly ridiculing her "horrid New England directness," but he does dismiss the preacher's sermon as trash, saying it is a shame to use religion to support an institution that exists solely for some men's convenience.
Topic Tracking: Morality 5
He asks Eva whether she thinks it is better to live with or without slaves, and she says with, because it means "more people around to love." Eva tells St. Clare that she has been listening to Tom sing hymns and that he is planning to teach them to her. St. Clare declares that Tom has a natural genius for religion, and that he overheard him praying quite movingly and energetically for St. Clare's redemption.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 2
In the Quaker settlement, George and Eliza are stunned to hear that Phineas Fletcher, a Quaker friend of the Hallidays who has agreed to drive them to their next destination, overheard a conversation at a local Inn amongst members of the very search party dispatched to hunt them down. Phineas tells them that if caught, George will be sent back to his master in Kentucky to be made an example of, Eliza will be sold in the New Orleans slave market, and Harry will be turned over to Haley. Phineas tells George they should leave in two hours; to leave earlier might make them conspicuous to people in the villages ahead. They make their preparations to leave, and George makes sure that his pistols are in order and at the ready. He asks that Jim, another fugitive who will be accompanying them, do the same.
The party leaves, and soon after they depart, Phineas, the carriage driver, hears a horse and carriage approaching. He discovers that it is Michael, the friend sent to act as messenger and give warning if the search party gets close to them. Just as Michael approaches, the party hears another horse and carriage hot on their heels, and they realize with dread that it is the search party. Phineas orders them to jump out of the carriage and scramble over the fence into an embankment of rocks that will shield them from the search party and provide them with a good vantage point to shoot their pursuers, if necessary. The search party, consisting of Tom Loker and his associate Marks, along with two constables and various local rowdies from the tavern, abandons their wagon and begins chasing after them on foot. Loker tells the fugitives he has a warrant for them, and George steps out onto one of the rocks and declares that if they pursue them, they will be shot:
"'We don't own your laws; we don't own your country; we stand here as free, under God's sky, as you are; and, by the great God that made us, we'll fight for our liberty till we die.'" Chapter 17, pg. 194
Loker asks him if he is George Harris, and George answers that he is. Marks then fires at him, telling Loker calmly that he will get as much money for George dead as alive. He misses, but the party doesn't realize this. In frustration, Loker decides he is going to pursue them, and he struggles up the chasm, with the rest of the party on his heels. George realizes he has a good shot at Loker and he fires, hitting him in the side. Loker falls down the chasm, a 30-foot drop, and begins holding his side and howling.
Topic Tracking: Violence 1
The others scramble back down to the wagon, and Marks hastily explains that he is going to go for help, leaving them behind. The others struggle to help Loker onto a horse, but he is too burly, and they can't lift him. They leave him behind. Phineas tells the fugitives that a party will be on their way shortly to drive them to their next destination. When the party arrives, Eliza asks Phineas to help Loker, saying that she feels it would be unchristian to leave him behind. Phineas agrees, after hesitating, and he dresses Loker's wound and tells him he will take him to a Quaker house, where they will nurse him back to health. George asks if Loker will survive, and he expresses his relief when Phineas says he will, saying that he would feel terrible if Loker died.
Topic Tracking: Morality 6
The party travels for an hour or so before arriving at a Quaker farmhouse.
Tom, having helped St. Clare into bed the previous night after St. Clare had gone to a party and returned home drunk, is depressed, and St. Clare asks him why. Tom begins to cry and tells him that St. Clare is good to everyone but himself, and he worries for his soul because he is not a Christian. Embarrassed, St. Clare promises Tom that he will never come home in such a condition again and laughs the matter off. Privately, he is moved by Tom's conviction and secretly swears he will hold to his promise.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 3
Meanwhile, everyone on the estate gets a taste of Miss Ophelia's strict organization and need for order when she undertakes the cleaning of the kitchen, the sovereign domain of Dinah, the talented but erratic cook. The two clash over Miss Ophelia's attempts to organize the kitchen, which Dinah wants left alone. After several days, the house is thoroughly organized, an undertaking that does not win Miss Ophelia any friends on the estate. She complains to St. Clare that she has never seen such waste and inefficiency and asks him with urgency if he doesn't feel that such a system could lead to dishonesty among the slaves. He laughs and says he does not expect his slaves to be honest, as the system of slavery forces them to resort to cheating and dishonesty just to get by. He says that slaves like Tom are the exception to the rule, and he declares Tom "a moral miracle." Miss Ophelia asks him what becomes of their souls, and he shrugs off the question, saying it is not his problem.
Topic Tracking: Morality 7
She tells him with disgust that he should be ashamed, and he simply laughs and tells her that New Englanders have a different way of life than Southerners. Meanwhile, Prue, a slave from a neighboring estate, stops by with her basket of bread, which she travels around and sells. Prue, who is thin and looks worn-out, tells Dinah and the other slaves that she wishes she was dead, so that she'd be out of her misery. One of St. Clare's servants tells Prue that she might not be miserable if she didn't steal her master's money to get drunk. Miss Ophelia tells Prue she should be ashamed of herself for such behavior. After Prue leaves, Adolph pronounces her a "horrid creature" and says that if she were his servant, he'd beat her worse than her master already does. Dinah says that would be impossible, as Prue's back is so scarred from lashings and beatings that she can barely get a dress over it. After Prue leaves, Tom sees her walking down the road and compassionately asks her if he could carry her basket for awhile and relieve her of her burden. She sullenly tells him she isn't sick. He tells her he wishes she would stop drinking, as it will lead to her torment in the afterlife. She says bitterly that she knows she's going to hell and she wishes she was there. Horrified, Tom asks her if she knows of Jesus Christ and how he died for the sins of the lowly.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 4
Prue says she has heard of Jesus but doesn't know about his love, as no one has loved her since she was a child. She tells Tom of how she was born in Kentucky and her master kept her to breed children for the market. After she came to New Orleans, she had another child, and she thought she would have been able to keep it as her master wasn't a speculator. But, she tells Tom, when her mistress took sick, Prue had to spend days and nights caring for her, and she lost her milk. The child began to cry and lose weight, but her mistress would not let her buy milk for it and made her put the child in another room, because the child kept Prue awake and made her useless, according to her mistress. The child died, and Prue took up drinking to "keep its crying out of my ears." Tom is moved to pity and asks her if she hasn't ever heard of Jesus and how he can help her go to heaven, where she can finally have rest. She bitterly tells him that if there are white people in heaven, she'd rather go to hell:
"'I looks like gwine to heaven, an't thar where white folks is gwine? S'pose they'd have me thar? I'd rather go to torment, and get away from Mas'r and Missis. I had so.'" Chapter 18, pg. 216
She then takes her basket back and walks home.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 5
Eva runs up to Tom and asks him if he will take her for a ride. He tells her that he is sad, but he will do it. She asks what's wrong, saying she saw him speaking to "cross old Prue." He solemnly tells her Prue's story, and her cheeks become drained with color, and she places her hands on her chest and sighs heavily.
Topic Tracking: Morality 8
Eva tells Tom that he needn't get the horses, as she no longer feels like riding. He asks why, and she tells him that Prue's story has upset her, and that "these things sink into my heart." A few days later, a different woman comes in Prue's place, selling bread. Dinah asks what has happened to Prue, and the woman says she doesn't know, while throwing a sideways glance at Miss Ophelia, indicating she doesn't want to speak about it in front of Miss Ophelia. After Miss Ophelia conducts the transaction and leaves, Dinah follows the woman to the door, asking her to tell her what happened. The woman tells Dinah that Prue got drunk again, and her master beat her and left her in the cellar, where she died.
Topic Tracking: Violence 2
Eva overhears the story and promptly loses all the color in her face, and she trudges upstairs, depressed. Dinah explains what happened to Miss Ophelia, who relates the story to St. Clare with horror. He calmly tells her that he knew it was going to happen eventually, and she expresses her disgust, asking him if and what he is going to do about it. He tells her there is nothing he can do, as property interest wins out in the eyes of the law. She tells him that it will bring vengeance upon him for not trying to do something. She asks him how he could possibly ignore the horrors of what happens to slaves. He tells her that the best he can do is to take care of his own slaves and try to shut his eyes to what happens, as the cruelty is so vast and pervasive that it cannot be overrun.
Topic Tracking: Morality 9
The two get into an intense discussion of slavery, and Miss Ophelia asks him why he has not repented for what he knows is a sin. He tells her that he has tried, but cannot divest himself of the lifestyle to which he is accustomed. The two continue talking, and St. Clare surprises Miss Ophelia with his fervency when he declares that he sometimes wishes the whole nation would sink under the abomination of slavery, and he would gladly sink with it. He explains his childhood, and how his father was a rational man of order who placed profit above all else, and how his mother was precisely the opposite, a generous and caring woman. Alfred, St. Clare's brother, took after his father and was left with the duty of managing the family business along with St. Clare. St. Clare explains that he did not have the temperament to do this, as Alfred's way of dealing with the slaves was too harsh for him. He tells Miss Ophelia that at one time, he had planned to do something about the injustice of slavery, but he was eventually overcome with depression and never got the initiative to do anything about it. He tells her that this is the reason for his lazy, careless nature. He tells her that he still believes slavery is intolerable, but he thinks that one day the slaves will rise up and defend themselves:
"'One thing is certain,--that there is a mustering among the masses, the world over; and there is a dis irae coming on, sooner or later. The same thing is working in Europe, in England, and in this country. My mother used to tell me of a millennium that was coming, when Christ should reign, and all men should be free and happy. And she taught me, when I was a boy, to pray, 'Thy kingdom come.' Sometimes I think all this sighing, and groaning, and stirring among the dry bones foretells what she used to tell me was coming. But who may abide the day of His appearing?'" Chapter 19, pg. 230
Miss Ophelia declares that she believes he is "not far from the Kingdom." He thanks her, but tells her that "it's up and down with me--up to heaven's gate in theory, down in earth's dust in practice." Just then, the tea-bell rings, and they interrupt their discussion and gather around the table. Marie asks Miss Ophelia if she has heard of what happened to Prue and if she thinks they are all barbarians. Miss Ophelia says she does not, but she believes that what happened was barbaric. Marie contemptibly says she hasn't any sympathy for Prue, as the woman wouldn't have been punished if she had kept in line. Eva tells her mother that the reason Prue drank was because she was unhappy, and Marie brushes off the excuse, saying that she is unhappy much of the time, that she has probably suffered more than Prue ever did, and that the reason Prue drank is simply because blacks, by nature, "are so bad."
Topic Tracking: Morality 10
Marie tells a story of a slave her father had who eventually died from beatings because he kept stealing and running away; the incident was wholly unnecessary, as her father was kind to his slaves and would have never beaten him if he had simply obeyed. St. Clare tells the story of a slave he and Alfred had, and how he broke the slave in after Alfred had tried beatings in vain. The slave, named Scipio, escaped, and St. Clare bet his brother that if he could be caught, he would "tame" him. Alfred agreed, and a search party was dispatched. Scipio was caught, though in their zeal, one of his pursuers shot him. He lived, and St. Clare bought him from Alfred and nursed him back to health. After he got well, St. Clare gave Scipio papers setting him free, and Scipio ripped them in half in gratitude to his master. He embraced Christianity shortly thereafter and became gentle, but he eventually died of cholera.
After hearing the story, Eva bursts into tears and sobs convulsively. Her father asks what's wrong, and she says again, "these things sink into my heart." He asks her what she means, and she says she cannot explain it at the moment, but that she thinks "a great many thoughts," and perhaps one day she'll be able to explain them to him. He tells her to think away, but not to cry and worry him. Later, Eva comes to visit Tom in his quarters above the stable, where she sees him trying to write a letter to Chloe and his children. She tries to help him but cannot, as she has not learned to write well yet. St. Clare finds them huddled over the paper and tells Tom that he will write the letter for him when he returns from his ride.
One day, St. Clare brings home a wild-eyed slave girl, aged eight or nine, named Topsy, and he tells Miss Ophelia he has purchased her so that Miss Ophelia might educate her. Miss Ophelia is disgusted and tells him she wants nothing to do with her, but he tells her he bought Topsy because she belonged to a couple of drunken men who own a restaurant that he passes every day, and he was tired of hearing her screaming every day. He also thinks that Topsy is bright and that something could be made of her if she is treated kindly.
Topic Tracking: Morality 11
Miss Ophelia reluctantly agrees, but only out of a sense of duty. Topsy is unwelcome by everyone on the place except St. Clare, Eva and Tom, and the other slaves denounce her as "a low nigger." Miss Ophelia tries to learn about Topsy, but she realizes the child knows nothing about her roots--she was bought by a speculator and doesn't know who her parents are, how old she is, or, much to Miss Ophelia's horror, who God is. Miss Ophelia is given full responsibility for Topsy's care and instruction, and she accepts her duty earnestly. She soon sets on a rigorous course of education for Topsy, instructing her in the arts of making her bed and cleaning her chamber. Topsy performs the tasks perfectly but also creates mischief. Miss Ophelia soon discovers that Topsy has stolen some items and hidden them in her sleeves. The other slaves dislike Topsy, but learn to hide their displeasure when they realize that anyone who remarks openly that they don't like her eventually meets with some sort of "accident," such as having a bucket of slop fall on them from above or having their jewelry stolen. Topsy also fascinates everyone with her wild, mischievous antics and noisy dancing and singing. Miss Ophelia is beside herself and doesn't know how to handle the child, who, despite her shenanigans, learns Miss Ophelia's instructions and expertly follows them. Miss Ophelia tries to whip Topsy but realizes this is ineffective, as Topsy has been whipped her whole life and is not afraid of it. Miss Ophelia begins instructing her in religion, but the lessons do not sink in. Topsy boasts about how wicked she is, and tells Miss Ophelia that this is why she behaves the way she does. Miss Ophelia continues her instruction, despite the fact that she is frustrated and her patience is wearing thin. St. Clare remains amused by Topsy and regards the child affectionately despite her antics.
Back on the Shelby farm, Mrs. Shelby tells Mr. Shelby that Chloe has received a letter from Tom, in which he anxiously inquired as to when he might be able to be purchased and brought back to the farm. When her husband tells her that this is not likely, and that Chloe should give up and marry someone else, she begs him to let her manage the finances and find a way to save the money herself; she cannot bear to leave her promise to Chloe and Tom unfulfilled. He dismisses her, telling her that she wouldn't understand business, and that she should not have instructed the slaves to hold their marriages as sacred. She tells him it is "only the morality of the Bible," and that she will get the money together even if it means she has to work herself.
Topic Tracking: Morality 12
He tells her: do not "degrade yourself that way." Just then, Chloe interrupts and pulls Mrs. Shelby aside. She asks her if she could be hired out to work in a confectioner's in Louisville and put aside the money for Tom's redemption. Mrs. Shelby tells her that Louisville is hundreds of miles off, but Chloe tells her that other servants can care for the children. Mrs. Shelby tells Chloe that if she wants to go, she has her blessing, and Chloe thanks her and tells Mas'r George (the Shelbys' son) where she is going and that she is leaving the next day.
Tom receives a letter from Mas'r George that tells him of Chloe's plan and her new job. Tom is so excited to get the letter that he and Eva have discussions on the possibility of getting it framed. Tom's relationship with Eva is growing, and he adores her not just as a companion, but also worships her as if she is a divine creature. She begins reading him the Bible, and he is as thrilled with her reading as she is with the book's contents. The family relocates to their villa on Lake Pontchartrain for the summer, and one day, as Tom and Eva are sitting in the garden, he begins singing her a hymn about "new Jerusalem." She asks him where new Jerusalem is, and he tells her that it is "up in the clouds." He begins singing her another hymn about angels, and she tells him sincerely that she has seen them--that they come to her in her sleep. She solemnly tells Tom she is "going there." When he asks where, she points to the sky and says:
"'I'm going there, to the spirits bright, Tom; I'm going, before long.'" Chapter 22, pg. 259
Topic Tracking: Religion 5
Tom's heart sinks suddenly, as he realizes that Eva has, in fact, grown paler and thinner, and becomes tired very easily. He has heard Miss Ophelia speak of Eva's seemingly incurable cough, but he had never thought the child might be seriously ill. At once, he gravely realizes that her illness is more serious than he thought. Just then, Miss Ophelia calls Eva inside, telling her she shouldn't be outdoors when the dew is falling. Miss Ophelia tries to warn St. Clare about Eva's symptoms, but he shrugs them off casually, saying that the child simply has a cold. Secretly, he is worried, and he begins to pay more attention to her and spend more time with her. He is struck by Eva's rapidly increasing maturity, noticing that she seems to have an "unworldy wisdom" not common in such a young child. She suddenly becomes even more thoughtful and generous than before, and she one day tells her mother that she thinks they should teach their servants to read, so that they can read the Bible themselves. Marie tells her that they can get it read to them and it's useless to teach them to read. She pronounces her daughter an odd child. She shows Eva some valuable jewels and tells her that she will wear them one day when she is introduced into society; one day she will not have time to worry about the servants. Eva tells her that she wishes she could sell the jewels and buy their slaves and set them free and set up a boarding school where they could learn to read and write. Marie tells Eva that their conversation is giving her a headache, and Eva leaves. Shortly thereafter, Eva begins giving Mammy reading lessons on the sly.
Topic Tracking: Morality 13
Augustine's brother Alfred and Alfred's son, Henrique come to visit the St. Clare's at their villa. Eva and Henrique have both gotten new ponies recently, and they decide to ride them together. When Henrique's servant Dodo brings him his horse, Henrique notices that the horse is covered in dust, and beats his young servant with his riding whip:
"'There, you impudent dog! Now will you learn not to answer back when I speak to you? Take the horse back, and clean him properly. I'll teach you your place!'" Chapter 23, pg. 264
Topic Tracking: Violence 3
Eva is horrified and tells Henrique that he should treat Dodo kindly and with love. Henrique laughs at the idea that he should love his servant, but Eva is so crestfallen that he speaks to Dodo kindly for her sake. When Dodo helps Eva onto her horse, she thanks him, and the boy is so startled and touched that his eyes well up with tears.
Topic Tracking: Morality 14
Meanwhile, St. Clare is standing on the porch with his brother and has witnessed the whole scene. He remarks to Alfred that Henrique seems to take after his father in his bearing and disciplinary manner. Alfred comments that Henrique indeed has a bad temper, and he and Henrique's mother have tried to calm him to no avail. The two men begin to discuss the issue of slavery, and St. Clare tells Alfred that he believes that one day the slaves will rise up and overthrow the current rule of law. Alfred rejects his argument as ridiculous, arguing that certain people are born into a higher class and are naturally smarter and more deserving of rights than others. They soon realize that they must agree to disagree and go inside for a game of backgammon. Eva and Henrique return from their ride, and St. Clare notices that Eva is extremely short of breath. He chastises her for riding so hard and tells Henrique not to ride fast with her. Henrique promises to take better care of her, and he clasps her hand as she is resting on the couch. She chastises him again for his treatment of Dodo and tells him he should love his servants as she does hers. He says that he cannot love his servants, and she asks him if the Bible does not say that they should love everyone. She turns quiet, and asks him to love Dodo and be kind to him for her sake.
Topic Tracking: Morality 15
He tells her earnestly that he could love anything for her sake, for she is the most beautiful creature he has ever seen.
After Alfred and Henrique leave, Eva's condition rapidly deteriorates until she is soon bedridden. Marie becomes insufferable, at first telling St. Clare that the child could not possibly be in as ill health as she. Later, when Eva's condition becomes pronounced, she changes her tune, loudly proclaiming that she saw it coming all along and insisting that no one could feel as bad as she, seeing her only daughter going "to the grave" before her very eyes. St. Clare tells her not to be so rash, that the physician says there is room for hope, and Marie tells him he only feels that way because he could not possibly be as concerned and aggrieved as she. Eva overhears her mother and cries, feeling bad that she should be the cause of her mother's distress. Eva's symptoms begin to improve, but she knows that it is only for a short time. She is at peace with death, knowing that she will end up in Heaven, but she is sad for her father, knowing what grief her passing will cause. One day, she tells Tom that she understands why Jesus wanted to die for their sins, as she has felt the same way.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 6
He asks her what she means, and she tells him that what she has seen--the slaves on the boat, Prue--has caused her such grief that she would die for them if she could. Later, Tom says to Mammy:
"'It's jest no use tryin' to keep Miss Eva here. She's got the Lord's mark on her forehead.'" Chapter 24, pg. 274
Eva tells her father that she knows she is going to leave him soon and bursts into tears. He tells her not to cry, that she will soon be better, but she tells him not to deceive himself or try to shield her from the truth:
"'O, that's what troubles me, papa. You want me to live so happy, and never have any pain,--never suffer anything,--not even hear a sad story, when other poor creatures have nothing but pain and sorrow, all their lives;--it seems selfish. I ought to know such things, I ought to feel about them! Such things always sunk into my heart; they went down deep; I've thought and thought about them. Papa, isn't there any way to have all slaves made free?'" Chapter 24, pg. 275
She tells him that if not for him, she would want to go. He asks her why, and she tells him that her heart aches for their servants, and she wants them all to be free. She asks him if there is any way to have all slaves freed, and he tells her that while he agrees that slavery is bad, he does not know what to do about it. She begs him to try to persuade people that slavery is wrong and to do something about it after she dies. He asks her not to say such things, remarking that she is all he has. She asks him to give Tom his freedom after she dies, and he tells her that he will do anything she asks. She tells him she wishes he could go with her. He hugs her tight and takes her up to her room, where he rocks her to sleep.
One day, when Eva, Miss Ophelia, and Tom return from church, Miss Ophelia is distressed to learn that Topsy has snuck into one of her drawers and cut up one of her bonnets to make dolls' jackets. Miss Ophelia tells St. Clare that she cannot bear the child any longer, and Marie says that if it were up to her, the child would be sent out and whipped. St. Clare asks Topsy why she misbehaves so, and she tells him it is because she's so wicked. Miss Ophelia tells St. Clare that she will have to give the child up because she cannot tolerate her anymore. Marie says that the only way to discipline Topsy is to beat her:
"'I told you, Cousin, that you'd find out that these creatures can't be brought up, without severity. If I had my way, now, I'd send that child out, and have her thoroughly whipped, I'd have her whipped till she couldn't stand!'" Chapter 25, pg. 278
Eva signals Topsy to follow her, and they retreat into another room. St. Clare, curious, follows them, along with Miss Ophelia, and they lift up a curtain to spy on the children. Miss Eva asks Topsy why she cannot behave better, and asks her if she does not love anyone. Topsy says that she doesn't, that she's never had a mother or father or brothers and sisters to love. Eva tells Topsy that Miss Ophelia would love her, if only she was good. Topsy tells Eva that Miss Ophelia would never love her, that she'd rather a toad touched her than Topsy:
"'No; she can't bar me, 'cause I'm a nigger!--she'd soon have a toad touch her! There can't nobody love niggers, and niggers can't do nothin'! I don't care.'" Chapter 25, pg. 280
Eva throws her arms around Topsy's shoulders and exclaims that she loves her, and that Jesus loves her even more, and that Topsy's behavior grieves her. She asks Topsy to be good even for a little while, explaining that she will not be around much longer:
"'O, Topsy, poor child, I love you! I love you because you haven't had any father, or mother, or friends;--because you've been a poor, abused child! I love you, and I want you to be good. I am very unwell, Topsy, and I think I shan't live a great while; and it really grieves me, to have you be so naughty. I wish you would try to be good, for my sake;--it's only a little while I shall be with you.'" Chapter 25, pg. 280
Topsy begins to cry and promises Eva that she will be good for her sake. St. Clare, having observed the entire scene, turns to Miss Ophelia and remarks that if people truly want to comfort and help the afflicted, they must be willing to lay their hands on them, as Christ did. Miss Ophelia confesses that she could never bring herself to touch blacks, as she finds them disagreeable, but adds that she never believed Topsy noticed or knew. St. Clare assures her that she does, as most children can discern such things easily. Miss Ophelia wonders aloud how she can help feeling so, and St. Clare points out that Eva does. Miss Ophelia replies that Eva is so loving as to almost be Christ-like, and she adds that she hopes she can one day be the same.
Topic Tracking: Morality 16
Eva, her condition having worsened, is reclining on her bed one day when she hears her mother scolding someone for picking flowers. She hears Topsy explaining that the flowers are for Eva, and Marie tells Topsy that Eva wouldn't want flowers from a "good-for-nothing nigger." Eva tells her mother that she would love to have the flowers, and she asks Topsy to bring them to her. Topsy obliges, and Eva notices a tear on her cheek. She tells Topsy that she does a beautiful job of arranging flowers, and she asks her to make her a new arrangement every day. Topsy eagerly agrees. Eva explains to her mother that Topsy wanted to do something for her, and Marie tells her that Topsy only did it because she wants to do mischief. Eva expresses her sadness that Topsy has never had anyone to love her and says she is sad that so many are like her. Her mother tells her she should be thankful for what she has.
Topic Tracking: Morality 17
She then tells her mother that she wants to cut off some of her hair, so that she can give pieces of it to her friends while she is still alive. Miss Ophelia agrees to cut it, and St. Clare tells her to cut it so that her curls still look pretty for the time she goes to visit Henrique. She tells him that she will never go, as her health has been declining and she feels that her passing is near. She tells him to gather all the servants in her room, as she wants to speak to them as a group before she goes. He agrees, sadly. Once everyone is situated in her room, she addresses them all and tells them that she will be passing soon, and she has something she wants to say before she goes.
Everyone bursts into sobs, and she tells them that they should learn to live as Christians if they want to see her in Heaven. She starts to tell them that they should read the Bible, but stops short when she remembers that many of them can't read--a realization that makes her burst into tears and sob in her pillow. She tells them to pray even if they can't read, and as everyone around her cries, she gives them each a lock of her hair. She also gives one to Topsy, who tells Eva through her tears that she is trying to be good. After everyone leaves, St. Clare exclaims bitterly that God has dealt him a very bitter hand, and Eva asks him not to speak so violently against God. She asks him if he is a Christian. He tells her he doesn't know and asks her how she could love God if she has never seen him. She tells him that it doesn't matter, for she believes in a few days she will see him.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 7
After a few days, Eva passes away gently with Tom and St. Clare at her bedside.
The St. Clare household is preparing to bury Eva. Topsy enters the room where Eva is being kept, and she asks the haughty servant Rosa if she can place a flower there. Rosa, who has always been condescending to Topsy, orders her out, but St. Clare tells Topsy she can stay. Topsy places the flower at Eva's side and throws herself on the floor, sobbing wildly that she wishes she was dead, now that the only person who ever loved her is gone. She carries on this way until Miss Ophelia tells her tearfully that while she is not as good as Eva was, she can--and does--love her:
"'Topsy, you poor child, don't give up! I can love you, though I am not like that dear little child. I hope I've learnt something of the love of Christ from her. I can love you; I do, and I'll try to help you to grow up a good Christian girl.'" Chapter 27, pg. 297
Topic Tracking: Morality 18
The St. Clare family returns to New Orleans, where St. Clare attempts to keep himself busy socializing and venturing out to avoid his grief. One day he tells Tom that he wants to believe the Bible but can't. Tom tearfully tells St. Clare that he must believe and that he'd be willing to sacrifice his life to see St. Clare become a Christian. Tom asks St. Clare to read him the Bible, as Eva used to do it for him. St. Clare does, and he confesses to Tom that he wants to believe but simply can't. He asks Tom to teach him how to pray, and Tom leads him in a beautiful prayer. St. Clare is moved and feels as if the prayer has somehow brought him closer to Eva. He tells Tom that he would like to hear more some time but needs to be alone for awhile, and Tom leaves the room.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 8
St. Clare finds himself questioning the meaning of his existence, as his whole reason for being had been to make Eva happy. He found himself reading her Bible and considering it more thoughtfully, and he found himself contemplating his relationship to his servants, realizing that he was not happy with the way things had been. He began to commence the legal work necessary to emancipate Tom, and he found himself spending more time with him, as he felt he was his closest link to Eva. St. Clare tells Tom that he will soon be free, and Tom falls to his knees, thanking him. He tells St. Clare that he will not leave, however, until his master becomes a Christian. St. Clare laughs, but Tom tells him he is sincere, and that he believes St. Clare has been called to do God's work.
Meanwhile, Eva's death has made Miss Ophelia kinder and more sensitive, and she becomes more diligent in her teachings to Topsy. One day Rosa sees that Topsy has hidden something in her dress and accuses her of stealing. Miss Ophelia tells Topsy to show her what she has, and Topsy reveals that it is a book that Eva gave her, along with the lock of her hair, wrapped in some black crepe stolen from the funeral weeds. Topsy cries wildly, begging them not to take the things away, as they are all she has of Eva. St. Clare tells her she can keep them and tells Miss Ophelia that he believes that Topsy will one day improve, as anyone capable of feeling such sorrow cannot be a truly bad person. Miss Ophelia tells him that she believes Topsy has made great strides but that any attempts to redeem her character will be useless if the child is kept in slavery.
Topic Tracking: Morality 19
She tells St. Clare she wants the child legally turned over to her, so that she can take her north and liberate her. St. Clare agrees, and begins reading a newspaper. Much to his annoyance, Miss Ophelia demands that he draw up the papers right away, and he does. She then asks him if he has made any provisions for his servants in the event of his death, and he tells her he has not. He jokingly asks her if she thinks he's got yellow fever, so urgent are her questions. She simply replies that "in the midst of life we are in death." Later, Tom asks St. Clare to read the Bible, and one passage in particular moves him. One sentence--"In asmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not to me"--causes St. Clare to ask himself what he has done for his servants. Miss Ophelia later tells him that he should repent, and he tells her that he does not feel that he could truly be a Christian unless he throws himself body and soul against slavery, as he finds it horrifying. She asks him why, if he knew this, he did not do anything about it sooner, and he tells her that it was simply his laziness. He confides that he now feels braver, as one does when one has nothing to lose, and he tells her that he plans to carry out his duty to the poor and lowly as soon as he figures out what that is.
Topic Tracking: Morality 20
Later, he decides to step out for an hour to go to a cafe and read the paper. To everyone's horror, St. Clare is carried home with a knife wound in his side. Two men in the cafe had gotten into a fight, and as St. Clare tried to break it up, one of the men stabbed him in the side. He is brought home and a doctor is called, but everyone realizes it is too late. As he lies dying, he grabs Tom's hand and tells him to pray.
Two weeks after the funeral, Miss Ophelia hears a knock on her chamber door and opens it to find Rosa in tears. Rosa begs Miss Ophelia to help her and shows her a paper that Marie has written up--an order for Rosa to be sent to a whipping house and given fifteen lashes. Miss Ophelia goes to Marie and tells her that Rosa is very sorry for her fault and that she feels a lashing from a whipping house is too harsh a punishment. Marie replies:
"'Delicacy! A fine word for such as she. I'll teach her, with her airs, that she's no better than the raggedest black wench that walks the streets! She'll take no more airs with me!'" Chapter 29, pg. 320
Miss Ophelia indignantly replies that she will answer to God for her cruelty.
Topic Tracking: Morality 21
A few days later, the slaves learn that Marie has decided to sell the land and all the slaves except her personal servants and return to her parents' estate. Tom's heart sinks, realizing that he was so close to freedom and to his wife and children. He tells Miss Ophelia that St. Clare had promised him his freedom and asks him to discuss the matter with Marie. Miss Ophelia says she will do her best, and she approaches Marie delicately and asks if she will give Tom his freedom. Marie indignantly replies that she will do no such thing, as Tom is one of the most valuable slaves on the property. Miss Ophelia tries to reason with her, telling her that Tom could be sold to a cruel master. Marie replies that the stories of slaves being sold to cruel masters are exaggerated, and that there is a slim chance Tom will find himself in such circumstances. She adds that she believes slaves are better off in servitude:
"'Now, I'm principled against emancipating, in any case. Keep a negro under the care of a master, and he does well enough, and is respectable, but set them free, and they get lazy, and won't work, and take to drinking, and go all down to be mean, worthless fellows. I've seen it tried, hundreds of times. It's no favor to set them free.'" Chapter 29, pg. 323
Miss Ophelia, realizing that Marie's mind won't be changed, writes a letter to the Shelbys telling them of Tom's plight. The next day, the slaves are taken to a slave warehouse to be sold at auction.
Tom is auctioned off to a revolting, gruff man named Simon Legree, along with a pretty slave girl named Emmeline, who is sold away from her mother. Tom is the only slave from the St. Clare plantation to be sold to Legree.
Tom soon learns of his master's nature when, on a ferry en route to Legree's plantation, Legree orders Tom to change his clothes into more coarse articles and rifles through his possessions. Legree steals the items he wants and throws the others--including artifacts from Eva--into the river. He finds Tom's hymn book and declares, "'I'm your church now!'" Chapter 31, pg. 336 He marches up and down the row of his new slaves chained together and demands them to look chipper. He shakes his fist at them and tells them it is so worn from "knocking down niggers."
Topic Tracking: Morality 22
The boat eventually stops, and the party disembarks.
The party makes its way by wagon to Legree's estate, with Legree cursing them the whole way and demanding them to sing. When the slaves arrive, they find a ramshackle, deteriorated mansion guarded by several ferocious attack dogs. Legree tells them the dogs will attack them if they try to escape. Legree's overseers, two slaves named Sambo and Quimbo (who Legree has trained to be hard and bitter to the other slaves) lead the new slaves to their quarters, which are merely rude shanties with no walls and with piles of straw on the floor for beds. The next day, they are acquainted with their new duties--picking cotton from the crack of dawn until late in the evening, when their baskets are weighed. Afterward, they are given corn to grind to make corncakes for their only meal; the slaves must wait in line until the grinder becomes available. Tom, already faint from hunger, grinds the corn of two other women before his own when he sees how weary they are. He reads to them from his Bible when they are waiting for their cakes to cook, and the women express their belief that they don't see how the Lord could be watching over them, so wretched are their circumstances. After he falls asleep later, Tom has an extremely realistic "dream" in which Eva is reading the Bible to him.
Topic Tracking: Religion 6
Legree notices that Tom is a first-rate hand, but he begins to dislike him after he notices that Tom is visibly disturbed whenever he disciplines another slave. Tom is introduced to another slave, a woman named Cassy. She is emaciated, but clearly a woman who was once beautiful. She is sent to pick cotton with the other slaves, and Tom notices that her hands are smooth, suggesting that she is not accustomed to the labor. The other slaves jeer at her as she works, suggesting that she deserves the punishment of being sent to the cotton fields, but Cassy ignores them. Later, Tom notices that Lucy, a mulatto woman purchased with the same group as he, is suffering and tired. He puts some of his cotton into her basket, and Sambo sees. He strikes Tom in the face with his whip, and Lucy faints at the sight of it. Sambo sticks a pin in Lucy's arm and orders her to get up and get back to work.
Topic Tracking: Violence 4
After Sambo leaves, Tom puts all the cotton in his sack into the woman's, and she tells him he shouldn't, that he will be tortured if he is caught. Tom tells her he could bear it better than she. Cassy overhears him say this and tells him that he doesn't know any better, that he hasn't been on the plantation long enough to see how things work. In a month, he will be through helping other people, she tells him pessimistically. Later in the day, Sambo comes by and verbally harasses her, and she calls him a dog and tells him she'll have him cut to pieces if he continues to threaten her. It becomes clear from Sambo's hasty retreat that the woman has some sort of power. Later, when the slaves are marching toward the scales with their baskets, Sambo tells Legree that Tom has been piling cotton into Lucy's basket. Legree tells them that Tom will have to get a "breaking in." Legree then tells Tom that he means to turn him into an overseer, and Tom tells him he cannot carry out discipline against the other slaves. He lashes Tom across the face with a cowhide and strikes him several times, then asks Tom again if he will do it. Tom again says no. He kicks Tom and asks him if he does not belong to Legree, body and soul:
"'Here, you rascal, you make believe to be so pious,--didn't you never hear, out of your Bible, "Servants, obey yer masters"? An't I yer master? Didn't I pay down twelve hundred dollars, cash, for all there is inside yer old cussed black shell? An't yer mine, now, body and soul?'" Chapter 33, pg. 356
Tom says that he does not, that he only belongs to Christ and that Legree can't harm him. Legree orders Sambo and Quimbo to beat Tom, and the two slaves drag him away.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 9
Tom is lying alone, bleeding from his wounds, in an abandoned room in an old gin house on the property. A woman enters carrying a lantern, and it is Cassy. She gives Tom water and dresses his wounds. She tells him to give up, as it is no use trying to be pious and helpful to others. He tells her that he can never give up:
"'Poor critturs! What made 'em cruel?--and, if I give out, I shall get used to 't, and grow, little by little, just like 'em! No, no, Missis! I've lost everything,--wife and children, and home, and a kind Mas'r,--and he would have set me free, if he'd only lived a week longer; I've lost everything in this world, and it's clean gone, forever,--and now I can't lose Heaven, too; no, I can't get to be wicked, besides all!'" Chapter 34, pg. 359
She replies that if there is a God, he has already given up on them:
"'When I was a girl, I thought I was religious; I used to love God and prayer. Now, I'm a lost soul, pursued by devils that torment me day and night; they keep pushing me on and on--and I'll do it, too, some of these days! I'll send him where he belongs,--a short way, too,--one of these nights, if they burn me alive for it!'" Chapter 34, pg. 366
Tom says that it doesn't matter how he could come to be as wicked and cruel as Sambo, it is being that way that he couldn't handle. Cassy realizes the meaning of his words, and exclaims aloud with anguish.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 10
Tom asks her to read from his Bible. She does, and the words touch her to such a degree that she begins sobbing. She asks aloud why God puts them into circumstances under which they cannot help but sin. Tom tells her that they can help it, and she replies that for her, there is no hope, that she and the others have been so broken down that they want to die but cannot kill themselves. She tells him her story--how she was raised in a proper family and educated, but when her father died, it was revealed that he had so many debts that his property was auctioned off, and Cassy was included in it. A gentleman bought her, and she became his lover, though he never married her. He refused to marry, but she stayed with him anyway and bore him two children, a daughter and a son, whom she adored. One day he sold her and the children to clear off his gambling debts. He sold her and the children to his cousin, who told her that she was his now. She submitted to him for fear of having her children sold, though she hated him. One day she discovered that he had sold her son, and she grabbed a knife and jumped at him. She did not remember what happened next, only that she woke up in a room that was not hers, under the care of people she did not know. She discovered that her husband had left and that she was to be sold.
A kindly man named Stuart bought her and tracked down her children, offering huge sums to purchase them. But the sellers refused. She then was taken to Stuart's plantation and bore another son not long after. But she poisoned the child to death two months after he was born to spare him the harsh life of slavery. Her master died of yellow fever, and she was then sold to Legree. When she concludes her story, she tells Tom that she once believed in God but no longer does. After her passionate speech, she collects herself and offers Tom more water. Tom tells her that he wishes she would find comfort in God and try to believe. She makes sure he is comfortable, then leaves the shed.
Topic Tracking: Religion 7
Legree is sitting in his living room drinking and cursing Sambo to himself for cutting up Tom so badly during the busiest part of the season, when his work is needed most. Cassy, coming up from behind him, mutters sarcastically that the remark is just like him. He threatens to put her back to picking cotton, and she replies that she'd rather pick cotton than be under his hoof. He replies that she is, no matter what she does, then tells her to sit down on his knee. She leans in and hisses at him, saying, "'You're afraid of me, Simon, and you've reason to be. But be careful, for I've got the devil in me!'" Chapter 35, pg. 368 He replies that he believes that she does, and he is secretly a little afraid of her, especially since he has noticed that she seems to have grown wilder lately and seems to be hovering on the brink of insanity. She scolds him for being so cruel to Tom. Just then, Sambo enters, telling Legree he has something to show him. He pulls out a piece of paper, telling him it's some "witch thing" he found on a string around Tom's neck. Legree takes the paper, and Eva's curl falls to the floor. Legree jumps as if frightened and angrily stamps on the hair, demanding that someone burn it and cursing Sambo for bringing it to him. Startled, Sambo slips out, and Cassy leaves behind him. What Legree did not tell his slaves, is why the hair disturbed him so--it seemed that as a boy in New England, Legree had been gently loved by a pious mother who took him to church and adored him, even though he seemed to take after his cruel and hard-hearted father. She begged him to change, but he spurned her and left to make his fortune at sea. He came home only once, and she fell to her knees at his feet, begging and pleading for him to change his ways. Though he felt a momentary pang, he rejected her again, kicking her away from him violently. One day, after he left, he received a letter--containing a curl of her hair. The letter revealed that she had died, but that she had blessed and forgiven him before she died. Seeing Eva's hair had shocked and disturbed him, and he suddenly found himself feeling lonely and afraid.
Topic Tracking: Morality 23
Legree ordered Sambo and Quimbo to come and dance and sing for his entertainment. They did, and Cassy heard their loud singing as she returned from treating Tom's wounds. She silently asked herself if it would be a sin to rid the world of him, then knocked on Emmeline's door.
Emmeline is happy to see Cassy, as the noisy goings-on downstairs have frightened her. She asks Cassy if there is any way they can escape, and Cassy says that those who have tried have been so tortured that she cannot get their screams out of her head. She says there is a tree on the property that is surrounded by a ring of ashes, and that no one will even speak of what happens there. Emmeline wishes aloud that she'd never been born, and Cassy says she has often thought of killing herself. Emmeline says it would be wicked for her to kill herself, and Cassy replies that it is only what she learned in the convent that makes her afraid to die. Meanwhile, Legree drifts off to sleep after a night of drinking and has a nightmare, in which Cassy pushes him over an abyss, laughing as she does it. Just before he falls, he sees a woman wearing a veil, and she pulls aside the veil, revealing that she is Legree's mother. Just as he realizes it is her, he drops off into the abyss.
Topic Tracking: Morality 24
He awakens in a terrible mood. Cassy tells him he should leave Tom alone, and that he should allow him to heal and work so that Legree will win his bet on having the best crop of the season. Legree recoils at this, knowing that she has hit him where it counts. He sullenly says he will leave Tom alone if Tom begs for his forgiveness. Cassy tells him that Tom will not do it, and that he is unlike any other slave Legree has ever owned. Legree says "we'll see" and pays Tom a visit. He sees Tom lying down and kicks him, ordering him to get up. Tom rises, and Legree tells Tom to beg for his forgiveness. He strikes Tom with a riding whip and orders him to his knees. Tom replies that he cannot, that he will never do a cruel thing, even if his master kills him, because he is not at all afraid to die. Legree says he'll make Tom give out, and Tom says that it doesn't matter, that Legree can kill him but he'll never take his soul.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 11
Legree, enraged, strikes Tom to the ground. Cassy approaches and chastises Legree again for hitting Tom, reminding him that without Tom's help, he'll lose his bet. Legree tells Tom he won't deal with him now, but threatens him with another beating.
In a Quaker house, the slave-catcher Loker is being cared for by a Quaker woman, nursing the gunshot wound dealt to him by George Harris. He asks her if George, Eliza and the others are there, and she says they are. He tells her that he hopes they escape, just to spite Marks. He tells the woman that Eliza should wear a disguise, as her description is out in Sandusky, and that they should leave very soon. (Later, Loker becomes a wiser man as a result of his travails and abandons the slave-catching trade.)
Topic Tracking: Morality 25
The party is divided and driven separately to Sandusky, where George, Eliza and Harry spend the night in another Quaker settlement. The next day, they leave, with Eliza disguised as a man and Harry disguised as a little girl. They board a boat, and as George is paying for the passage of his party, he hears a man say to another man that no slaves matching the description of the wanted fugitives have boarded the boat. George calmly returns to his family, despite what he has overheard. The boat sails without incident into the small town of Amherstberg, in Canada. George and his family disembark, and they fall to their knees on the Canadian soil, thanking God. They are guided to a Christian missionary.
Topic Tracking: Religion 8
George, who was initially skeptical of God's existence, had become more faithful after his speech with Mr. Wilson. Here, his faith is rewarded at last. Every religious character in the book has his or her faith rewarded in some way or another; some by reaching heaven, others on earth.
Legree orders Tom back to the field long before his wounds heal, and he pushes the slaves to work seven days a week, cruelly trying all the while to break Tom's spirit. Tom is soon so weary and exhausted that he cannot even read his Bible, and he draws it out of his pocket one night and attempts to read it as his meager corn cake is cooking. He finds that either his eyes are failing or the words no longer move him, and he wearily puts the Bible back in his pocket. Legree marches up to him, taunting that he knew that Tom would be broken of religion one day. Legree tells Tom that his religion is nonsense, otherwise he would never have ended up with Legree. Tom replies that the Lord may or not help him, but he'll believe in Him until the end. Legree warns Tom that he will bring him down, and walks away. Tom sits next to the fire, despairing, until he sees a vision. He sees someone wearing a crown of thorns, bleeding; the thorns then change to glowing rays of light. The figure leans in toward him and promises him a seat in Heaven if he overcomes his challenges.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 12
When Tom comes to, he finds himself renewed with hope and exultant after the vision:
"How long Tom lay there, he knew not. When he came to himself, the fire was gone out, his clothes were wet with the chill and drenching dews; but the dread soul-crisis was past, and, in the joy that filled him, he no longer felt hunger, cold, degradation, disappointment, wretchedness. From his deepest soul, he that hour loosed and parted from every hope in the life that now is, and offered his own will an unquestioning sacrifice to the Infinite. Tom looked up to the silent, ever-living stars,--types of the angelic hosts who ever look down on a man; and the solitude of the night rung with the triumphant words of a hymn, which he had sung often in happier days, but never with such feeling as now ... " Chapter 38, pp. 388-389
He is suddenly more peaceful than ever, and his good cheer has fully returned. Legree notices the change in Tom. One night, as he is returning from town, he decides to check on the slaves and make sure they are in order. As he approaches the quarters, he hears Tom's voice, singing a Methodist hymn. He demands that Tom stop, and Tom cheerfully agrees to do so. His cheerfulness angers Legree, who begins to beat him. A few nights later, Cassy pays Tom a visit in the quarters. She tells him that she has put something in Legree's brandy to make him sleep soundly, and she tells Tom she's left the back door of the house open and put an axe near it. She asks Tom to kill Legree, saying she would do it herself if her arms weren't so weak. Tom steadfastly refuses, saying that no good comes out of evil and he'd sooner cut off his own hand. Cassy stubbornly replies that she will do it if he won't, and he begs her not to, saying that people should love their enemies. Cassy bitterly replies that it isn't in flesh and blood to do so. Tom agrees, but says it comes from God.
Topic Tracking: Morality 26
His tears and sincerity move Cassy, and she tells Tom she hasn't prayed since her children were sold. He tells her to turn to Jesus, as he helps the needy and broken-hearted. He then tells her that if she and Emmeline can find away to escape without committing evil, they should do it. She asks him if he would go if they ran away, and he tells her no:
"'No, time was when I would, but the Lord's given me a work among these yer poor souls, and I'll stay with 'em and bear my cross with 'em till the end. It's different with you; it's a snare to me,--it's more 'n you can stand,--and you'd better go if you can.'" Chapter 38, pg. 394
She tells him there is no possible way she can escape without being found out and murdered. He says that she should try, and he'll pray with all his might for her. After a few moments, she has an idea of an escape plan, and she excitedly tells Tom she will try it.
Topic Tracking: Religion 9
The attic of Legree's house is the subject of legend among the slaves, who know that a slave who crossed Legree's path was once confined there for weeks and carried out after she had died. The slaves don't know what happened there, but they tell stories about how the attic is haunted. Legree, who is very superstitious, flies into a rage whenever he hears the stories and threatens to send the next person who talks about the attic to spend some time there. Everyone, including Legree, is terrified of the attic and won't go near it, and Cassy decides to use this fear to her advantage.
Her room is located directly under the garret, and she moves all her furniture to another room far away from the garret, telling him she can't sleep because of what she hears coming from the garret--horrible groaning and scuffling and knocking sounds that she says last half the night. Legree laughs off her accusations, but she sees he is uneasy and dares him to sleep in the room if he doesn't believe her. Knowing that she has rattled him, Cassy sets the wheels of her plan in motion. She puts an empty bottle in the keyhole of the garret, causing any breeze that blows through to make a horrible wailing sound. The sounds began to spark up the rumors again among the servants, and the house is suddenly filled with a creeping sense of dread--to which Legree is not immune. One particularly windy and noisy night, Legree is sitting in his parlor with Cassy, attempting to read. He asks her suddenly if she believes in ghosts, and declares that he thinks it is all nonsense. She tells him that she has seen the door to the garret opened even after she locked it and placed a chair against it, and that she has seen figures walking up to her bed. He demands to know if that really happened, and she coolly replies that he can sleep there himself, if he wants to know. He declares that he'll have it examined, and he'll take his pistols. She dares him to do it, and just then the clock strikes twelve. She asks him if he heard something, and he says it is only the wind. Then they hear a wild, piercing shriek, and Legree's face grows pale with fear. She taunts him, asking him if he hadn't better get his pistols. She dares him to go up, and he staunchly says he will not. She laughs wildly and climbs up the staircase, daring him to go.
He hears her open the door, and he hears her screaming wildly. A few moments later, she comes back down the stairs, looking pale and frightened. She continued the game for several days, taking advantage of Legree's mortal fear of the garret by stocking it with supplies and provisions. One day, she managed to convince Legree to take her to town with him while he ran an errand, and she memorized the roads and passageway. One night, when Legree is away, she grabs Emmeline and tells her it is time to escape. Emmeline remarks that it is still light out, and the other slaves will surely see them. Cassy replies that this is the plan; once Sambo and Quimbo see them trying to leave, they will cause such a commotion, that they won't even notice when the two slip back inside the house, where Cassy has made a bed for them to sleep in the garret. They will crawl through the river, Cassy explains, so the dogs cannot follow their scent, then sneak back into the house. They will stay there for awhile, until the dust settles and everyone believes they have escaped for good, so that when they finally do leave, no one will notice.
They sneak out and hear Sambo calling after them. They make their way into the river, and Emmeline tells Cassy she is going to faint. Cassy brandishes a stiletto knife, telling Emmeline that she will kill her if she does. They suddenly hear the voice of Legree, who has returned, telling all the slaves to release the dogs. He offers $5 to anyone who can catch them and tells them that they may shoot Cassy if they like, but not Emmeline. Soon, realizing that every servant in the house has joined the hunt, they sneak back in, and Cassy stops at a small desk before they go upstairs. She takes a key she has stolen from Legree and takes several bills from his drawer to pay for their passage. Emmeline protests that it is stealing, and Cassy replies that they will never be able to escape without money. They sneak up to the garret, and Emmeline asks Cassy if she meant it when she said she'd kill her. Cassy says she meant to stop her from fainting, and she tells Emmeline that she must make up her mind not to do it. Emmeline hears the party returning to the house and begs Cassy not to talk, as they might hear. Cassy replies that any noise they make will only add to the effect, as they are all terrified of the garret and believe it is haunted. Meanwhile, Legree curses his luck and retreats to bed.
Legree, angered by Cassy and Emmeline's escape, wakes up the next morning with a renewed sense of hatred toward Tom. He gathers a search party of several of the cruelest overseers from neighboring plantations and vows that if he cannot find the two fugitives, he will take his wrath out on Tom. Meanwhile, Cassy and Emmeline are in the garret. Cassy tells Emmeline that if not for her, she would march right up to the party and ask them to kill her. Emmeline reaches out to her, but Cassy tells her not to, saying that she does not want to ever love anything else again. Emmeline asks her not to feel so, telling her she may yet see her children again. She says she fears she may never see her mother again, but she would like to be a daughter to Cassy. Cassy replies with despair that her heart is empty, and that if God gave her children back to her, she could pray. Emmeline sincerely asks her to pray anyway, and to trust in God. Cassy says that God's wrath is upon them, and Emmeline tells her to have hope, as she always has.
Meanwhile, Legree's long and exhaustive hunt has yielded nothing, and he tells Quimbo to retrieve Tom. When he sees Tom, Legree viciously tells Tom that he has made up his mind to kill him if he does not tell Legree what he knows about Cassy and Emmeline:
"'Hark'e, Tom!--ye think, 'cause I've let you off before, I don't mean what I say, but, this time, I've made up my mind, and counted the cost. You've always stood it out agin' me: now, I'll conquer ye; or kill ye!--one or t' other. I'll count every drop of blood there is in you, and take 'em, one by one, till ye give up!'" Chapter 40, pg. 410
Tom tells Legree that he doesn't have anything to tell. Legree asks him if he knows their whereabouts, and Tom calmly replies that he does, but he cannot say anything--he will die first. Legree tells him that he will kill him if he doesn't tell what he knows, and Tom begs him not to, saying that such a sin would bring unending trouble on Legree and would hurt him more than it would hurt Tom. He tells Legree he would gladly die for his soul if it could save him and warns him that his troubles will never end if he doesn't repent:
"'Mas'r, if you was sick, or in trouble, or dying, and I could save ye, I'd give ye my heart's blood; and, if taking every drop of blood in this poor old body would save your precious soul, I'd give 'em freely, as the Lord gave his for me. O, Mas'r! don't bring this great sin on your soul! It will hurt you more than't will me! Do the worst you can, my troubles'll be over soon; but, if ye don't repent, yours won't never end!'" Chapter 40, pg. 410
Tom's words momentarily stun Legree, but his silent reflection lasts only a moment.
Topic Tracking: Morality 27
Legree then beats Tom severely, asking him to confess as he does it.
Topic Tracking: Violence 5
Tom refuses, and after awhile says to Legree, "There an't no more ye can do! I forgive ye, with all my soul!" Chapter 40, pg. 411 and faints away. After Legree leaves, Sambo and Quimbo, who have been touched by Tom's patience in spite of their dislike for him, try to revive Tom. Sambo remarks to Quimbo that they have done a terrible thing, and the two slaves wash his wounds and give him a bed. One of them goes to Legree's house and asks for some brandy, pretending he wants it for himself, then sneaks back out and gives it to Tom. Quimbo apologizes to Tom, telling him they have been terrible to him. Tom says faintly that he forgives them. Sambo then asks Tom, "'Do tell us who is Jesus anyhow? Jesus, that's been a standin' by you so, all this night!--Who is he?'" Chapter 40, pg. 412 The question rouses Tom, who tells them about God. Sambo and Quimbo begin to weep, and Tom prays to God for the redemption of their souls. Sambo declares that he does believe.
Topic Tracking: Redemption 13
One day, a wagon carrying a young man arrives on Legree's estate; the man happens to be George Shelby. Though a long time has passed since Miss Ophelia sent the family her letter, a mix-up at the post office led to a delay in its receipt. When they finally got the letter, George and his mother immediately wrote to a lawyer that Miss Ophelia had named as the St. Clare family attorney. While they waited for his reply, they cared for Mr. Shelby, who had contracted a fever. When he eventually died, Mrs. Shelby found he had named her sole executrix of the estate, and the next several months were occupied as she worked at getting Mr. Shelby's affairs in order. They eventually receive a letter from the lawyer, saying that Tom was sold at auction and that he knows nothing else of his whereabouts. George and Mrs. Shelby are not satisfied at this answer, and George sets out to New Orleans, where he asks various townspeople if they know of Tom and to whom he belongs. After several months of searching, he finds a man who says he knows where Tom lives. George boards a steamboat and travels up the river, intending to buy Tom back. He travels to Legree's plantation and asks if he knows of a slave named Tom.
Legree tells George with hostility that he did buy Tom, and he calls his slave an "impudent dog." He tells George how his two slaves escaped, and that Tom would not tell Legree what he knew, and that he subsequently beat Tom. "I b'lieve he's trying to die," Legree tells George. George, enraged, demands to see Tom, and he is led to the shed where Tom lies dying. George rushes up to Tom, weeping, and tells him who he is. Tom declares, "Mas'r George!" and his face lights up. He tells George that it warms his heart to see him, and that he will now die happy, knowing that he wasn't forgotten. George begs Tom not to die, telling him he has come to buy him back and take him back to Kentucky. Tom tells George it is too late, and that Heaven is better than Kentucky. George begs him not to die, telling him it will kill him and break his heart if he does, knowing how Tom has suffered. Tom declares vehemently that he has won, as the Lord has given him glory:
"'Don't call me poor fellow! I have been poor fellow; but that's all past and gone, now. I'm right in the door, going into glory! O, Mas'r George! Heaven has come! I've got the victory!--the Lord Jesus has given it to me! Glory be to His name!'" Chapter 41, pg. 416
Topic Tracking: Redemption 14
Legree comes into the shed, and George declares that he hopes Legree one day will suffer for what he's done. Tom asks George not to feel that way, saying that Legree hasn't done Tom any real harm, as he has only brought him closer to heaven. After a bit, Tom passes away, and George asks Legree if he can buy his body, so he can take him and bury him decently. Legree replies, "'I don't sell dead niggers. You are welcome to bury him where and when you like.'" Chapter 41, pg. 417 George orders two slaves to get him a spade and help him carry Tom's body to the wagon. Legree follows them to the wagon with a sulky air. The men load the body onto the wagon, and George turns to Legree. He tells him that he plans to go to the nearest magistrate and report the incident as murder. Legree scoffs at him, asking him where he is going to find witnesses to prove it. George realizes that Legree is white, and there is no white person on the place besides Legree, and the testimony of blacks does not hold weight in southern courts.
Legree ask George why he is so concerned over "a dead nigger." The words send a fury down George's spine, and he whirls around and smacks Legree down to the ground. George boards the wagon with the two slaves, and they find a grassy knoll. They bury Tom there, and George gives the slaves a quarter each. They beg George to buy them, telling him they face hard times at Legree's. George says with difficulty that he cannot. The two men walk off, dejected. George drops to his knees at Tom's grave and declares:
"'Witness, eternal God! Oh, witness, that, from this hour, I will do what one man can to drive out this curse of slavery from my land!'" Chapter 41, pg. 418
Topic Tracking: Morality 28
The legends of ghosts on the Legree property are growing, as the servants are now claiming that they hear footsteps in the night. The rumors get to Legree, who begins to drink more. One night, as he is sleeping, Legree sees a figure in white hovering over his bed, and in his frightened state, he believes it is a ghost (though it is simply Cassy in a white sheet). That night, Cassy and Emmeline escaped, and the next morning, the servants began to speak of how they saw two figures in white, gliding down the road. Meanwhile, Cassy and Emmeline made their way to town, with Cassy disguised as a wealthy Creole woman and Emmeline as her servant. Cassy and Emmeline board a boat, where Cassy recognizes George Shelby, whom she had seen knocking Legree down from her loop-hole in the garret. Once on the boat, Emmeline and Cassy requested a stateroom, and they hid out there on the pretense that Cassy was ill. George, having helped Cassy on the boat and wanting to help her out in her supposed illness, requested a room next to hers. George also befriends a woman named Madame de Thoux, who is occupying the room next to Cassy's. George and Madame de Thoux discover through their conversations an astonishing coincidence--she happens to be the sister of George Harris.
Madame de Thoux says she knows George Harris and asks George Shelby what became of him. When he tells her that George has escaped to Canada with his wife and child, she bursts into tears, explaining that George is her brother and that they were sold away from each other as children. George explains that George Harris married a servant of the Shelby's, a beautiful woman named Eliza, whom his father had purchased from the New Orleans slave market when she was a girl. Cassy, having overheard the conversation, asks George if he knows the names of the people from whom Mr. Shelby bought the girl. He replies that it was a family named Simmons, and Cassy faints upon hearing this. Everyone rushes around her to help her, and when she comes to, she bursts into sobs. But she feels a renewed sense of hope, feeling suddenly confident that she will one day see her daughter again.
George Shelby sends Cassy Eliza's bill of sale, which confirms her suspicions that Eliza is her long-lost daughter. Madame de Thoux and Cassy, having a common bond, travel together to Canada, where they locate the missionary with whom George and Eliza stayed when they first arrived in Canada. George and Eliza had since moved to Montreal, where they had been living for five years. George had found employment in a machinist's shop, and on this income he supported Eliza, Harry, and their newest child, a daughter. Cassy and Madame de Thoux sought out the help of a pastor in Amherstberg, and he traveled with them to Montreal. One evening, the pastor, Cassy, and Madame de Thoux find themselves at George and Eliza's apartment, and the two women reveal their identities to George and Eliza.
Everyone bursts into tears, and the group spends the evening getting acquainted. After awhile, Madame de Thoux explains that her husband has passed away, leaving a small fortune to her, which she wishes to divide amongst the new family. She asks George what he wants, and he tells her that he has always wanted an education. The family decides to sail to France, taking Emmeline with them. Emmeline falls in love with the first mate of the vessel carrying them to France, and she marries him. After their arrival in France, George studies at a university and earns his degree. Political troubles in France led them to flee, and they decide to set sail for Africa, where George feels he belongs. Madame de Thoux begins an inquiry as to the whereabouts of Cassy's son, and he is eventually located in the north, where he had escaped and become educated with the help of friends. He decides to join the family in Africa. Meanwhile, in Vermont, Miss Ophelia has taken Topsy to live with her. Miss Ophelia raised Topsy as a Christian, and Topsy is eventually baptized as a Christian and moves to Africa to live and work as a missionary.
Topic Tracking: Religion 10
George returns to the Shelby plantation, where Chloe eagerly asks about Tom, having gotten her hopes up that he would soon return to the farm. George tells her simply that he "went to a better country." Chloe leaves the room, and Mrs. Shelby goes after her, and they weep together. George enters and tells Chloe about Tom's death, and how he died happy, knowing he was going to Heaven, and how he gave his love to everyone. One month later, George calls all the slaves together and gives them papers declaring that they are free. There is much weeping and rejoicing, but many tell George that they are perfectly happy where they are and don't want to be turned away. He tells them that they are welcome to stay, but since they are now free, he will pay them wages, and they will never have to fear being sold to a cruel master. He tells them that he intends to teach them, and he tells them to look to the sky and thank God for their freedom. One of the servants strikes up a Methodist hymn, and when he finishes singing, George gives a speech, telling how he resolved before God that he would never own another slave again. He concludes his speech by saying:
"'It was on his grave, my friends, that I resolved, before God, that I would never own another slave, while it is possible to free him; that nobody, through me, should ever run the risk of being parted from home and friends, and dying on a lonely plantation, as he died. So, when you rejoice in your freedom, think that you owe it to the good old soul, and pay it back in kindness to his wife and children. Think of your freedom, every time you see UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; and let it be a memorial to put you all in mind to follow his steps, and be as honest and faithful a Christian as he was.'" Chapter 44, pg. 438
Topic Tracking: Religion 11
The final chapter consists of the author's comments on slavery. She explains to the readers, that while the novel is a work of fiction, several of the characters and situations are based on factual events (especially the anecdote about a planter who bragged that his fist was rough from "knocking down niggers," a line that the character Legree delivers verbatim). She implores north and south alike to find it in their conscience to reject slavery, and lists several freed slaves that her brother personally knows as examples of what blacks can accomplish outside the bonds of slavery. She ends the book with a stern warning about what will happen if north and south do not work together to end slavery:
"A day of grace is yet held out to us. Both North and South have been guilty before God; and the Christian church has a heavy account to answer. Not by combining together, to protect injustice and cruelty, and making a common capital of sin, is this Union to be saved,--but by repentance, justice and mercy; for, not surer is the eternal law by which the millstone sinks in the ocean, than that stronger law, by which injustice and cruelty shall bring on nations the wrath of Almighty God!" Chapter 45, pg. 447