Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 29
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.
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.