Chapter 5 Notes from Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 5

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.

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