Uncle Tom's Cabin

In the context of Uncle Tom's Cabin, why might slaveholders sympathetic to the slaves' plight not have freed their slaves?

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In the novel, Uncle Tom's cabin, it is shown that several slave owners wished to release some of their slaves who'd been loyal and good friends. However, when economic hardships presented themselves, no matter what their desires, their loyaty was first to themselves and the plantation, and as a result, many slaves were sold despite being told that they would be freed. Additionally, many slave owners specified in their wills that certain slaves be freed upon their death. However, many heirs to such wills did not honor their predessor's wishes.