Uncle Tom's Cabin - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 1 Summary

Uncle Tom's Cabin is Harriet Beecher Stowe's story of three slaves and the paths their lives take in pre-Civil war America. As the story begins a man named Mr. Haley is in the home of Mr. Shelby, a plantation owner in Kentucky. Mr. Shelby has incurred a debt owed to Mr. Haley who wants slaves for payment. Mr. Shelby is reluctantly offering up his best slave, Tom, who is loyal and trustworthy and a credit to any man. Haley is impressed by Tom's characteristics but needs another slave to complete the deal.

Suddenly the two men are interrupted by a young boy named Harry who sings and dances happily for Mr. Shelby and his guest. The boy is particularly beautiful and Mr. Haley is taken with the child. Eliza, Harry's mother who is also Mrs. Shelby's servant, enters the room to get Harry. When the mother and...

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This section contains 374 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Uncle Tom's Cabin Study Guide
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Uncle Tom's Cabin from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.