TTCI A. IHAIUE4Ch1
The Bald%-m Libran
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vi iA D A, R i T T E
Art Memorial Ldition
CABIN & w
OR LIFE AMOiG THE
BY 'l- w r,- 5- f r- c,
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
O WHICH IS ADDED
HOW HENRY WARD BEECHER SOLD
SLAVES IN PLYfIOUTH CHURCH W
LIFE OF HARRIETT BEECHER STOWE
THE STORY OF THE BOOK W W
AND W W W W
A KEY TO THE CHARACTERS W *
By PROF. CHARLES flORRIS f) 1 1
THE DOMINION COMPANY
328=334 Dearborn Street
CHICAGO, U. S. A.
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'i~r-il. \i!~, iiii~JOHN Pil OTT EJliliii i: rl,i~il ~ i
Publisher's Introduction . . . . . . . . . 15
How Henry Ward Beecher Sold Slaves in Plymouth Church .17
Life of Harriett Beecher Stowe . . . . . . .... 24
The Story of the Book .................... 29
A Key to the Characters . . . . . . . . . 37
Preface ............. ............ .45
Emancipation Proclamation . . . . . . ... 48
In which the Reader is Introduced to a Man of Humanity . 51
The Mother ........ .............. .63
The Husband and Father . . . . . . . ..... 68
An Evening in Uncle Tom's Cabin . . . . . ... 75
Showing the Feelings of Living Property on Changing Owners 91
Discovery ........... ............. 103
The Mother's Struggle . . . . . . . .... 115
Threeof a Kind ................... .. 31
In which it Appears that a Senator is but a Man . . . . 150
The Property is Carried Off . . . . . . . .. 171
In which Property gets into an Improper State of Mind ..... .182
Select Incident of Lawful Trade . . . . .
The Quaker Settlement . . . . . . .
Of Tom's New Master, and Various Other Matters .
Tom's Mistress and Her Opinions . . . .
The Freeman's Defense . . . . . . .
Miss Ophelia's Experiences and Opinions .. .
Miss Ophelia's Experiences and Opinions, Continued
Topsy ........ .. ....... ....
Kentuck ....... .............
"The Grass Withereth-the Flower Fadeth ..
Henrique ..... ....... ... ... .
. . .. 219
. . 244
. . . 264A
. . 284
. . 304
. . 324
. ... 346
. ... 366
. . . 371
. . . .38C
. ... 392
The Little Evangelist
Death .. .....
"This is the Last of E
The Unprotected .
The Slave Warehouse
The Middle Passage.
Dark Places ....
The Quadroon's Story
The Tokens . ..
Emmeline and Cassy
The Victory ....
The Stratagem ..
The Martyr . ..
. . . . . . .. . . 398
. . . . . . . . . 405
arth" ............. ... 424
. . . . . . . . . .451
. . . . . . . . . . 461
. . . .. . . 473
. . . . .. . . . . 479
. . . . . . . . . . .490
. . . . . . . . . .- 500
. . . . . ... . .. . 513
. . . . . . . . . .521
. . . . . . . . . .538
. . . . . . . . . .549
. . . . . . . . . .564
The Young Master .................... .573
An Authentic Ghost Story ................ 580
Results ................ ......... .591
The Liberator ....................... 600
Concluding Remarks . . . . . . . .. .. 605
1. Presentation page . . . . . . . .. 1
2. Frontispiece page. ... . . . . . . . 4
3. Harriett Beecher Stowe . . . . . . . . . 4
4. Uncle Tom .................. ...... 4
5.Eva... ......................... 4
6. Topsy ....... ............. ....... 4
7. Eliza .................. ...... 4
8. George Harris ...... ........... .. . 4
9. Haley ................ .............. 4
10. Legree . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
11. House in which Uncle Tom's Cabin was written . . . 4
12. Illustrative title page (in colors) . . . . . . 5
13. Illustrative head-piece, Contents . . . . . . . 7
14. Illustrative tail-piece, Contents . . . . . 10
15. Illustrative head-piece, Illustrations . . . . . 11
16. Illustrative head-piece, Publisher's Introduction . . .. 15
17. Illustrative head-piece, How Henry Ward Beecher sold slaves
in Plymouth Church . . . . . . .... 17
18. Illustrative tail-piece ............... .. 23
19. Illustrative head-piece, Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe . . 24
20. Illustrative head-piece, The Story of the Book ....... 29
21. Illustrative head-piece, A Key to the Characters . . .. 37
22. Illustrative tail-piece . . . . . . . .... 44
23. Illustrative head-piece, Preface . . . . . . .. 45
24. Illustrative tail-piece . . . . . . . ... 47
25. Henry Ward Beecher selling slaves in Plymouth Church .. 50
26. Illustrative head-piece, Uncle Tom's Cabin . . ... 51
27. Accompanying his singing with many comic evolutions . 53
28. George stood like one transfixed . . . . . 65
ILL USTRA TIONS.
29. Parting of George and Eliza. . . . . . . 73
30. Aunt Chloe .... ................. 77
31. Uncle Tom's Cabin. ....................81
32. Cabin exterior ................... .. 81
33. "Not that way, Uncle Tom.". . . . . . 81
34. "Arthur, who was that low-bred fellow ?" . . . ... .92
35. I'm running' away, Uncle Tom." . . . . . .. 99
36. They ducked and dodged hither and thither to be out of the
reach of his riding whip . . . . . . . .. 105
37. The mettlesome creature threw his master sprawling . .112
38. She vaulted sheer over the turbid current . . . ... 127
39. Loker listened to him with gruff and surly attention . . 133
40. "Fellow countrymen," said Sam, elevating a turkey's leg
with energy ..... ................147
41. Eliza lay in a deadly swoon . . . . . . 156
42. Eliza was hurried into the carriage . . . . .... 156
43. Mrs. Bird slowly opened the drawer . . . . .. 156
44. The Senator despairingly steps out . . . . .... 168
45. He stood holding the candle aloft . . . . ... .168
46. "I say, gal, you needn't be a bit afeard." .. . . .. 168
47. "Get in !" said Haley to Tom . . . . . ... 176
48. Into such an assembly of the free and easy our traveler en-
tered . . . . . . . . . . . .185
49. He sauntered up to the advertisement and road it over . 185
50. George stood with his head thrown back and a bitter smile
curling his lips .................... 185
51. His fine figure, alert limbs and bright face raised an instant
competition ... ....... ........ .. 201
52. Oh, Albert Oh, my boy You's my last baby." ..... .201
53. He drove them before him to the jail. . . . . . 20
54. Haley pulled his mouth open, looked in and felt of his teeth. 201
55. The La Belle Riviere was floating gaily down the stream . 201
56. With sobs and tears she bemoaned him as her husband . 211
57. The wild look of anguish and utter despair might have dis-
turbed one less practised . .... . .. 211
58. He awoke with a sudden start and heard a splash in the water. 211
59. It was plain to see how old and firm the girlish heart had
grown under the discipline of heavy sorrow ...... .221
60. It was no dream-her husband was sobbing by her pillow 228
61. He saw her strike the water and sink, and was after her in a
moment ................... .... 238
ILL U8'RA rI7ONSt.
62. "Now, Eva, have you kept count of your things?" .... 253
63. The carriage stopped in front of an ancient mansion . .. 258
64. 0 Tom, you look so funny !" . . . . . .. 273
65. A man riding in hot haste was now dimly described at the
top of a distant hill . . . . . . . ... 293
66. George fired ............... .. .....299
67. "Get up, Tom, I'm not worth crying over." . . . 308
68. "O! ladies, ladies, you will certainly break my heart be-
tween you." ................... .. 320
69. His large blue eyes flashed and he gestured with an uncon-
scious eagerness . . . . . . ..... .329
70. She suddenly threw her arms around his neck, burst into
tears and sobbed convulsively . . . . . ... 342
71. Miss Ophelia shows Topsy how to make a bed . . . 353
72. Rosa, at that instant, came into the room . . . . 356
73. Does you know you's all sinners." . . . . .. 363
74. The sight that pleased him most was her sunny head looking
out the gate for his distant approach . . . ... 373
75. "Tom," said Eva suddenly, stopping and pointing to the
lake, "there'tis." ................. .376
76. Henrique struck him across the face with his riding whip .. 381
77. "There come the children." . . . . . . .. 389
78. "S'pects it's my wicked heart," said Topsy, demurely . 401
79. "It's a beautiful bouquet," said Eva, looking at it- ... 408
80. 'I sent for you all, my dear friends," said Eva, because I
love you." ... ......... .. ..........413
81. "O! Tom, my boy, it is killing me!" . . . . 421
82. Miss Ophelia hastened into the room, and tried to raise and
silence her .......... ...........427
83. St. Clare rapidly wrote off a deed of gift . . . ... 440
84. With smothered voices and heavy tread came several men
bringing a body ................ .... 447
85. The slave warehouse . . . . . . .... 460
86. The auctioneer expatiates volubly in mingled French and
English and bids rise in rapid succession . . ... 471
87. The care of the former owner had been left to go to utter decay. 483
88. "Dog!" she said "touch me if you dare !" . . . . 495
89. The two gigantic negroes now laid hold of Tom with fiendish
exultation in their faces . . . . . . . 498
90. Often, as she read, her voice faltered, and sometimes failed
her altogether .................... 504
ILL USTRA TIONS.
91. Legree and both the drivers were in a state of furious in-
toxication . . . . . . . . . . . 519
92. The scissors glittered as one long lock after another was de-
tached from her head ...... .. .. . . 531
93. The husband and wife knelt down and lifted up their hearts
to God ..... . . . .. .. . . . . 537
94. "There, you dog," he said," see if you feel so comfortable
after that." .. . . .. . .. ...... .544
95. A wild gust of wind swept down, extinguishing the candle 555
96. "If you do, I'll kill you," said Cassy, drawing a smallglit-
tering stiletto . . .. . . . . .. . 560
97. With the glare of blazing torches and whoop and shout and
savage yell of man and beast . . . .... . . 566
98. Three or four mounted horsemen were curvetting about . 566
99. Pay away, till he gives up Give it to him, give it to
him !" ..... .... ............ 571
100. With one indignant blow knocked Legree flat upon his face. 578
101. It stood by his bed, a voice said three times, in a low fearful
whisper, "Come! Come! Come !" . . . . .. 583
102. Cassy and Emmeline disguised ... . . . .587
103. Cassy fell insensible on the floor of the cabin . . .. .590
104. "Oh, George! Don't you know me? I'm your sister
Emily." ... .. ... ... ........... 593
105. "And now, my friends, look up and thank God for the
blessing of freedom . . . .. .. . . .. 604
106. The whipping post. . . . .. . . . . 615
T is not our purpose to attempt to
inform the public how great and
famous a book "Uncle Tom's
Cabin" really .is. To do so would
be like "carrying coals to New-
castle." A book that has been
read by ten million readers, in
every land and of every language,
which has brought tears to more
eyes and laughter to more lips than
any other book ever written, and which has become a
classic wherever the English language is spoken, does
not need to be introduced to the reading public at this
late day. It is true that since it was written a new
generation has grown up and the state of affairs to
which it refers has long since passed away. But the
living interest of the book remains unchanged, and it
can be read to-day with as deep enjoyment of its thrill-
ing story, and as absorbing interest in its exciting sub-
ject, as in the days when all the world went wild over
the sorrows of Uncle Tom and wept at the death of the
It is a remarkable fact, even at this day, that there is no
well-illustrated or attractively-presented edition of this
extraordinary work. Such an edition has been long de-
manded by the reading public, but none has heretofore
been made. It is to this earnest demand that the
present edition is due, the publishers having decided to
present this classic work of fiction in a form worthy
of its well-earned reputation. In order that this might
be adequately done, they have had employed for a long
time past a corps of the ablest modern artists, men who
have made special study of characters, scenes and inci-
dents in the South before the war, the result of their
labors being given in the magnificent series of brush
and pen drawings with which this edition is so lavishly
illustrated, the whole forming a grand panorama of pic-
torial embellishment as instructive and pleasing as it is
faithful and artistic.
The illustrations are but one of the special features
of this handsome edition, which has been specially pre-
pared as an art and literary memorial of the author, in.
consequence of her recent death. It contains in addi.-
tion a series of valuable accessory literary features which
add enormously to its value, and which can be found in
no other edition, having been specially written for this.
These include the thrilling story of How Henry*Ward
Beecher Sold Slaves in Plymouth Church"; "A Life Sketch
of Harriet Beecher Stowe," giving the interesting
details of her career; the Story of the Book," with a
full account of the dramatic incidents surrounding itfl
writing and of its phenomenal popularity; a "Key to the
Characters," in which the pith of a whole volume of
evidence collected by the author is given in condensed
form; and other special features of much interest.
It must also be borne in mind that when "Uncle
Tom's Cabin" was originally published the modern
method of illustration was unknown, and only crude
and old-fashioned wood cuts were available. The new
generation to whom this edition is presented is ac-
customed to a different class of books and illustrations
than could be had forty years ago, and it is to their de-
veloped tastes that the publishers have here catered.
Though the immediate causes which originally called
forth this great work have passed away, the recent death
of the author makes this memorial edition timely and
welcome. Despite the change in the times, the lessons
of the book are still fresh and its interest abiding, and
this charming story cannot fail to prove attractive to the
millions of fresh readers who have since come upon the
stage of life. THE PUBLISHERS.
N the morning of Sunday, June
1, 1856, an extraordinary scene
took place in Plymouth Church,
that famous .Brooklyn temple
of liberal religious thought
which was so long presided
over by Henry Ward Beecher,
A the foremost pulpit orator in
^' /' America. The edifice was filled,
crowded, overflowing with peo-
ple, all intensely expectant,
while without were thousands more who had been
unable to obtain admittance, for word had gone abroad
that Plymouth pulpit would that morning be turned
into a slave mart, and that its admired pastor would
sell a beautiful slave girl to whoever wished to buy.
Surprising as this announcement appeared, the eyes
of the great audience told them that it was founded on
fact, for there on the pulpit by Mr. Beecher's side stood a
young woman whose nearly white face still showed indi-
cations that negro blood ran in her veins; and beside her
stood the dignified orator, like a slave auctioneer, about
to sell that human article of traffic to the highest bidder.
No wonder the audience looked at this striking scene
with excited eyes. They knew, it is true, what it
meant, but that only made their interest the more
intense. They knew that Henry Ward Beecher was
one of the leading abolitionists of the land; that he had
written vigorously against slavery; that he had borne
arms in Cincinnati against a threatened attack upon the
HOW HENRY WARD BEECHER
free'colored people; that he had preached abolitionism
at Indianapolis and turned his -home there into one of
the stations of the Underground Railroad;" that he
had fed and concealed fugitive slaves, and driven them
through midnight storms to the next station on the
" Underground," and that in Plymouth Church his
voice had been raised in vigorous tones against the
institution of human slavery. They knew that he had
taken this stand despite the fact that New York and
Brooklyn were full of Southern sympathizers, and in the
face of abuse and threats of violence and the fact that a
mob had once gathered in New York with the purpose
of tearing down the church in which he preached.
They knew all this, and therefore their feelings may
be imagined when word spread abroad that Mr. Beecher
was about to sell a slave from the pulpit of Plymouth
Church. Of course, it may be taken for granted that
the audience guessed fairly well what this meant. They
knew that the famous pulpit orator could not stultify his
record; they knew that no human being could be sold
into slavery in New York State, and they must have
conjectured what was indeed the case, that the tremb-
ling girl by Mr. Beecher's side was about to be sold
into FREEDOM, to be bought from her master and given
the sole possession of her own body and soul.
Appeals had often been made to him to aid in pur-
chasing the freedom of men and women who had been
seized as fugitive slaves. Two weeks before he had
been told that a young woman in Richmond, Va., had
been sold by her own father, a white man,-or monster,
-to a slave dealer for twelve hundred dollars, to be
sent South; "for what purpose," he told the audience,
"you can imagine when you see her." Mr. Beecher,
inspired with the idea that a slave sale in their own
midst would best teach the people of the Metropolis
what a thing of horror the slave traffic really was,
resolved to offer this woman for sale in his own church,
and procured the consent of the dealer on the woman's
promise that she would return if not bought into free-
dom. That dealer, too, knew the honor of the man
with whom he had to deal.
SOLD SLAVES IN PLYMOUTH CHURCH
The silence in the church was almost painful as the
beautiful young slave woman ascended the pulpit stairs
and stationed herself before the audience, while Mr.
Beecher's expressive face told the sentiments that were
passing through his mind. With the facility of an
actor-and the great orator had much of the power of
the born actor-he assumed the look of an auctioneer
about to call for bids, while his voice took on the cold,
heartless tone of one used to dealing in human flesh and
"Look," he said, "at this commodity-human as
yourselves, yet an article of traffic, before you for pur-
chase. Look at her regular features and thoughtful
brow, which have come to her from the white blood of
her father. She stands before you to be sold. Who
bids? Remember that you will have to pay an extra
price for that white blood, since it bespeaks intelligence.
Who bids?-Stand up, Sarah. Look at her. Mark her
fine figure and handsome face. What will they bring?
I warrant her sound in wind and limb. Who bids for
"Hold out your hands, Sarah. You see they are
small and shapely. I await your bids. She is a Chris-
tian woman-a praying nigger, I mean-and that makes
her worth more, for she will be docile and obedient.
How much for this slave woman? Shall this woman,
this Christian like yourselves, this being made in the
image of God, be sent back to Richmond, and sold
farther South to meet the fate to which her own father
doomed her? If not, who bids? Her fate rests upon
your souls. Who bids ?"
It would be impossible to describe the impression
made by these words, as the clear voice of the speaker
sent them vibrating to the remotest corner of the
church. As he spoke the actor stood declared. He
was transformed into the auctioneer he simulated. His
mellow tones grew harsh and cold; his eyes seemed to
say that slave girl and audience were nought to him,
and that this was a mere matter of every-day business.
The excitement grew more intense as he continued,
after a moment's pause:
HOW HENBY WARD BEECHER
Come I She is to be sold, and a fine specimen she
is, as you can see. Look at her! Do you want her ?
Pass the baskets and we shall see."
The order was timely, the audience were ripe for it.
They had been wrought up to an intense pitch of sympa-
thetic feeling. Pitying tears streamed from many eyes;
indignation burned in many faces; women grew hysteri-
cal; men could not restrain their feelings; never had the
abomination of the slave trade been so vividly shown.
One man stepped forward and threw a bank-note on the
pulpit at Mr. Beecher's feet.
"Well done!" he cried, "The first, who follows?"
Hundreds were eager to follow. Money was heaped
into the baskets until they were overflowing. Others,
too excited to wait the slow coming of the baskets, flung
notes and coin on the pulpit. Not money only, but
jewelry, was freely offered. Women threw rings and
bracelets into the baskets. Men handed their watches
to the ushers. Above the din rang out the preacher's
voice: "'Shall this woman return to Richmond and
slavery, or shall she stay here and be free?"
She shall be free," dozens of voices answered in loud
How much then do you bid, men and women? In
Christ's name, answer! "
"Mr. Beecher," came a loud voice above the din,
"enough has been bid to more than buy the woman.
If not, there are gentlemen here who promise to make
up any deficiency, however large."
Then, Sarah, you are free!" cried the orator, turning
to the late slave, whose wet eyes and trembling frame
showed that she shared fully the excitement of the
A shout, almost a cheer, broke from the half-frenzied
people, so loud that it almost shook the walls of the
church. The applause continued for many minutes,
cries of prayer and praise mingling with it. It was
silenced at length by the lifting of Mr. Beecher's hand.
"God bless Plymouth Church!" he fervently ex-
claimed. "In the ancient days, when the Jews went
up to their solemn feasts, the very mountains around
SOLD SLAVES IN PLYMOUTH CHURCH
Jerusalem rang with their shouts. I do not approve of
applause in the House of God; but for a good deed well
done, like that of to-day, it cannot be wrong to out-
wardly express our joy."
No deficiency needed to be made up in the collection.
Not only the twelve hundred dollars demanded by the
slave dealer were given, but enough more to enable the
freed woman to buy for herself a little home at Peekskill,
N. Y., where she made for herself a livelihood by raising
fowls and selling eggs and butter. It was indeed a good
deed well done, and Henry Ward Beecher had earned
the applause of all lovers of liberty and human brother-
This sale was a happy suggestion to Mr. Beecher. He
followed it up with others, and it is pleasant to be able
to state that not in a single instance did he fail to pro-
cure the freedom of the slave offered. The most inter-
esting of these took place in February, 1860, on the very
verge of the great civil war. It was this time a little
girl named Pinky, the daughter of a white father,-too
pretty for her own good, as her old grandmother wrote,
-who was about to be sold "down South." "Can she
be set free?" Mr. Beecher was asked. "Bring her
North and I will try," he replied. "I will be respon-
sible for the child, and send her back if not lawfully
The slave-owner, who did not care particularly from
whom the money came, so that he received it, readily ac-
cepted this offer, saying : "If Henry Ward Beecher has
given his word it is better than another man's bond." "It
is the only compliment I have ever received from a slave-
owner," Mr. Beecher laughingly said, on hearing of this
tribute to his honor.
Pinky was brought North, and sold from Plymouth
pulpit as Sarah had been, amid excitement and enthus-
iasm as intense. The beauty of the child doubled the
sympathy of the audience, the orator's moving words
brought tears in showers from his hearers, and the price
demanded was more than contributed. Rose Terry, a
famous writer of that day, threw a valuable ring into
the basket, and this Mr. Beecher took out and placed on
HOW HENRY WARD BEECHER
the child's finger, saying: "With this ring do I wed
thee to freedom."
Pinky was sent to school with the extra money raised,
under the new name of Rose Ward-adapted from Rose
Terry and Henry Ward Beecher. When she grew to -
womanhood she became eager to be educated as a teacher,
that she might work as a missionary among her freed
people in the South. Mr. Beecher made another appeal
from his pulpit for this purpose, and raised enough to
send his protege to Lincoln University for a year, after
which she fulfilled her chosen mission of going South to
educate the liberated slaves. From time to time word
of the good work she was doing came North, to gladden
her benefactor's heart.
The dramatic scenes here described may be closed by
the story of another, in which Mr. Beecher played an
important part in the final work of the emancipation of
the slaves. President Lincoln was highly interested in'
the story of Pinky, which had been related to him by
Mr. Beecher, who was his earnest friend and frequent
adviser. He had made persistent appeals to Lincoln to
free the slaves, all of which were resisted on the plea
that this could not legally be done, except as a military
"Do you promise to do so if the military necessity ever
arises!" persisted the warm-hearted advocateof freedom.
"With all my heart I do," declared the President.
At length the time came, in Mr. Beecher's opinion.
He grew strongly agitated on reading of the Federal
victory at Antietam. Leaving home, he hurried to Ful-
ton Ferry to go to Washington. But he was undecided.
Several times he crossed the ferry, back and forth. At
length it occurred to him to choose a swifter messenger
than the railroad train of that day. Hurrying to a tele-
graph office, he despatched the following message to
"Is there not a military necessity now? Will you
keep your promise?"
In the hours that followed, the friend of the slaves was
deeply preoccupied with anxiety. He could not eat, he
could not work. Questions asked him had to be twice
SOLD SLA VES IN PLYMOUTH CHURCH. 23
repeated before he heard them. His whole soul was
wrapped up in the expected reply to his message.
At length it came. The door bell rang. A telegram
was handed in. With eager haste he tore it open and
read these two words of deeply significant meaning:
In those words lay the promise of the emancipation
of a race for centuries held in bondage, and the lifting
of the United States to the honorable place among
nations which it had hitherto forfeited by maintaining
the institution of slavery. In the proclamation of free-
dom to the slave that followed Mr. Beecher's life work
in this direction was ended, and Abraham Lincoln
placed himself on the highest pedestal of fame as oneof
the leading benefactors of mankind.
N the early part of this century there was
no more distinguished preacher in this
country than Lyman Beecher, a Congre-
gational minister of New England; and
certainly none has left the world more
distinguished descendants. Of these it
will suffice to name here the famous
Henry Ward Beecher, and his no less
famous sister, Harriet Elizabeth Beecher,
the subject of this sketch, who was born
in Litchfield, Conn., June 14, 1811.
Even as a mere child, Harriet showed marked precocity
in an intellectual direction, committing to memory
enough poems and prose selections to serve her during
life for quotation, while when but twelve years old she
wrote an essay on the abstruse subject, Can the Im-
mortality of the Soul be Proved by the Light of Na-
This precocity continued. In her school years she
wrote a drama, whose scene was laid in Rome in the
time of Nero, made a metrical translation from Ovid,
and occupied her mind with the study of Butler's
"Analogy" and Baxter's "Saint's Rest." These last
serious studies indicated the nature of the influences
surrounding her. Religion filled the thoughts of the
circle in which she lived, and could not but strongly
affect her imaginative and ardent nature, and she was
still in girlhood when she entered her father's study one
day and fell into his arms with the words: Father, I
have given myself to Jesus, and he has taken me." Is
LIFE OF HARRIET BEECHER STOWE.
it so? said the father, his eyes full of the light of joy.
"Then has a new flower blossomed in the Kingdom
In 1832 Dr. Lyman Beecher moved to Cincinnati,
having accepted the Presidency of Lane Theological
Seminary in that city. There his oldest daughter,
Catharine, founded a seminary for women, with Harriet
as her assistant. Though suffering much from ill-
health, the younger sister not only aided in the school,
but found time to write a school geography, and obtained
her first literary triumph by winning a prize of fifty
dollars with a story named "Uncle Lot." Four years
after reaching Cincinnati she became the wife of Calvin
E. Stowe, a professor in the Lane Seminary, whose first
wife had some time before died. This important step in
her woman's life took place January 6, 1836.
At Cincinnati Mrs. Stowe found herself in the midst
of the growing excitement attending the anti-slavery
agitation. This city, which looked upon a slave State
across the Ohio, early felt the stir of the rapidly increas-
ing sentiment. The Philanthropist, an anti-slavery paper,
had its office attacked by a mob, and Henry Ward
Beecher, editor at that time of a small daily paper on
which his sister assisted him, vigorously supported the
editor of the suppressed journal. Lane Seminary was
in peril from the mob, and the alert-minded authoress
daily came in contact with experiences of which she
was to make vital use in her after life. Her father and
friends were advocates of abolition, her brothers were
all anti-slavery men, and she had received and educated
in her own family the children of liberated slaves. One
of these waifs was seized to be sold as part of the assets
of a Kentucky estate. The child was ransomed, but
the incident deeply affected Mrs.. Stowe's, mind. Some-
what later a negro girl from Kentucky became a servant
in her house. Her mistress had left her in Ohio, and
by the laws of that State she was free; but it was
learned that her former master had laid a plot to kid-
nap her, and Mr. Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher car-
ried the girl at midnight, in a covered wagon, to a secure
refuge twelve miles away.
26 LIFE OF HARRIET BEECHER STOWE.
These were but a few of the experiences that came to
the ardent-souled woman, and filled her mind with facts
which were to blossom into the living fiction of "' Uncle
Tom's Cabin," and through its pages to make a nation
of abolitionists. She left Cincinnati in 1849 for Bruns-
wick, Maine, where her husband had accepted a profes-
sorship in Bowdoin College. But she took with her a
memory full of painful scenes which she had seen or
had been in near contact with, and the letters which
followed her to her new home served to keep up the
indignation against the slave system which burned in
The spark that kindled the train of her thoughts
came to her at length in a letter from her sister-in-law.
" If I could use a pen as you can," said the letter, I
would write something that would make this whole
nation feel what an accursed thing slavery is."
This letter came to her like an inspiration. Reading
it aloud to her family, when she came to the passage
just quoted, she exclaimed, with the face and gesture
of a prophetess: "I will write something. I will if I
The story of how the book was written does not need
to be given here. It is told in the sketch which follows
this biography. It will suffice here to say that it was
written as all world-moving books are written; it wrote
itself, the author's mind being but the channel of the
inspiration that made the book. It was published
March 20, 1852, while Mrs. Stowe, exhausted with her
labor, was taking some weeks of needed rest with her
brother Henry at Brooklyn.
Meanwhile Professor Stowe accepted the Chair of
Sacred Literature in the Theological Seminary at Ando-
ver, Mass., and here an old stone building, which had
been a workshop and a gymnasium, was transformed
into a comfortable home, which the people of the place
named The Cabin." Here the authoress proposed to
write a story of New England life, but the excitement
caused by Uncle Tom's Cabin forced her into another
field of labor. From every quarter came demands that
she should sustain the statements made by her in the
LIFE OF HARRIET BEECHER STOWE.
book which was agitating the world, and she felt herself
forced into the composition of a voluminous "Key to
Uncle Tom's Cabin," as long as the original work and
much more laborious.
Exhausted with this labor, in the ensuing summer
she and her husband, accompanied by her brother
Charles, crossed to Europe, the story of the journey
being afterwards given in a highly interesting work,
"Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands." Sunny her
memories must have been, if adulation brings sunshine,
for the journey was made through admiring nations, the
noblest and the best of the people abroad eagerly greet-
ing and praising the most famous author of the day.
Numerous friends were made among the host of her
admirers, and her already large correspondence was in
consequence much increased.
During the years preceding the war Mrs. Stowe wrote
much in favor of anti-slavery, and from the new facts
which had come to her knowledge, produced a second
novel on this subject named "Dred." This added to
the effect of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," though it failed to
gain the signal popularity of that noble work. The
profits of her works had placed the family in easy cir-
cumstances, and in 1856 they made another journey
abroad; but Mrs. Stowe had hardly returned when the
shadow of deep sorrow fell upon her in the death by
drowning of her son Henry, then pursuing a college
course at Dartmouth.
Her feeling was indicated in "The Mourning Veil,"
her first contribution to The Atlantic Monthly, then just
founded. Soon after she began The Minister's Woo-
ing," as a serial story for this magazine. It attracted
much favorable notice, and was followed in 1863 by
"Agnes of Sorrento," written from her experiences of
a winter spent in Italy, and by The Pearl of Orr's
During several succeeding years Mrs. Stowe ceased
novel writing, her pen being employed in producing a
series of didactic stories' on subjects of social ethics.
Then came a series of Atlantic sketches, beginning
with "House and Home Papers," and ending with
28 LIFE OF HARRIET BEECHER STOWE.
"The Chimney Corner." But in 1869 appeared what
to many is the choicest of her works of fiction, Old
Town Folks," a story of former life in rural New Eng-
land, full of the spirit of that locality, and racy with the
inimitable "Sam Lawson," the perfect embodiment of
the "Village Do-Nothing." This character reappears
in Old-Town Fireside Stories," though less effectively.
Mrs. Stowe had purchased a plantation in Florida,
which became the winter home of the family for many
years. It was bought for the benefit of her son Fred-
erick, who had been a captain in the war and had left
the army suffering from the effects of wounds. Her
experiences here were put upon record in "Palmetto
Leaves," a series of letters from Florida. Her later
stories included My Wife and I and "We and Our
Neighbors," published as serials in The Christian Union,
in which paper her brother Henry was largely interested;
and in 1878 she produced another story of old-fashioned
New England life in Poganuc People." But her
thoughts were now largely turned to religious subjects,
finding expression in short stories, poems and religious
meditations, in which appeared a growing sense of the
mystery of the Divine.
Literature had now become a means of livelihood,
but it had grown into a wearying exertion, and she
sought to eke out her income by readings from her
works, then a common method with famous authors.
Her second reading was given in Tremont Temple, Bos-
ton, and proved a pronounced success, the whole audience
sharing the inspiration with which she delivered pas-
sages from Uncle Tom's Cabin."
In 1886 her husband died, and after that Mrs. Stowe
began to lose her strong hold on life, dwelling in seclu-
sion in the quiet of her home. Ten years afterward, on
July 1, 1896, she died in her home at Hartford, and was
buried by her husband's side in Andover Cemetery in
T is to the Fugitive Slave Law that we owe
"Uncle Tom's Cabin." This law, passed
in 1850, first brought the iniquity of sla-
very prominently before the people of the
North. It permitted slave-owners to fol-
low runaway slaves into the Northern
States, and commanded the people of
those States to aid in their capture. But
the sympathies of a nation cannot be con-
trolled by law. The attempts to seize the
dark-skinned fugitives led to. riots and
rescues. In various places negroes were taken by force
from the officers and safely concealed. Several of the
States passed laws to protect the negroes, and many
persons organized to help the slaves secretly to Canada.
This method became known as the Underground Rail-
road," and hunareas, perhaps thousands, of trembling
fugitives owed their safety to this peculiar system of
travel, with its secret stations and midnight journeys.
It was to this law, as above said. that we owe Uncle
Tom's Cabin." Mrs. Stowe lived ia the midst of the
events described. Her residence in Cincinnati brought
her into contact with the fugitives on the first stage in
their journey. Her own servants were threatened with
capture and had to fly for their liberty. She saw mach
and heard more of the evils of slavery, learned to know
the character of the slave and of his master, heard
many thrilling stories of slave life and of the adven-
tures and perils of fugitives, and her intense and imag-
THE STORY OF T'HE BOOK.
native soul was stirred to its depths. She determined
to show the world what the life of the slave really was,
to depict its happy side, as well as its dark and cruel
side, to paint alike the merciful and the merciless slave-
holder, to put on record, in short, the peculiar institu-
tion in all its lights and shadows, and show the world
what she had seen for herself, and what had burnt itself
so deeply into her soul.
Uncle Tom's Cabin" was in every sense a remark-
able book-a book written from the heart and appealing
to the heart. It was felt to be fair and truthful; to show
the life of the slave in all its lights and shadows, and
there was that in it which took the world by storm.
People who took it up could not lay it down till they
had finished reading it. They laughed over Topsy,"
they cried over "Eva" and "Uncle Tom," but they
ended with tears in their eyes and indignation in their
hearts. No arguments nor denials could overcome its
influence. It set in train a silent revolution, and was
one of the great forces that led to the Civil War.
But we must return to the story of the book and tell
how it came to be written. We have spoken of Mrs.
Stowe's experiences in Cincinnati. They followed her
after her removal to New England. The Fugitive Slave
Law had stirred up excited feeling throughout the
North. Even in Boston the colored people were in a
panic of terror, and many were fleeing to Canada. Let-
ters came to her, pitiful epistles, telling of the fear and
despair arising from the law. One of these letters c6n-
tained an earnest appeal to her, who was familiar with
the subject and a skilled writer,to use her pen in defence
of the slave.
I will I she cried, in an outburst of vital enthu-
siasm. If I live, I will "
It was no slight task to which she thus pledged herself.
She was not strong. She had around her a family of
six children, one of them an infant. Her husband had
lut a small salary, and she was burdened with the cares
of her household. But the subject had taken hold of
her mind and would not let go. A book seemed beyond
her present ability, but a series of sketches, giving in
THE STORY OF THE BOOK.
fiction what she knew of slavery in fact, might do good
work in the cause which she had at heart, and show to
many honest souls the real character of that system
which they ignorantly upheld.
At this interval, a chance volume of an anti-slavery
magazine gave her the authentic story of how a slave
woman with her child had escaped to freedom across
the ice of the Ohio River. This was an event of dra-
matic interest, that was destined to prove one of the
most thrilling in the book. There came to her also the
story of a faithful slave who refused to escape from his
trusting master, though he was about to be sold down
river." In this she found the first suggestion of Uncle
Tom. The story of the book began, scene by scene, to
take shape in her imagination. We have her own state-
ment to the effect that the first part of the book ever
committed to writing was the death of Uncle Tom."
She was at the communion table at the little Brunswick
church when this scene, in all its pathetic completeness,
rose in her mind, possessing her so vividly and abso-
lutely that her weak frame shook.with deep emotion,
and she could scarcely keep back the tears which flooded
her eyes. Hurrying home, she put on paper the scene
which burned in her soul, and read it to her two young
sons. The pathetic tale threw them into convulsive weep-
ing, and one of them, through his tears, exclaimed: "Oh,
mamma, slavery is the most cursed thing in the world."
That story was the key-note of the book. The other
incidents gathered round it. Scenes, conversations,
dramatic incidents took shape in her mind, and with a
vividness that gave them actual life. Her soul was
taken captive by the conception. The book insisted
upon getting itself into being, and would take no
Mrs. Stowe did not yet know that she was writing a
book. In her view it was to be a story of moderate
length,- and she wrote to the editor of The National Era,
of Washington, saying that she was writing a tale that
would probably be long enough to run through several
numbers of his paper. The editor was her friend and
knew her powers, and he eagerly asked for the story.
'HE STORY Of TfHE BOOR.
But instead of weeks, it ran on for months, the story
forcing its author to go on with it, so that nine months
passed before its limited but highly-interested audience
among the readers of the Era reached its final chapter.
Many of the anti-slavery people heard of and read it
with sympathy, but to the public at large it remained
The work was produced under the pressure of cares
that would-have discouraged any less ardent writer,
yet in spite of all home distractions each weekly install-
ment was ready and sent off in time. The writing was
done by Mrs. Stowe, mostly in the mornings, on a little
writing desk in a corner of the dining-room of the
Brunswick cottage, amid countless interruptions spring-
ing from household demands and from the importunities
of her children, who would burst impetuously into the
room and interrupt her labors with their childish ques-
tions and wants. Her power of self-absorption was won-
derful. It seems impossible that such a work could have
been produced under such circumstances. Yet the pen
kept on in its busy journey, the children were dismissed
with a smile and word, and the sorrows of Uncle Tom
and the antics of Topsy alike came into being on the
written page in the midst of endless distractions. The
power of concentration displayed has rarely been
equalled. In the evening, what she had written during
the day was read to the assembled family, who followed
with the deepest interest the progress of the story.
In beginning this story, Mrs. Stowe did not dream of
any large profits likely to arise from it. Her hopes
were of the humblest. At all events, she certainly
never imagined that it would lift herself and her family
above the straitened circumstances in which they
had hitherto dwelt. From the editor of the Era she
received three hundred dollars, and this she probably
looked upon as the end of her profits. It is true that,
while it was still being issued as a serial, Mr. J. P.
Jewett, a young publisher of Boston, offered to issue it
in book form. But he felt disposed to withdraw his
offer when the story unrolled to what he deemed weari-
some length. He wrote to the author that this would not
TUE STO1?Y OF THE BOOEK.
do; the story was too long; it could not be issued as a
one-volume book; the subject was too unpopular for a
two-volume book to sell ; the people would not read so
long a story on a theme for which they cared so little.
Mrs. Stowe replied that she had not made the story,
that it was its own author and she had not the power to
stop it in its course. Mr. Jewett still hesitated. A
critic, whom he asked to read it, sat up all night at its
perusal, and reported, The story has life in it; it will
sell." Mr. Jewett now offered to publish it on half
profits if Mr. Stowe would bear half the expense. The
professor replied that he had not the necessary money,
and in the end the publisher made up his mind to try
the venture, offering the usual ten per cent. royalty.
In this business arrangement Mrs. Stowe took no
part and felt no special interest. It was the effect of
the work in which she was interested, not its possible
profits. Her thoughts, her soul, had gone into it, as an
appeal to the world for the slave, and in deep discour-
agement she said "it seemed to her there was no hope;
that nobody would hear, nobody would read, nobody
would pity." Yet, she did all she could, writing letters
and ordering copies of the book to be sent to anti-
slavery leaders abroad, such men as Prince Albert,
Macaulay, Dickens, Kingsley and others.
While she thus worked, the book came out. It seemed
as if the world had been eagerly waiting for it. Its suc-
cess was phenomenal from the start. By the day -of
issue,orders for three thousand copies had been received.
A few days passed and ten thousand copies were sold.
A new edition had to be printed with all speed, and
eight presses were kept running night and day in a vain
effort to keep up with the demand. Before a year had
elapsed the sales reached three hundred thousand copies.
Rarely has there been such a success. Everybody, high
and low, rich and poor, was reading the book and tak-
ing its lesson to heart. Public feeling was stirred to its
depths. It appealed to the sympathies of the whole
community, and carried before it a high wave of anti-
slavery sentiment throughout the land.
It was not alone its theme. People had heard much
THE STORY OF THE BOOK.
of the evils of slavery. It was its power as a novel
that carried it with such rapidity through the land and
impressed its lesson on the hearts of the community.
At first it swept all before it. Praise was almost uni-
versal. But when the advocates of the slavery system
saw its effect, detraction began, and a fierce opposition
arose. The South and its sympathizers took up arms
against the book. Denunciations were uttered in pulpit
and issued in the press, and even the leading religious
paper of the land, a journal of New York, spoke of it
Mrs. Stowe was amazed. .She had not dreamed of such
a sale, nor of such bitter denunciations. She had tried
to write mildly and justly, had painted some of the
slave-holders as men of noble character, had made evi-
dent the difficulty of their situation, and had laid the
lash of indignant feeling only on the slave-traders, the
public whippers, the overseers, those whom the South-
erners themselves despised, even while they had to
endure them as a necessity of the situation. But the
authoress did not fully understand what she had done.
She had dealt the whole system a deadly blow, and could
not reasonably hope it would be received with thankful-
In one respect, however, Mrs. Stowe was more than-
satisfied. The cash returns from the book exceeded her
wildest expectation. Four months after publication,
Mr. Stowe called on the publisher, telling him that he
hoped to receive enough to buy his wife a silk dress.
Mr. Jewett, in reply, handed him a check for ten thou-
This was for the American sale. For the millions of
books sold abroad the authoress received nothing. The
story of the career of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in Eng-
land is interesting. The first copy reached London in
April, a gentleman having brought it with him as read-
ing matter on the steamer. He gave it to a friend,who
offered it for five pounds to an enterprising publisher.
It was declined with thanks. A second publisher also
declined it. The third, a Mr. Salisbury, read it the
night through, finding in it abundant matter for tears
THE STORY OF THE BOOK.
and laughter. Then, not sure but that he was growing
weak minded, he woke his wife and set her to reading
the book. As it brought tears and laughter from her
also, he thought it might be safe to print.
It proved indeed a safe venture, though it moved
slowly till June was well gone. But during July the
demand reached a thousand a week, and before August
ended, a deluge of orders came in. Four hundred
people and seventeen printing machines, in addition to
hand-presses, were employed in preparing the book, of
which one hundred and fifty thousand copies were sold
in a marvellously brief time. A new publisher now
issued an edition, and the printing world, awakening to
the fact that anyone was at liberty to print the book,
issued edition after edition, till, before the year ended,
twelve were on the market, and before the end of 1853
forty different editions had been issued in London,
varying in price from the most sumptuous illustrated
edition at 15s. to the cheapest popular edition at 6d. It
is stated that, in all, more than a million and a half of
copies were circulated in Great Britain and her colonies.
This immense demand stimulated the publishers of
other nations, and translations began to appear on the
Continent. As the years went on, the book was trans-
lated into languages far removed from civilized Europe,
such as Arabic, Siamese and Chinese. In all, sixty-
eight translations, into twenty-three different languages,
are on record, namely: Arabic, Armenian, Chinese,
Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Flemish, French, German,
Hungarian, Illyrian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portu-
guese, Modern Greek, Russian, Servian, Siamese, Span-
ish, Swedish, Wallachian, and Welsh. Truly, it proved
a work for the world, and, from China t6 America, all
nations wept over the sorrows of Uncle Tom and
laughed at the antics of Topsy and the shocked auster-
ity of Miss Ophelia.
In addition to the full editions, there were abridg-
ments, adapted to the use of children, and dramatiza-
tions, of which the first appeared in the United States
in 1852, without the knowledge or consent of the
author, and made a most successful run in the leading
THE STORY OF THE BOOK.
cities, and afterward in those of Europe. Yet all this
vast popularity brought the author nothing but fame.
Her profits were restricted to the ten per cent. paid her
by Mr. Jewett, and from the great returns from the
drama not a penny came to her purse.
Fame came to her, if nothing more. In her European
journey, in 1853, all classes united to do her honor; her
presence called forth universal enthusiasm; while in
Scotland a penny offering was collected among the
people, and a thousand guineas presented to the author
during her visit to Edinburgh. In London a valuable
bracelet was presented her by the Duchess of Suther-
land, its oval links being made in imitation of slave
fetters, on several of which were inscribed the dates
of notable events in the history of the emancipation
of negro slaves. More significant of the general feel-
ing was an address from the women of England to
the women of America, in which they prayed for aid to
free the world from our common crimes and common
dishonor." To this were appended no less than 562,-
S48 signatures, of all classes, from the highest nobility
to the lowest kitchen maid. Twenty-six massive vol-
unes were formed from the signatures, each fourteen
inches high, nine wide and three thick, the whole
enclosed in an oak case. Certainly no author, before or
since, ever had such recognition of national sympathy.
Such is the story of Uncle Tom's Cabin," briefly
told. Some critics have claimed that it is not a great
hI %k. and that Mrs. Stowe was not a great woman.
That depends on what is called greatness.
Certainly, the book was written as all great books are
written. The subject possessed the author and heated
her mind to the white heat of production. She saw and
felt her &a.irat'!,- lived in her scenes, and in the
mingled gloom and humor of her work, produced a
pietaur of the world as it is, inhabited by people that
truly live andl i- tho, on her pages. It may not fully
repond to the eaonos of eriti .ism, but it is instinetwith
genias, and the verdict of the world is surely of far
amow weight than the decision of a narrow-visioned
Oaa&toAist of words and hatIses.
NCLE TOM3'S CABIN "is in form
and purpose a work of fiction. It
was necessarily made so, for in no
other way could it have attracted
the large measure of public attend
tion desired and brought its les
S son fully before e he minds of the
people. But in its underlying
S purpose it is far more than a work
Sof fiction. Its novelistic form is
but a cloak to cover a body of
solid facts within. It is intended as a picture of actual
life, a realistic panorama of a state of society then exist
ing, a photograph in life colors of the institition of
slavery, revealed in all its lights and shadows, its hor-
rors and alleviations, to a world that knew it not and
was not fully ready to accept the revelations concerning
it. As a result, the work was bitterly assailed, its
statements questioned, its pictures of Southern life
denied, its characters called perversions of the truth,
and Mrs. Stowe was forced to come to the defense of her
work in an extended supplementary volume entitled "A
Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin," in which she sustained her
statements by abundant documentary evidence; showed
that the leading incidents of her story were based on
actual facts, and proved that her characters were drawn
from real life, being pen pictures of people she had met
or faithful reproductions of types of ch-ra~ ter and life
scenes of which she had read or been told. Her desetrp
A KEY TO THE CHARACTERS.
tion of the source of her characters is of interest, as a
proof of the care she took in making her work true to
life, and we here present it in brief epitome. The
remainder of her "Key" consists largely of docu-
mentary evidence of the treatment of and laws against
slaves, too voluminous to be here presented.
She tells us herself that Uncle Tom's Cabin" is a
collection of real incidents, to a greater extent, perhaps,
than any other work of fiction ever written; made up
of actual facts, words and expressions, her share of the
work being merely to put these facts artistically together
in a frame of fiction, changing names, dates and scenes,
but keeping true throughout to the living details of the
state of society about which she wrote. It is a kaleido-
scope of slavery, its parts rearranged, but all present
and all evident. In reviewing the characters introduced
we shall commence with him who gives his name to the
work, Uncle Tom.
Uncle Tom. Critics of Mrs. Stowe's work have spoken
of Uncle Tom as an improbable, almost an impossible,
character; yet she assures us that her picture of this
black-skinned Christian hero has been most abundantly
confirmed. Many persons said to her, after reading the
book, I knew an Uncle Tom in such a Southern.State,"
and the stories told her of these characters would have
made a small volume. One of them was a negro slave in
New Orleans of such remarkable honesty that his master
trusted him to the most complete extent. He would
give him a handful of bills without looking at them to
purchase supplies for the family, quite confident that he
would receive the proper change, saying to those who
thought this action imprudent, that he had sufficient
proofs of his servant's conscientiousness to freely trust
him with all he owned. His brother, who was visiting
him, was so struck with the man's evident and deep
piety that he said, I hope you will never do anything
to deprive this man of his religious privileges, for I
think a judgment will come upon you if you do." The
slaveholder replied that he was not quite foolish enough
to do that, since he knew that the man's value was due
to his religion.
A KEY TO THE CHARACTERS.
Another of the Uncle Tom stamp was Josiah Henson,
in his later years a well-known colored clergyman of
Canada, but who in early life had been a slave, embit-
tered against his master by cruel treatment of his father
and brought up in a state of heathenism. He was con-
verted at a camp meeting, became an ardent and con-
scientious Christian, and gradually, though he could not
read a word of the Bible, developed into a negro preacher
of great force and impressiveness. He became so val-
uable to his master that he was made overseer of the
whole estate, which he managed with unusual skill and
prudence. Subsequently, the master's affairs becoming
involved, he proposed to remove all his negroes from his
Maryland estate to Kentucky, and left the performance
of this entirely to Henson, who was to take the slaves
alone, without other attendant, over the long interven-
ing distance, on his simple promise to do so faithfully.
Henson's honor was sorely tried. On his way he passed
through a part of Ohio, and was told that he and his
fellows were now free, if they chose to claim their free-
dom, which he was strongly urged to do. But he had
given his promise, and no inducement could make him
violate his Christian principle, while his influence over
his followers was so great that they all willingly went
with him to Kentucky. These two examples must suf-
flee out of the numerous instances of Christian conscien-
tiousness that might be adduced.
George Harris. The incidents of the life of this char-
acter are again far from exceptional, Mrs. Stowe giving
a number of parallel cases of which she had personal
knowledge. Ohe of the persons spoken of, Lewis Clark
by name, was a handsome quadroon, chosen as her ser-
vant by a married daughter of the family, whose ungov-
ernable temper and violence had already reduced one
servant to a state of idiocy. Her outbreaks of wrath
were now visited upon him, and only flight saved him
from being reduced to the state of his predecessor. As
for the tale which George Harris gives of the sale of his
mother and her children, Josiah Henson, whom we
have already mentioned, has published a parallel one.
His master having died, all the slaves of the plantation
A KEY TO THE CHARACTERS.
were sold to the highest bidder, his brothers and sisters
being bid off separately, while the mother stood by in
an agony of grief at the coming separation from her
children. Then the mother was sold, the purchaser
being a Mr. R., of Montgomery County, Maryland.
Finally, Josiah, a mere child, was offered for sale, when
the distracted mother pushed through the crowd to her
purchaser, fell at his feet and clung to his knees, entreat-
ing him in heart-breaking tones to buy her baby as well
as herself, and spare her at least one of her little ones.
The man thus appealed to not only refused her request,
but was brutal enough to accompany his refusal with
such violent blows and kicks that the poor mother was
forced to creep out of his reach, her sobs of grief being
mingled with groans of pain. This incident would be
almost past belief but that it is attested by one of such
known probity as Henson.
As regards the advertisement for the recapture of
George Harris, dead or alive," which has been called
in question, it was an incident of common occurrence,
such advertisements being frequent in the newspapers of
the time described. We could give a considerable list
of them if necessary, but one must suffice.
The Wilmington (N. C.) Advertiser, of July 13, 1838,
contains two such advertisements, of which we quote
RAN AWAY, my negro man RICHARD. A reward of $25 will be paid for his
apprehension, dead or alive. Satisfactory proof will only be required of his
being Kiled. He has with him, in all probability, his wife Eliza, who ran away
from Col. Thompson, now a resident of Alabama, about the time he commenced
his journey to that State.
DUR'ANT H. RHODES.
Eliza. The story of Eliza is founded on a well-
authenticated fact. Mrs. Stowe saw at a church in
Kentucky a beautiful quadroon girl, whom she was told
was a slave, and was further told that her master had
refused to sell her. "A Southern gentleman," her
informant said. "not long ago offered her master a
thousand dollars for her; but he told him that she was
too good to be his wife, and he certainly should not have
her for a mistress."
This girl became the Eliza of the work, the incidents
A KEY TO THE CHARACTERS.
of her story being of a character that could have abund-
ant corroboration. As for her crossing the Ohio on the
ice, which has been disputed, such a circumstance
actually happened. Mrs. Stowe had read of such an
occurrence, and its truth was confirmed by a Presby-
terian clergyman whom she met, and who said: "I
understand that they dispute that fact about the
woman's crossing the river. Now I know all about
that, for I got the story from the very man that helped
her up the bank. I know it is true, for she is now liv-
ing in Canada." The plot formed by Haley, Marks and
Loker to kidnap Eliza from Ohio has been stated to
caricature the way in which justice was administered in
that State; but in this instance Mrs. Stowe only para-
phrased an incident in the life of a servant in her own
family, who was saved from being delivered up by a
venal magistrate only by a midnight flitting, aided by
Professor Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher.
Topsy. We have only one more slave character to
speak of, the inimitable Topsy, whose impish pranks
make much of the humor of the book, but who truth-
fully represents, in her ignorance and impishness, num-
bers of children in slave households. Devoid of prin-
ciple, quick, active and subtle in mind, penetrating as
by instinct the degradation of their condition, feeling
their black skin to be an outward sign of inferiority,
they were urged on by a kind of inner desperation to
demonstrate their utter sinfulness of thought and action.
"Nothing but a nigger," was to poor Topsy the brand
of hopeless worthlessness, and Miss Ophelia's effort to
bring up such a child as a Christian, had to contend
with the absence of every suitable inducement in the
mind of the genuine Topsy.
Miss Ophelia. Miss Ophelia was the very last person
to control such a child as Topsy, whose small but keen
intelligence saw through her sham Christianity, tainted
as it was with a prejudice against the black skin of her
would-be neophyte. Miss Ophelia is one of a'numerous
class who imagine that they can reform the world with-
out reforming themselves, who are hedged in by a thick
crust of prejudices and narrow views of life and its
42 A KEY TO THE CHARACTERS.
Aiuties. Honest and well-intentioned they are, no
doubt, but deeply self-ignorant, and unaware that the
narrowness which is hidden from themselves is patent
to all whom they meet. The love sentiment of genuine
Christianity is wanting, and without it Miss Ophelia
could not hope to find anything but rebellion in her
Mr. and Mrs. Shelby. Mrs. Stowe, while painting in
lurid colors the dark side of slave-life, was anxious to
paint its bright side as well, and has done so in the
Shelbys, of whom there must have been abundant ex-
amples in the era of slavery. Had all been like them,
the institution of slavery would have been much less of an
evil, and the agitation for its removal would have found
far fewer advocates. With this class, easy indulgence
and good-natured forbearance were combined with just
discipline and carefully-imparted religious instruction,
and the plantation became a patriarchal establishment,
where happiness and order reigned. The one over-
shadowing evil was the always present danger of death
or misfortune to these well-meaning slave-owners, fol-
lowed by sale into possibly far less favorable conditions.
St. Clare. In St. Clare, we meet with another type of
those calculated to make the slave system a patriarchate.
Mrs. Stowe tells us that she drew his character with
enthusiasm and hope. At heart an abolitionist, con-
vinced of the utter wrong and injustice of slavery, for-
tune had made him a slave-holder, and forced him to
feel his weakness as such. He was one at heart with
John Randolph, Patrick Henry, and other Southerners
of Revolutionary times. From Patrick Henry, we may
quote. After expressing his abhorrence of the whole sys-
tem, he continues: Would anyone believe that I am
master of slaves of my own purchase? I am drawn
along by the general inconvenience of living here with-
out them. I will not, I cannot justify it. . .
I know not when to stop. I would say many things on
the subject, a serious view of which gives a gloomy
prospect to future times."
John Randolph said in Congress: I envy neither
the heart nor the hand of that man who rises here to
A KEY TO THE CHARACTERS.
defend slavery on principle; and his will contains the
following words: I give to my slaves their freedom,
to which my conscience tells me they are justly en-
titled." These were the St. Clairs of an earlier date.
Marie St. Clare. In Marie St. Clare, we come to
another type of people, an example of a class of women
who may be found everywhere, but whose besetting
weakness becomes a terror when they are entrusted
with uncontrolled authority. In the North the Marie
St. Clares are always in domestic hot water. Their
servants cannot be trusted to do anything right. They
ought to be glad to have the worst rooms in the house
at the lowest possible wages, and should possess the
whole series of Christian virtues on a scant weekly pit-
tance, the lack of perfection and gratitude to their bene-
factor being shamefully selfish and unprincipled. The
Marie St. Clare of the South, under the slave regime,
became a household tyrant. The least disrespect or
failure in obedience to orders led to condign punish-
ment. She had no hesitation to sever her servants
from their nearest kindred, there being only one person
in her household to be considered-herself; and she had
as little hesitation in visiting them with disgraceful and
violent punishments, such as have often been described
by eye-witnesses, as inflicted by the public whipper in
the calaboose at New Orleans.
Legree. But the Shelbys and St. Clares represent but
one side of slave-life. Even Marie St. Clare, with her
utter selfishness, is an estimable character as compared
with Legree, the type of the soulless slave-holder, of
whom the South held far too large a number, and whom
Mrs. Stowe depicts in the darkest colors, but no darker
than the truth demands. The Legree of the book is
agly, coarse and profane. These qualities were not the
only ones found in bad masters. There were men of
some degree of culture and refinement whose cold-
blooded selfishness led them to almost the brutal con-
duct of a Legree. There were men who worked their
plantations on the principle of getting all that was pos-
sible out of their negroes in a few years, and then
exchanging them for others, and of this type Legree
A iEY TO THE CHARACTERS.
was simply an extreme representative. To these the
horrors of the slave system were principally due, and to
them we may largely ascribe the development of the
final class to be considered.
Haley. Haley, the negro-trader, is given, in "Uncle
Tom's Cabin," as the representative of a large class,
including, in addition,the negro-catcher, the kidnapper,
the whipper, and the other auxiliaries of the institution.
These men were the dregs of the white society of the
South, despised by those who employed them, necessary
but abhorrent elements of a system which could not
well be sustained without such brutal and soulless acces-
sories. Of course, the Haleys, the Tom Lokers, and
that genus, form but one species out of a large class.
There were all varieties of negro-traders, downward
from those who conducted the business by wholesale,
who were gentlemanly and courteous, and who deplored
the necessity of the institution of which they availed
themselves. From these, down to the Haleys, there
were many grades, but the highest rank of dealers
could not avoid, from the exigencies of the situation,
occasional acts of inhumanity.
SWith these few pages, describing the source of the
characters of the work, we shall leave the reader to the
perusal of the book itself, satisfied that its inherent
truthfulness cannot but impress itself on his mind.
HE scenes of this story, as its
title indicates, lie among a
S- race hitherto ignored by the
associations of polite and re-
fined society; an exotic race,
whose ancestors, born
beneath a tropic sun,
brought with them, and
perpetuated to their de-
.- scendants, a character
-- tso essentially unlike the
hard and dominant An-
glo-Saxon race, as for many years to have won from it
only misunderstanding and contempt.
But another and better day is dawning; every influence
of literature, of poetry and of art, in our times, is becom-
ing more and more in unison with the great master chord
of Christianity, "good will to man."
The poet, the painter, and the artist, now seek out
afd embellish the common and gentler humanities of life,
and, under the allurements of fiction, breathe a human-
izing and subduing influence, favorable to the develop-
ment of the great principles of Christian brotherhood.
The hand of benevolence is everywhere stretched out,
searching into abuses, righting wrongs, alleviating dis-
tresses, and bringing to the knowledge and sympathies
of the world the lowly, the oppressed, and the forgotten.
In this general movement, unhappy Africa at last is
remembered; Africa, who began the race of civilization
and human progress in the dim, gray dawn of early time,
but who, for centuries, has lain bound and bleeding at
the foot of civilized and Christianized humanity, implor-
ing compassion in vain.
But the heart of the dominant race, who have been
her conquerors, her hard masters, has at length been
turned toward her in mercy; and it has been seen how
far nobler it is in nations to protect the feeble than to
oppress them. Thanks be to God, the world has at last
outlived the slave-trade!
The object of these sketches is to awaken sympathy
and feeling for the African race, as they exist among us;
to show their wrongs and sorrows, under a system so
necessarily cruel and unjust as to defeat and do away
the good effects of all that can be attempted for them, by
their best friends, under it.
In doing this, the author can sincerely disclaim any
invidious feeling toward those individuals who, often
without any fault of their own, are involved in the trials
and embarrassments. of the legal relations of slavery.
Experience has shown her that some of the noblest of
minds and hearts are often thus involved; and no one
knows better than they do, that what may be gathered
of the evils of slavery from sketches like these, is not the
half that could be told, of the unspeakable whole.
In the northern states these representations may, per-
haps be thought caricatures; in the southern states are
witnesses who know their fidelity. What personal
knowledge the author has had, of the truth of incidents
such as here are related, will appear in its time.
It is a comfort to hope, as so many of the world's sor-
rows and wrongs have, from age to age, been lived down,
so a time shall come when sketches similar to these shall
be valuable only as memorials of what has long ceased
When an enlightened and Christianized community
shall have, on the shores of Africa, laws, language, and
literature, drawn from among us, may then the scenes
of the house of bondage be to them like the remembrance
of Egypt to the Israelite-a motive of thankfulness to
Him who hath redeemed them!
For, while politicians contend, and men are swerved
this way and that by conflicting tides of interest and
passion, the great cause of human liberty is in the hands
of One, of whom it is said:
"He shall not fail nor be discouraged
'Till He have set judgment in the earth."
"He shall deliver the needy when he crieth,
The poor, and him that hath no helper."
He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence,
And precious shall their blood be in His sight."
--N the first day of January, in the year of our
I I Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-
^a]e three, all persons held as slaves in any State.
I or designated part of a State, the people
whereof shall be then in rebellion against
the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and
forever free; and the executive government of the
United States, including the military and naval au-
thority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom
of such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may
make for their actual freedom.
The Executive will, on the first day of January afore-
said, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in
which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in
rebellion against the United States; and the fact that
any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be in
good faith represented in the Congress of the United
States, by members chosen thereto at elections wherein
a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall
have participated, shall, in the absence of strong coun-
tervailing testimony, be deemed conducive evidence;
that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in
rebellion against the United States.
And by virtue of the power and for the purpose afore.
said, I do order and declare that all persons held as
slaves within such designated States and parts of States
are, and henceforward shall be free.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of
justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military
necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of man.
kind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
Henry Ward Beecher selling slaves in Plymouth Church.
CL To' W in
IN WHICH THE- READER IS INTRODUCED TO A MAN OF
LATE in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two
gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-
furnished dining parlor, in the town of P-- in Kentucky.
There were no servants present, and the gentlemen, with
chairs closely approaching, seemed to be discussing some
subject with great earnestness.
For convenience sake, we have said, hitherto, two gentle-
men. One of the parties, however, when critically ex-
amined, did not seem, strictly speaking, to come under the
species. He was a short, thick-set man, with coarse, com-
monplace features, and that swaggering air of pretension
which marks a low man who is trying to elbow his way
upward in the world. He was much over-dressed, in a
gaudy vest of many colors, a blue neckerchief, bedropped
gayly with yellow spots, and arranged with a flaunting tie,
quite in keeping with the general air of the man. His
hands, large and coarse, were plentifully bedecked with
rings; and he wore a heavy gold watchchain, with a
bundle of seals, of portentous size and a great variety of
colors, attached to it-which, in the ardor of conversation,
he was in the habit of flourishing and jingling with evi-
dent satisfaction. His conversation was in free and easy
defiance of Murray's Grammar, and was garnished at con-
venient intervals with various profane expressions, which
not even the desire to be graphic in our account shall in-
duce us to transcribe.
His companion, Mr. Shelby, had the appearance of a
gentleman; and the arrangements of the house, and the
UNCLE TOM'S CAB N.
general air of the housekeeping, indicated easy, and even
opulent circumstances. As we before stated, the two were
in the midst of an earnest conversation.
That is the way I should arrange the matter," said
I can't make trade that way-I positively can't, Mr.
Shelby," said the other, holding up a glass of wine between
his eye and the light.
Why, the fact is, Haley, Tom is an uncommon
fellow; he is certainly worth that sum anywhere-steady,
honest and capable, manages my whole farm like a
You mean honest, as niggers go," said Haley, helping
himself to a glass of brandy.
"No; I mean, really, Tom is a good, steady, sensible,
pious fellow. He got religion at a camp-meeting, four
years ago; and I believe he really did get it. I've
trusted him, since then, with everything I have-money,
house, horses-and let him come and go round the country;
and I always found him true and square in everything."
Some folks don't believe there is pious niggers, Shelby,"
said Haley, with a candid flourish of his hand, but Ido,
I had a fellow, now, in this yer lastlot I took to Orleans-
't was as good as a meeting now, really, to hear that critter
pray; and he was quite gentle and quiet like. He fetched
me a good sum, too, for I bought him cheap of a man that
was 'bliged to sell out; so I realized six hundred on him.
Yes, I consider religion a valeyable thing in a nigger, when
it's the genuine article, and no mistake."
Well, Tom's got the real article, if ever a fellow had,"
rejoined the other. "Why, last fall, I let him go to Cincin-
nati alone, to do business for me, and bring home five hun-
dred dollars. 'Tom,' says I to him, 'I trust you, because I
think you're a Christian-I know you wouldn't cheat,'
Tom comes back, sure enough; I knew he would. Some
low fellows, they say, said to him-' Tom, why don't you
make tracks for Canada ?' 'Ah, master trusted me, and I
couldn't'-they told me about it. I am sorry to part with
Tom, I must say. You ought to let him cover the whole
balance of the debt; and you would, Haley, if you had any
"Well, I've got just as much conscience as any man in
business can afford to keep-just a little, you know, to
Accompanying his singing with many comic evolutions.
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
swear by, as 't were," said the trader, jocularly; and,
then, I'm ready to do anything in reason to 'blige friends,
but this yer, you see, is a leetle too hard on a fellow-a
leetle too hard." The trader sighed contemplatively, and
poured out some more brandy.
"Well, then, Haley, how will you trade ?" said, Mr.
Shelby, after an uneasy interval of silence.
Well, haven't you a boy or gal that you could throw
in with Tom ?"
Hum!-none that I could well spare; to tell the truth,
it's only hard necessity makes me willing to sell at all. I
don't like parting with any of my hands, that's a fact."
Here the door opened, and a small quadroon boy, be-
tween four and five years of age, entered the room. There
was something in his appearance remarkably beautiful and
engaging. His black hair, fine as floss silk, hung in
glossy curls about his round, dimpled face, while a pair of
large dark eyes, full-of fire and softness, looked out from
beneath the rich, long lashes, as he peered curiously into
the apartment. A gay robe of scarlet and yellow plaid,
carefully made and neatly fitted, set off to advantage the
dark and rich style of his beauty; and a certain comic air
of assurance, blended with bashfulness, showed that he had
been not unused to being petted and noticed by his master.
"Hulloa, Jim Crow !" said Mr. Shelby, whistling, and
snapping a bunch of raisins toward him, "pick that up,
The child scampered, with all his little strength, after
the prize, while his master laughed.
"Come here, Jim Crow," said he. The child came up,
and the master patted.the curly head, and chucked him
under the chin.
Now, Jim, show this gentleman how you can dance and
sing." The boy commenced one of those wild, grotesque
songs common among the negroes, in a rich, clear voice,
accompanying his singing with many comic evolutions of
the hands, feet, and whole body, all in perfect time to the
Bravo said Haley, throwing him a quarter of an
"Now, Jim, walk like old Uncle Cudjoe, when he has
the rheumatism," said his master.
Instantly the flexible limbs of the child assumed the ap-
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
pearance of deformity and distortion, as, with his back
humped up, and his master's stick in his hand, he hobbled
about the room, his childish face drawn into a doleful
pucker, and spitting from right to left, in imitation of an
Both gentlemen laughed uproariously.
Now, Jim," said his master, "show us how old Elder
Robbins leads the psalm." The boy drew his chubby
face down to a formidable length, and commenced ton-
ing a psalm tune through his nose, with imperturbable
"Hurrah! bravo! what a young 'un!" said Haley;
"that chap's a case, I'll promise. Tell you what," said
he, suddenly clapping his hand on Mr. Shelby's shoulder,
"fling in that chap, and I'll settle the business-I will.
Come, now, if that ain't doing the thing up about the
At this moment the door was pushed gently open, and
a young quadroon woman, apparently about twenty-five,
entered the room.
There needed only a glance from the child to her, to
identify her as its mother. There was the same rich, full,
dark eye, with its long lashes; the same ripples of silky
black hair. The brown of her complexion gave way on
the cheek to a perceptible flush, which deepened as she
saw the gaze of the strange man fixed upon her in bold
and undisguised admiration. Her dress was of the neatest
possible fit, and set off to advantage her finely molded
shape; a delicately formed hand and a trim foot and ankle
were items of appearance that did not escape the quick eye
of the trader, well used to run up at a glance the points of
a fine female article.
"Well, Eliza?" said her master, as she stopped and
looked hesitatingly at him.
"I was looking for Harry, please, sir;" and the boy
bounded toward her, showing his spoils, which he had
gathered in the skirt of his robe.
"Well, take him away, then," said Mr. Shelby;
and hastily she withdrew, carrying the child on her
"By Jupiter," said the trader, turning to him in ad-
miration, "there's an article, now! You might make
your fortune on that ar gal in Orleans, any day. I've seen
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
over a thousand, in my day, paid down for gals not a bit
I don't want to make my fortune on her," said Mr.
Shelby, dryly; and, seeking to turn the conversation, he
uncorked a bottle of fresh wine, and asked his companion's
opinion of it.
"Capital, sir-first chop!" said the trader; then turning
and slapping his hand familiarly on Shelby's shoulder, he
Come, how will you trade about the gal? what shall I
say for her-what'll you take?"
"Mr. Haley, she is not to be sold," said Shelby.
"My wife would not part with her for her weight in
"Ay, ay! women always say such things, cause they
ha'nt no sort of calculation. Just show 'em how many
watches, feathers, and trinkets, one's weight in gold would
buy, and that alters the case, I reckon."
"I tell you, Haley, this must not be spoken of; I say no,
and I mean no," said Shelby, decidedly.
Well, you'll let me have the boy, though," said the
trader; "you must own I've comedown pretty handsomely
What on earth can'you want with the child?" said
"Why, I've got a friend that's going into this yer
branch of the business-wants to buy up -handsome boys
to raise for the market. Fancy articles entirely-sell for
waiters, and so on, to rich 'uns, that can pay for hand-
some 'uns. It sets off one of yer great places-a real
handsome boy to open door, wait, and tend. They fetch a
good sum: and this little devil is such a comical, musical
concern, he's just the article."
"I would rather not sell him," said Mr. Shelby,
thoughtfully; "the fact is, sir, I'm a humane man, and I
hate to take the boy from his mother, sir."
0, you do? La! yes-something of that ar natur. I
understand, perfectly. It is mighty onpleasant getting on
with women, sometimes. I always hates these yer screach-
in', screaming' times. They are mighty onpleasant; but, as
I manages business, 1 generally avoids 'em, sir. Now,
what if you get the girl off for a day, or a week, or so;
then the thing's done quietly-all over before she comes
58 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
home. Your wife might get her some ear-rings, or a new
gown, or some such truck, to make up with her."
"I'm afraid not."
Lor' bless ye, yes! These critters ain't like white folks,
you know; they gets over things, only manage right.
Now, they say," said Haley, assuming a candid and confi-
dential air, "that this kind o' trade is hardening to the
.feelings; but I never found it so. Fact is, I never could
do things up the way some fellers manage the business.
I've seen 'em as would pull a woman's child out of her
arms, and set him up to sell, and she screechin' like mad
all the time; very bad policy-damages the article-
makes 'em quite unfit for service sometimes. I knew a
real handsome gal once, in Orleans, as was entirely ruined
by this sort o' handling. The fellow that was trading for
her didn't want her baby; and she was one of your real
high sort, when her blood was up. I tell you, she squeezed
up her child in her arms, and talked, and went on real
awful. It kinder makes my blood run cold to think on't;
and when they carried off the child, and locked her up,
she jest went ravin' mad, and died in a week. Clear
waste, sir, of a thousand dollars, just for want of manage-
ment--there's where 't is. It's always best to do the
humane thing, sir; that's been my experience." And the
trader leaned back in his chair, and folded his arms, with
an air of virtuous decision, apparently considering him-
self a second Wilberforce.
The subject appeared to interest the gentleman deeply,
for while Mr. Shelby was thoughtfully peeling an orange;
Haley broke out afresh, with becoming diffidence, but
as if actually driven by the force of truth to say a few
"It don't look well, now, for a feller to be praisiu' him-
self; but I say it jest because it's the truth. I believe I'm
reckoned to bring in about the finest droves of niggerN
that is brought in-at least, I've been told so; if I have
once, I reckon I have a hundred times-all in good case-
fat and likely, and I lose as few as any man in the busi-
ness. And I lays it all to my management, sir; and
humanity, sir, I may say, is.the great pillar of my manage-
Mr. Shelby did not know what to say, and so he said,
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
Now, I've been laughed at for my notions, sir, and
I've been talked to. They ain't popular, and they ain't
common; but I stuck to 'em, sir; I've stuck to 'em, and
realized well on 'em; yes,'sir, they have paid their pas-
sage, I may say," and the trader laughed at his joke.
There was something so piquant and- original in these
elucidations of humanity, that Mr. Shelby could not help
laughing in company. Perhaps you laugh, too, dear
reader; but you know humanity comes out in a variety of
strange forms nowadays, and there is no end to the odd
things that humane people will say and do.
Mr. Shelby's laugh encouraged the trader to proceed.
"It's strange now, but I never could beat this into peo-
ple's heads. Now, there was Tom Loker, my old partner,
down in Natchez; he was a clever fellow, Tom was, only
the very devil with niggers-on principle 't was, you see,
for a better hearted feller never broke bread; 't was
his system, sir. I used to talk to Tom. 'Why Tom,' I
used to say, 'when your gals takes on and cry, what's the
use o' cracking on 'em over the head, and knockin' on 'ern
round? It's ridiculous,' says I 'and don't do no sort o'
good. Why, I don't see no harm in their cryin,' says I;
'it's natur,' says I, and if natur can't blow off one way,
it will another. Besides Tom,' says I 'it jest spiles your
gals; they get sickly, and down in the mouth; and some-
times they gets ugly-particular yellow gals do-and it's
the devil and all getting' on 'emn broke in. Now,' says- I,
' why can't you kinder coax 'em up, and speak em fair?
Depend on it, Tom, a little humanity, thrown in along,
goes a heap further than all your jawin' and cracking ; and
it pays better,' says I, depend on 't.' But Tom couldn't
get the hang on 't; and he spiled so many for me, that I
had to break off with him, though he was a good-hearted
fellow, and as fair a business hand as is going. "
"And do you find your ways of managing do the busi-
ness better than Tom's?" said Mr. Shelby.
Why, yes, sir, I may say so. You see, when I any-
ways can, I takes a leetle care about the onpleasant parts
like selling young uns and that-get the gals out of the
way-out of sight, out of mind, you know-and when it's
clean done, and can't be helped, they naturally gets used
to it. 'Taint, you know, as if it was white folks, that's
brought up in the way of spectin' to keep their children
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
and wives, and all that. Niggers, you know, that's fetched
up properly, ha'n't no kind of 'spectations of no kind; so
all these things comes easier."
"I'm afraid mine are not properly brought up, then,"
said Mr. Shelby.
"S'pose not; you Kentucky folks spile your niggers.
You mean well by 'em, but 'tan't no real kindness, arter all.
Now, a nigger you see, what's got to be hacked and tumbled
round the world, and sold to Tom and Dick, and the Lord
knows who, 'tan't no kindness to be givin' on him notions
and expectations, and bringing' on him up too well, for the
rough and tumble comes all the harder on him arter. Now
I venture to say, your niggers would be quite chop-fallen in
a place where some of your plantation niggers would be
singing and whooping like all possessed. Every man, you
know, Mr. Shelby, naturally thinks well of his own ways;
and I think I treat niggers just about as well as it's ever
worth while to treat 'em."
It's a happy thing to be satisfied," said Mr. Shelby,
with a slight shrug, and some perceptible feelings of a dis-
Well," said Haley, after they had both silently picked
their nuts for a season, "what do you say?"
"I'll think the matter over, and talk with my wife,"
said Mr. Shelby. "Meantime, Haley, if you want the
matter carried on in the quiet way you speak of, you'd best
not let your business in this neighborhood be known. It
will get out among my boys, and it will not be a palticu-
larly quiet business getting awayany of my fellows, if they
know it, I'll promise you."
"Oh! certainly, by all means, mum! of course. But
I'll tell you, I'm in a devil of a hurry, and shall want to
know, as soon as possible, what I may depend on," said he
rising and putting on his overcoat.
1" Well, call up this evening, between six and seven, and
you shall have my answer," said Mr. Shelby, and the
trader bowed himself out of the apartment.
"I'd like to have been able to kick the fellow down the
steps," said he to himself, as he saw the door fairly closed,
" with his inipudent assurance; but he knows how much he
has me at advantage. If anybody had ever said to me
that I should sell Tom down south to one of those rascally
traders, I should have said, Is thy servant a dog, that he
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
should do this thing?' And now it must come, for ought
I see. And Eliza's child, too! I know that I shall have
some fuss with wife about that; and, for that matter,
about Tom, too. So much for being in debt-heigho!
The fellow sees his advantage, and means to push it."
Perhaps the mildest form of the system of slavery is to
be seen in the State of Kentucky. The general preva-
lence of agricultural pursuits of a quiet and gradual nature,
not requiring those periodic seasons of hurry and pressure
that are called for in the business of more southern dis-
tricts, makes the task of the negro a more healthful and
reasonable one; while the master, content with a more
gradual style of acquisition, has not those temptations to
hardheartedness which always overcome frail human nat-
ure when the prospect of sudden and rapid gain is weighed
in the balance, with no heavier counterpoise than the in-
terests of the helpless and unprotected.
Whoever visits some estates there, and witnesses the
good-humored indulgence of some masters and mistresses,
and the affectionate loyalty of some slaves, might be
tempted to dream the off-fabled poetic legend of a
patriarchal institution, and all that; but over and above
the scene there broods a portentous shadow-the shadow
of law. So long as the law considers all these human
beings,with beating hearts and lir;ng affections, only as so
many things belonging to a master-so long as the failure,
or misfortune, or imprudence, or death of the kindest
owner, may cause them any day to exchange a life of
kind protection and indulgence for one of hopeless misery
and toil-so long it is impossible to make anything
beautiful or desirable in the best regulated administration
Mr. Shelby was a fair average kind of man, good-
natured and kindly, and disposed to easy indulgence of
those around him, and there had never been a lack of any-
thing which might contribute to the physical comfort of
the negroes on his estate. He had, however, speculated
largely and quite loosely; had involved himself deeply, and
his notes to a large amount had come into the hands of
Haley; and this small piece of information is the key to
the proceeding conversation.
Now, it had so happened that, in approaching the
door, Eliza had caught enough of the conversation to
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
know that a trader was making offers to her master for
She would gladly have stopped at the door to listen, as
she came out; but her mistress just then calling, she was
obliged to hasten away.
Still she thought she heard the trader. make an offer
for her boy; could she be mistaken? Her heart swelled
and throbbed, and she involuntarily strained him so
tight that the little fellow looked up into her face in as-
"Eliza, girl, what ails you to-day?" said her mistress;
when Eliza had upset the wash-pitcher, knocked down the
work-stand, and finally was abstractedly offering her mis-
tress a long night-gown in place of the silk dress
she had ordered her to bring from the wardrobe.
Eliza started. 0, missis! she said, raising her eyes;
then, bursting into tears, she sat down in a chair, and be-
"Why, Eliza my child! what ails you?" said her mis-
0! missis, missis," said Eliza, "there's been a trader
talking with master in the parlor! I heard him."
"Well, silly child, suppose there has."
0, missis, do you suppose mas'r would sell my Harry?"
And the poor creature threw herself into a chair, and
Sell him! No, you foolish girl. You know your mas-
ter never deals with those southern traders, and never
means to sell any of his servants, as long as they behave
well. Why, you silly child, who do you think would want
to buy your Harry? Do you think all the world are set
on him as you are, you goosie? Come, cheer up, and hook
my dress. There now, put my back hair up, in that pretty
braid you learned the other day, and don't go listening at
doors any more."
"Well, but, missis, you never would give your consent
"Nonsense child! to be sure, I shouldn't. What do
you talk so for? I would as soon have one of my own
children sold. But, really, Eliza, you are getting al-
together too proud of that little fellow. A man can't put
his nose into the door, but you think he must be coming
to buy him."
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
Reassured by her mistress' confident tone, Eliza pro-
ceeded nimbly and adroitly with her toilet, laughing at her
own fears, as she proceeded.
Mrs. Shelby was a woman of a high class, both intellect-
ually and morally. To that natural magnanimity and gen-
erosity of mind which one often marks as characteristic of
the women of Kentucky, she added high moral and re-
ligious sensibility and principle, carried out with great
energy and ability into practical results. Her husband,
who made no professions to any particular religious char-
acter, nevertheless reverenced and respected the consis-
tency of her's, and stood, perhaps, a little in awe of her
opinion. Certain it was that he gave her unlimited scope
in all her benevolent efforts for the comfort, instruction,
and improvement of her servants, though he never took
any decided part in them himself. In fact, if not exactly
a believer in the doctrine of the efficiency of the extra good
works of saints;he really seemed somehow or other to fancy
that his wife had piety and benevolence enough for two-
to indulge a shadowy expectation of getting into heaven
through her superabundance of qualities to which he made
no particular pretension.
The heaviest load on his mind, after his conversation
with the trader, lay in the foreseen necessity of breaking
to his wife the arrangement contemplated-meeting the
importunities and opposition which he knew he should
have reason to encounter.
Mrs. Shelby, being entirely ignorant of her husband's
embarrassments, and knowing only the general kindliness
of his temper, had been quite sincere in the entire in-
credulity with which she had met Eliza's suspicions. In
fact, she dismissed the matter from her mind, without a
second thought; and being occupied in preparations for
an evening visit, it passed out of her thoughts entirely.
ELIZA had been brought up by her mistress, from girl-
hood, as a petted and indulged favorite.
The traveler in the south must often have remarked
UNGLE TOM'S CABIN.
that peculiar air of refinement, that softness of voice and
manner, which seems in many cases to be a particular gift to
the quadroon and mulatto women. These natural graces
in the quadroon are often united with beauty of the most
dazzling kind, and in almost every case with a personal ap-
pearance prepossessing and agreeable. Eliza, such as we
have described her, is not a fancy sketch, but taken from
remembrance, as we saw her, years ago, in Kentucky.
Safe under the protecting care of her mistress, Eliza had
reached maturity without those temptations which make
beauty so fatal an inheritance to a slave. She had been
married to a bright and talented young mulatto man, who
was a slave on a neighboring estate, and bore the name of
This young man had been hired out by his master to
work in -a bagging factory, where his adroitness and in-
genuity caused him to be considered the first handin the
place. He had invented a machine for the cleaning of the
hemp, which, considering the education and circumstances
of the inventor, displayed quite as much mechanical
genius as Whitney's cotton-gin.*
He was possessed of a handsome person and pleasing
manners, and was a general favorite in the factory.
Nevertheless, as this young man was in the eye of the law
not a man, but a thing, all these superior qualifications
were subject to the control of a vulgar, narrow-minded,
tyrannical master. This same gentleman, having heard of
the fame of George's invention took a ride over to the
factory, to see what this intelligent chattel had been about.
He was received with great enthusiasm by the em-
ployer, who congratulated him on possessing so valuable a
He was waited upon over the factory, shown the machin-
ery by George, who, in high spirits, talked so fluently,
held himself so erect, looked so handsome and manly, that
his master began to feel an uneasy consciousness of in-
feriority. What business had his slave to be marching
round the country, inventing machines, and holding up
his head among gentlemen? He'd snon put a stop to it.
He'd take him back, and put hin, to hoeing and digging,
and "see if he'd step about so smart." Accordingly, the
*A machine of this description was really the invention of a
young colored man in Kentucky.
George stood like one transfixed.
66 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
manufacturer and all hands concerned were astounded
when he suddenly demanded George's wages, and an-
nounced his intention of taking him home.
"But, Mr. Harris," remonstrated the manufacturer,
"isn't this rather sudden?"
What if it is? isn't the man mine? "
"We would be willing, sir, to increase the rate of com-
"No object at all, sir. I don't need to hire any of my
hands out, unless I've a mind to."
"But, sir, he seems peculiarly adapted to this busi-
Dare say he may be; never was much adapted to any-
thing that I set him about, I'll be bound."
"But only think of his inventing this machine," inter-
posed one of the workmen, rather unluckily.
"0, yes !-a machine for saving work, is it ? He'd in-
vent that I'll be bound; let a nigger alone for that, any
time. They are all labor-saving machines themselves,
every one of 'em. No, he shall tramp !"
George had stood like one transfixed, at hearing his doom
thus suddenly pronounced by a power that he knew was
irresistible. He folded his arms, tightly pressed in his
lips, but a whole volcano of bitter feelings burned in his
bosom, and sent streams of fire through his veins. He
breathed short, and his large dark eyes flashed like live
coals; and he might have broken out into some dangerous
ebullition, had not the kindly manufacturer touched him
on the arm, and said, in a low tone:
"Give way, George; go with him for the present. We'll
try to help you, yet."
The tyrant observed the whisper, and conjectured its
import, though he could not hear what was said ; and he
inwardly strengthened himself in his determination to keep
the power he possessed over his victim.
George was taken home, and put to the meanest
drudgery of the farm. He had been able to repress every
disrespectful word; but the flashing eye, the gloomy and
troubled brow, were part of a natural language that could -
not be repressed-indubitable signs, which showed too
plainly that the man could not become a thing.
It was during the happy period of his employment in the
factory that George had seen and married his wife.
UNOCL TOM'S OABIN.
During that period-being much trusted and favored by
his employer-he had free liberty to come and go at dis-
cretion. The marriage was highly approved of by Mrs.
Shelby, who with a little womanly complacency in match-
making, felt pleased to unite her handsome favorite with
one of her own class who seemed in every way suited to
her; and so they were married in her mistress' great parlor,
and her mistress herself adorned the bride's beautiful hair
with orange-blossoms, and threw over it the bridal veil,
which certainly could scarce have rested on a fairer head;
and there was no lack of white gloves, and cake and wine
-of admiring guests to praise the bride's beauty, and her
mistress' indulgence and liberality. For a year or two
Eliza saw her husband frequently, and there was nothing
to interrupt their happiness, except the loss of two infant
children, to whom she was passionately attached, and
whom she mourned with a grief so intense as to call for
gentle remonstrance from her mistress, who sought, with
maternal anxiety to direct her naturally passionate feelings
within the bounds of reason and religion.
After the birth of little Harry, however, she had
gradually become tranquilized and settled; and every
bleeding tie and throbbing nerve, once more entwined
with that little life, seemed to become sound and health-
ful, and Eliza was a happy woman up to the time that her
husband was rudely torn from his kind employer, and
brought under the iron sway of his legal owner.
The manufacturer, true to his word, visited Mr. Harris
a week or two after George had been taken away, when, as
he hoped, the heat of the occasion had passed away, and
tried every possible inducement to lead him 'to restore him
to his former employment.
You needn't trouble yourself to talk any longer," said
he, doggedly; "I know my own business, sir."
"I did not presume to interfere with it, sir. I only
thought that you might think it for your interest to let
your man to us on the terms proposed."
"0, I understand the matter well enough. I saw your
winking and whispering, the day I took him out of the
factory; but you don't come it over me that way. It's a
a free country, sir; the man's mine, and I do what Iplease
with him-that's it! "
And so fell George's last hope; nothing before him but a
UNCLE, Tf',S CABIlY.
life of toil and drudgery, rendered more bitter by every lit-
tle smarting vexation and indignity which tyrannical in-
genuity could devise.
A very humane jurist once said, The worst use you can
put a man to is to hang him. No; there is another use
that a man can be put to that is worse!
THE HUSBAND AND FATHER.
MRS. SHELBY had gone on her visit, and Eliza stood
in the veranda, rather dejectedly looking after the re-
treating carriage, when a hand was laid on her shoulder.
She turned round, and a bright smile lighted up her fine
"George, is it you? How you frightened me! Well; I
am so glad you's come! Missis is gone to spend the after-
noon; so come into my little room, and we'll have the time
all to ourselves."
Saying this, she drew him into a neat little apartment
opening on the veranda, where she .generally sat at her
sewing, within call of her mistress.
How glad I am-why don't you smile? And look at
Harry-how he grows." The boy stood shyly regarding
his father through his curls, holding close to the skirts of
his mother's dress. "Is n't he beautiful?" said Eliza,
lifting his long curls and kissing him.
"I wish he'd never been born!" said George, bitterly.
" I wish I'd never been born myself!"
Surprised and frightened, Eliza sat down, leaned her
head on her husband's shoulder, and burst into tears.
There now, Eliza, it's too bad for me to make you feel
so, poor girl," said he, fondly; "it's too bad. 0, how
I wish you never had seen me-you might have been
George! George! how can you talk so? What dreadful
thing has happened, or is going to happen? I'm sure
we've been very happy till lately."
"So we have, dear," said George. Then drawing his
child on his knee, he gazed intently on his glorious dark
eyes, and passed his hands through his long curls.
UN1EE TOM'S CABIN.
"Just like you Eliza; and you are the handsomest
woman I ever saw, and the best one I ever wish to see; but
oh, I wish I'd never seen you, nor you me!,"
O, George, how can you!"
"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, try-
ing to be anything? What's the use of living? I wish I
"0 now, dear George, that is really wicked! I know
how you feel about losing your place in the factory, and
you have a hard master; but piay be patient, and perhaps
Patient!" said he, interrupting her; "hav'n't I been
patient? Did I say a word when he came and took me
away, for no earthly reason, from the place where every-
body was kind to me? I'd paid him truly every cent of my
earnings-and they all say I worked well."
"Well, it is dreadful," said Eliza; "but, after all, he is
your master, you know."
"My master! and who made him my master? That's
what I think of-what right has he to me? I'm a man as
much as he is. I'm a better man than he is. I know
more about business than he does; I am a better manager
than he is; I can read better than he can; I can write a
better hand--and I've learned it all myself, and no thanks
to him-I've learned it in spite of him; and now what
right has he to make a dray-horse of me? to take me from
things I can do, and do better than he can, and put me to
work that any horse can do? He tries to do it; he says
he'll bring me down and humble me, and he puts me
to just the hardest, meanest and dirtiest work, on pur-
"0, George! George! you frighten me! Why, I never
heard you talk so; I'm afraid you'll do something dreadful.
I don't wonder at your feelings at all; but oh, do be care-
ful-do, do-for my sake-for Harry's!"
I have been careful, and I have been patient, but it's
growing worse and worse; flesh and blood can't bear it any
longer; every chance he can get to insult and torment me,
he takes. I thought I could do my work well, and keep
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
on quiet, and have some time to read and learn out of work
hours; but the more he sees I can do, the more he loads on.
He says that though I don't say anything, he sees I've got
the devil in me, and he means to bring it out; and one of
these days it will come out in a way that he won't like, or
"0 dear! what shall we do?" said Eliza, mournfully.
"It was only yesterday," said George, as I was busy
loading stones into a cart, that young Mas'r Tom stood
there, slashing his whip so near the horse that the creature
was frightened. I asked him to stop, as pleasant as 1 could
-he just kept right on. I begged him again, and then he
turned on me, and began striking me. I held his hand,
and then he screamed and kicked and ran to his father,
and told him that I was fighting him. He came in a rage,
and said he'd teach me who was my master; and he tied me
to a tree, and cut switches for young master, and told him
that lie might whip me till he was tired; and he did do it!
If I don't make him remember it, some time!" and the
brow of the young man grew dark, and his eyes burned
with an expression that made his young wife tremble.
" Who made this man my master? That's what I want to
know!" he said.
Well," said Eliza, mournfully, "I always thought that
I must obey my master and mistress, or I could n't be a
"There is some sehse in it, in your case; they have
brought you up like a child, fed you, clothed you, in-
dulged you, and taught you, so that you have a good edu-
cation; that is some reason why they should claim you.
But I have been kicked and cuffed and sworn at, and at
the best only let alone; and what do I owe? I've paid for
all my keeping a hundred times over. I won't bear it.
No, I won't!" he said, clinching his hand with a fierce
Eliza trembled, and was silent. She had never seen
her husband in this mood before; and her gentle system
of ethics seemed to bend like a reed in the surges cf such
You know poor little Carlo, that you gave me," added
George; "the creature has been about all the comfort that
I've had. He has slept with me nights, and followed me
around days, and kind o' looked at me as if lie understood
UNCLE TOM'B CABIN.
how I felt. Well, the other day I was just feeding him
with a few old scraps I picked up by the kitchen door, and
mas'r came along, and said I was feeding him up at his
expense, and that he couldn't afford to have every nigger
keeping his dog, and ordered me to tie a stone to his neck
and throw him in the pond."
O, George, you didn't do it!"
"Do it? not I! but he did. Mas'r and Tom pelted the
poor drowning creature with stones. Poor thing! he looked
at me so mournful, as if he wondered why I didn't save
him. I had to take a flogging because I wouldn't do it my-
self. I don't care. Mas'r will find out that I'm one that
whipping won't tame. My day will come yet, if he don't
"What are you going to do? O, George, don't do any-
thing wicked; if you only trust in God, and try to do right,
he'll deliver you."
"I ain't a Christian like you, Eliza; my heart's full of
bitterness; I can't trust in God. Why does he let things
O, George, we must have faith. Mistress says that
when all things go wrong to us, we must believe that God
is doing the very best."
That's easy to say for people that are sitting on their
sofas and riding in their carriages; but let 'em be where I
am, I guess it would come some harder. I wish I could be
good; but my heart burns, and can't be reconciled, any-
how. You couldn't, in my place-you can't now, if I
tell you all I'vegot to say. You don't know the whole yet."
Wat can be coming now?"
Well, lately mas'r has been saying that he was a fool to
let me marry off the place; that he hates Mr. Shelby and
all his tribe, because they are proud, and hold their heads
up above him, and that I've got proud notions from you;
and he says he won't let me come here any more, and
that I shall take a wife and settle down on his place. At
first he only scolded and grumbled these things; but yes-
terday he told me that I should take Mina for a wife, and
settle down in a cabin with her, or lie would sell me down
"Why-but you were married to me, by the min-
ister, as much as if you'd been a white man!" said Eliza,
UNOLE TOM'S CABIN.
"Don't you know a slave can't be married? There is
no law in this country for that; I can't hold you for my
wife, if he chooses to part us. That's why I wish I'd
never seen you-why I wish I'd never been born; it would
have been better for us both-it would have been better for
this poor child if he had never been born. All this may
happen to him yet!"
0, but master is so kind!"
"Yes, but who knows? he may die-and then he may
be sold to nobody knows who. What pleasure is it that he
is handsome, and smart, and bright? I tell you, Eliza,
that a sword will pierce through your soul for every good
and pleasant thing your child is or has; it will make him
worth too much for you to keep!"
The words smote heavily on Eliza's heart; the vision of
the trader came before her eyes, and, as if some one had
struck her a deadly blow, she turned pale and gasped for
breath. She looked nervously out on the veranda, where
the boy, tired of the grave conversation, had retired, and
where he was riding triumphantly up and down on Mr.
Shelby's walking-stick. She would have spoken to tell her
husband her fears, but checked herself.
"No, no-he has enough to bear, poor fellow!" she
thought. "No, I won't tell him; besides, it ain't true;
missis never deceives us."
"So, Eliza, my girl," said the husband, mournfully,
"bear up, now; and good-bye, for I'm going."
"Going, George! Going where?"
To Canada," said he, straightening himself up; and
when I'm there, I'll buy you; that's all the hope that's
left us. You have a kind master, that won't refuse to
sell you. I'll buy you and the boy-God helping me,
"0, dreadful? if you should be taken?"
"I won't be taken, Eliza; I'll, die first! I'll be free, or
"You won't kill yourself!"
No need of that. They will kill me, fast enough; they
never will get me down the river alive!"
O, George, for my sake, do be careful! Don't do any-
thing wicked; don't lay hands on yourself, or anybody else!
You are tempted too much-too much; but don't-go
you must-but go carefully, prudently; pray God to help
The parting of George and Eliza.
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
- "Well, then, Eliza, hear my plan. Mas'r took it into
his head to send me right by here, with a note to Mr.
Symmes, that lives a mile past. I believe he expected I
should come here to tell you what I have. It would please
him, if he thought it would aggravate Shelby's folk's,'
as he calls 'em. I'm going home quite resigned, you un-
derstand,-as if all was over. I've got some preparations
made, and there are those that will help me; and, in the
course of a week or so, I shall be among the missing,
some day. Pray for me, Eliza; perhaps the good Lord
will hear you."
"0, pray yourself, George, and go trusting in him;
then you won't do anything wicked."
Well, now, good-bye," said George, holding Eliza's
hands, and gazing into her eyes without moving. They
stood silent; then there were last words, and sobs, and
bitter weeping-such parting as those may make whose
hope to meet again is as the spider's web-"-and the husband
and wife were parted.
AN EVENING IN UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
THE cabin of Uncle Tom was a small log building, closo
adjoining to the house," as the negropar excellence desig.
nates his master's dwelling. In front it had a neat gar
den-patch, where, every summer, strawberries, raspberries,
and a variety of. fruits and vegetables, flourished under
careful tending. The whole front of it was covered by a large
scarlet bignonia ard a native multiflora rose, which, en,
twisting and interlacing, left scarce a vestige of the rough
logs to be seen. Here, also, in summer, various brilliant
annuals, such as marigolds, petunias, four o'clock, found
an indulgent corner in which to unfold their splendors,
and were the delight and pride of Aunt Chloe's heart.
Let us enter the dwelling. The evening meal at the
house is over, and Aunt Chloe, who presided over its pre-
paration as head cook, has left to inferior officers in the
kitchen the business of clearing away and washing dishes,
and come out into her own snug territories, to "get
her ole man's supper;" therefore, doubt not that it is her
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
you see by the fire, presiding with anxious interest over
certain frizzling items in a stew pan, and anon with grave
consideration lifting the cover of a bake-kettle, from
whence steam forth indubitable intimations of "something
good." A round, black, shining face is her's, so glossy as
to suggest the idea that she might have been washed over
with white of eggs, like one of her own tea rusks. Her
whole plump countenance beams with satisfaction and con-
tentment from under her well-starched checked turban,
bearing on it, however, if we must confess it, a little of
that tinge of self-consciousness which becomes the first
cook of the neighborhood, as Aunt Chloe was universally
held and acknowledged to be.
A cook she certainly was, in the very bone and centre of
her soul. Not a chicken or turkey or duck in the barn-
yard but looked grave when they saw her approaching, and
seemed evidently to be reflecting on their latter end; and
certain it was that she was always meditating on trussing,
stuffing and roasting, to a degree that was calculated to in-
spire terror in any reflecting fowl living. Her corn-cake
in all its varieties of hoe-cake, dodgers, muffins, and other
species too numerous to mention, was a sublime mystery
to all less practised compounders; and she would shake her
fat sides with honest pride and merriment, as she would
narrate the fruitless efforts that one and another of her
compeers had made to attain to her elevation.
The arrival of company at the house, the arranging of
dinners and suppers "in style," awoke all the energies of
her soul; and no sight was more welcome to her than a
pile of traveling trunks launched on the veranda, for then
she foresaw-'resh efforts and fresh triumphs.
Just at present, however, Aunt Chloe is looking into the
bake-pan; in which congenial operation we shall leave her
till we finish our picture of the cottage.
In one corner of it stood a bed, covered neatly with a
snowy spread; and by the side of it was a piece of carpet-
ing, of some considerable size. On this piece of carpeting
Aunt Chloe took her stand, as being decidedly in the up-
per walks of life; and it and the bed by which it lay, and
the whole corner, in fact, were treated with distinguished
consideration, and made so far as possible, sacred from the
marauding inroads and desecrations of little folks. In
fact, that corner was the drawing-room of the establish-
UNOLE TOM'S CABIN. 79
ment. In the other corner was a bed of much humbler
pretensions, and evidently designed for use. The wall
over the fire-place was adorned with some very brilliant
scriptural prints, and a portrait of General Washington,
drawn and colored in a manner which would certainly
have astonished that hero, if ever he had happened to meet
with its like.
On a rough bench in the corner, a couple of woolly-
headed boys, with glistening black eyes and fat shining
cheeks, were busy in superintending the first walking op-
erations of the baby,which, as is usually the case, consisted
in getting up on its feet, balancing- a moment, and then
tumbling down-each successive failure being violently
cheered, as something decidedly clever.
A table, somewhat rheumatic in its limbs, was drawn out
in front of the fire, and covered with a cloth, displaying
cups and saucers of a decidedly brilliant pattern, with other
symptoms of an approaching meal. At this table was
seated Uncle Tom, Mr. Shelby's best hand who, as he is to
be the hero of our story, we must photograph for our
readers. He was a large, broad-chested, powerfully-made
man, of a full glossy black, and a face whose truly African
features were characterized by an expression of grave and
steady good sense, united with much kindliness and
benevolence. There was something about his whole air
self-respecting and dignified, yet united with a confiding
and humble simplicity.
He was very busily intent at this moment on a slate
lying before him, on which he was carefully and slowly
endeavoring to accomplish a copy of some letters, in which
operation he was overlooked by young Mas'r George, a
smart, bright boy of thirteen, who appeared fully to realize
the dignity of his position as instructor.
"Not that way, Uncle Tom-not that way," said he,
briskly, as Uncle Tom laboriously brought up the tail of
his g the wrong side out; that makes a q, you see."
"La sakes, now, does it ?" said Uncle Tom, looking with
a respectful, admiring air, as his young teacher flour-
ishingly scrawled q's and g's innumerable for his edification;
and then, taking the pencil in his big heavy fingers, he
- "How easy white folks al'us does things!" said Aunt
Chloe, pausing while she was greasing a griddle with a
.--i` -5. ...l
80 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
scrap of bacon on her fork, and regarding young Master
George with pride. "The way he can write, now and
read, too and then to come out here evenings and read
his lessons to us-it's mighty interesting' !"
"But, Aunt Chloe, I'm getting mighty hungry," said
George. Isn't that cake in the skillet almost done ?"
Mose done, Mas'r George," said Aunt Chloe, lifting
the lid and peeping in-" browning beautiful-a real lovely
brown. Ah let me alone for dat. Misses let Sally try to
make some cake, t'other day, jes to larn her, she said. '0,
go way, missis,' says I ; 'it really hurts my feeling's now, to
see good vittles spoiled dat ar way Cake ris all to one side
-no shape at all; no more than my shoe-go way !"
And with this final expression of contempt for Sally's
greenness, Aunt Chloe whipped the cover off the bake-
kettle, and disclosed to view a neatly-baked pound-cake, of
which no city confectioner need to have been ashamed.
This being evidently the central point of the entertain-
ment, Aunt Chloe began now to bustle about earnestly in
the supper department.
Here you, Mose and Pete get out de way, you niggers I
Get away, Polly, honey-mammy'll give her baby somefin,
by and by. Now, Mas'r George, you jest take off dem
books, and set down now with my ole man, and I'll take
up de sausages, and have de first griddle full of cakes on
your plates in less dan no time."
They wanted me to come to supper in the house," said
George; "but I knew what was what too well for that,
So you did-so you did, honey," said Aunt Chloe,
heaping the smoking batter-cakes on his plate; "you
know'd your old aunty'd keep the best for you. 0, let you
alone for dat Go way !" And, with that, aunty gave
George a nudge with her finger, designed to be immensely
facetious, and turned again to her griddle with great
Now for the cake," said Master George, when the ac-
tivity of the griddle department had somewhat subsided ;
and, with that, the youngster flourished a large knife over
the article in question.
"La bless you, Mas'r George !" said Aunt Chloe, with
earnestness, catching his arm, "you wouldn't be for cutting'
it wid dat ar great heavy knife Smash all down-spile
The cabin exterior.
Uncle Tom's cabin interior.
"Not that way,Uncle Tom."
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
all de pretty rise of it. Here, I've got a thin old knife, I
keeps sharp a purpose. Dar now, see comes apart light
as a feather Now eat away-you won't get anything to
beat dat ar."
"Tom Lincon says," said George, speaking with his
mouth full, that their Jinny isa better cook than you."
"Dem Lincons ain't much count, no way!" said Aunt
Chloe, contemptuously; "I mean, set along side our
folks. They's'spectable folks enough in a kinder plain
way; but, as to getting' up anything in style, they don't
begin to have a notion on 't: Set Mas'r Lincon, now,
alongside Mas'r Shelby! Good Lor! and Missis Lincon-
can she kinder sweep it into a room like my missis-so
kinder splendid, yer know! O, go way! don't tell me
nothing' of dem Lincons!" and Aunt Chloe tossed her
head as one who hoped she did know something of the
Well, though, I've heard you say," said George, that
Jinny was a pretty fair cook."
So I did," said Aunt Chloe-"I may say dat. Good,
plain,-common cooking Jinny '11 do; make a good pone o'
bread-bile her taters far-her corn cakes isn't, extra,
not extra now, Jinny's corn cakes isn't, but then they's far
-but, Lor, come to de higher branches, and what can she
do? Why, she makes pies-sartin she does; but what
kinder crust? Can she make your real flecky paste, as
melts in your mouth, and lies all up like a puff? Now, I
went over thar when Miss Mary was gwine to be married,
and Jinny she jest showed me de weddin' pies. Jinny
and I is good friends, ye know. I never said nothing ; but
go long, Mas'r George! Why, I shouldn't sleep a wink for
a week, if I had a batch of pies like dem ar. Why, dey
wan't no 'count 't all."
I suppose Jinny thought they were ever so nice," said
Thought so-didn't she? Thar she was, showing 'em,
as innocent-ye see, it's jest here, Jinny don't know.
Lor,. the family ain't nothing! She can't be spected to
know! 'Ta'nt no fault o' hern. Ah, Mas'r George, you
doesn't know half your privileges in yer family and bring-
in' up!" Here Aunt Chloe sighed, and rolled up her eyes
"I'm sure, Aunt Chloe, I understand all my pie and
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
pudding privileges," said George. "Ask Tom Lincon if
I don't crow over him, every time I meet him."
Aunt Chloe sat back in her chair, and indulged in a
hearty guffaw of laughter, at this witticism of young
master's, laughing till the tears rolled down her black, shin-
ing cheeks, and varying the exercise with playfully slap-
ping and poking Mas'r Georgey, and telling him to go way,
and that he was a case-that he was fit to kill her, and
that he sartin would kill her, one of these day; and, be-
tween each of these sanguinary predictions, going off into a
laugh, each longer and stronger than the other, till George
really began to think that he was a very dangerously witty
fellow, and that it became him to be careful how he talked
"as funny as he could."
"And so ye telled Tom, did ye? O, Lor! what young
uns will be up ter! Ye crowed over Tom? O, Lor!
Mas'r George, if ye wouldn't make a hornbug laugh!"
"Yes," said George, I says to him, Tom, you ought
to see some of Aunt Chloe's pies; they're the right sort,'
"Pity, now, Tom couldn't," said Aunt Chloe, on whose
benevolent heart the idea of Tom's benighted condition
seemed to make a strong impression. Ye oughter just
ask him here to dinner, some o'these times, Mas'r George,"
she added; it would look quite pretty of ye. Ye know,
Mas'r George, ye oughtenter feel 'bove nobody, on 'count
yer privileges, 'cause all our privileges is gi'n to us; we
ought always to 'member that" said Aunt Chloe, looking
Well, I mean to ask Tom here, some day next week,"
said Georgo; ".and you do your prettiest, Aunt Chloe, and
we'll make him stare. Won't we make him eat so he won't
get over it for a fortnight?"
'" Yes, yes-sartin," said Aunt Chloe, delighted; you'll
see. Lor! to think of some of our dinners! Yer mind
dat ar great chicken pie I made when we guy de dinner to
General Knox? I and missis, we come pretty near quar-
relling about dat ar crust. What does get into ladies
sometimes, I don't know; but, sometimes, when a body has
de heaviest kind o' 'sponsibility on 'em, as ye may say,
and is all kinder series and taken up, dey takes dat ar
time to be hangin' round and kinder interferin'! Now,
missis, she wanted me to do dis way, and she wanted me
VNcLE TOM'S UAB1N. 85
to do dat way; and, finally, I got kinder sarcy, and says I,
'Now, missis, do jist look at dem beautiful white hands o'
yourn, with long fingers, and all a sparkling with rings,
like my white lilies when de dew's on 'em; and look at my
great black stumpin hands. Now, don't ye think dat
de Lord must have meant me to make de pie crust, and
you to stay in de parlor? Dar! I was jist so sarcy, Mas'r
And what did mother say? said George.
Say? Why she kinder larfed in her eyes-dem great
handsome eyes o' hern; and, says she, Well Aunt Chloe, I
think you are about in the right on 't,' says she; and she
went off in de parlor. She oughter cracked me over the
head for bein' so sarcy; but dar's whar 'tis-I can't do
nothing' with ladies in de kitchen !"
Well, you made out well with that dinner-I remem-
ber everybody said so," said George.
"Didn't I? And wan't I behind de dinin'-room door
dat bery day? and didn't I see de general pass his plate
three times for some more dat bery pie? And, says he,
You must have an uncommon cook, Mrs. Shelby.' Lor, I
was fit to split myself. And de general, he knows what
cooking' is," said Aunt Chloe, drawing herself up with an
air. Bery nice man, de general! He comes of one of de
beryfustest families in Old Virginny! He knows what's
what, now, as well as I do-de general. Ye see, there's
vints in all pies, Mas'r George; but tain't everybody knows
.what they is, or orter be. But the general he knows; I
know by his 'marks he made. Yes, he knows what de
By this time, Master George had arrived at that pass to
which even a boy can come (under uncommon circumstances)
when he really could not eat another morsel and, there-
fore, he was at leisure to notice the pile of woolly heads and
glistening eyes which were regarding their operations
hungrily from the opposite corner.
- Here, you Mose, Pete," he said, breaking -off liberal
hits, and throwing it at them; "you want some, don't you?
Come, Aunt Chloe, bake them some cakes."
And George and Tom moved to a comfortable seatin the
chimney-corner, while Aunt Chloe, after baking a goodly
pile of cakes, took her baby on her lap, and began alter-
nately filling its mouth and her own, and distributing to
86 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
Mose and Pete, who seemed rather to prefer eating their's
as they rolled about on the floor under the table, tickling
each other, and occasionally pulling the baby's toes.
O, go long, will ye?" said the mother, giving now and
then a kick, in a kind of general way, under the table,
when the movement became too obstreperous. Can't ye be
decent when white folks comes to see ye? Stop dat ar,
now, will ye? Better mind yerselves, or I'll take ye down
a button-hole lower, when Mas'r George is gone!"
What meaning was couched under this terrible threat, it
is difficult to say; but certain it is that its awful indis-
tinctness seemed to produce very little impression on the
young sinners addressed.
La, now!" said Uncle Tom, they are so full of tickle
all the while, they can't behave theirselves."
Here the boys emerged from under the table, and, with
hands and faces well plastered with molasses, began a
vigorous kissing of the baby.
Get along wid ye!" said the mother, pushing'away their
woolly heads. "Ye'll all stick together, and never get
clar, if ye do dat fashion. Go long to de spring and wash
yerselves!" she said, seconding her exhortations by a slap,
which resounded very formidably, but which seemed only
to knock out so much more laugh from the young ones,
as they tumbled precipitately over each other out of doors,
where they fairly screamed with merriment.
"Did ye ever see such aggravating young uns?" said
Aunt Chloe, rather complacently, as, producing an old
towel, kept for such emergencies, she poured a little water
out of the cracked tea-pot on it, and began rubbing off the
molasses from the baby's face and hands; and, having pol-
ished her till she shone, she set her down in Tom's lap,
while she busied herself in clearing away supper. The
baby employed the intervals in pulling Tom's nos.,
scratching his face, and burying her fat hands in his
woolly hair, which last operation seemed to anord her
"Ain't she a peart young un?" said Tom, holding her
from him to take a full-length view; then, gettingup, he
set her on his broad shoulder, and began capering and
dancing with her, while Master George snapped at her
with his pocket-handkerchief, and Mose and Pete, now re-
turned again, roaredafter her like bears, till Aunt Chloe
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
declared that they fairly took her head off" with their
noise. As, according to her own statement, this surgical
operation was a matter of daily occurrence in the cabin,
the declaration no whit abated the merriment, till every
one had roared and tumbled and danced themselves down
to a state of composure.
"Well, now, I hopes you're done," said Aunt Chloe,
who had been busy in pulling out a rude box of a trundle-
bed; and now, you Mose and you Pete, get into thar;
for we's goin' to have the meeting. "
"0, mother, we don't water. We wants to sit up to
meetin'-meetin's is so curis. We likes 'em."
"La, Aunt Chloe, shove it under, and let 'em sit up,"
said Master George, decisively, giving a push to the rude
Aunt Chloe, having thus saved appearances, seemed
highly delighted to push the thing under, saying, as she
did so, Well, mebbe 't will do 'em some good."
The house now resolved itself into a committee of the
whole, to consider the accommodations and arrangements
for the meeting.
What we's to do for cheers, now, I declar I don't
know," said Aunt Chloe. As the meeting had been held
at Uncle Tom's, weekly, for an indefinite length of time,
without any more cheers," there seemed some encour-
agement to hope that a way would be discovered at pres-
"Old Uncle Peter sung both de legs out of dat oldest
cheer, last week," suggested Mose.
"You go long! I'll boun' you pulled 'em out; some o'
your shines," said Aunt Chloe.
"Well, it'll stand, if it only keeps jam up agin de wall!"
"Den Uncle Peter mus'n't sit in it, cause he always
hitches when he gets a singing. He hitched pretty nigh
across de room, t' other night," said Pete.
Good Lor! get him in it, then," said Mose, "and den
he'd begin, 'Come saints and sinners, hear me tell,' and
den down he'd go," and Mose imitated precisely the nasal
tones of the old man, tumbling on the floor, to illustrate
the supposed catastrophe.
"Come now, be decent, can't ye?" said Aunt Chloe;
"an't yer shamed?"
UNCLE TOM'S OABIN.
Master George, however, joined the offender in the laugh,
and declared decidedly that Mose was a 'buster.'" So
the maternal admonition seemed rather to fail of effect.
Well, ole man," said Aunt Chloe, you'll have to tote
in them ar bar'ls."
"Mother's bar'ls is like dat ar widder's, Mas'r George
was reading' 'bout' in de good book-dey never fails," said
Mose, aside to Pete.
"I'm sure one on 'em caved in last week," said Pete,
"and let 'em all down in de middle of de singin'; dat ar
was failin', warnt it?"
During this aside between Mose and Pete, two empty
casks had been rolled into the cabin, and being secured
from rolling, by stones on each side, boards were laid
across them, which arrangement, together with the turn-
ing down of certain tubs and pails, and the disposing of
the rickety chairs, at last completed the preparations.
Mas'r George is such a beautiful reader, now, I know
he'll stay to read for us," said Aunt Chloe; "'pears like
't will be so much more interesting. "
George very readily consented, for your boy is always
ready for anything that makes him of importance.
The room was soon filled with a motley assemblage, from
the old gray-headed patriarch of eighty, to the young girl
and lad of fifteen. A little harmless gossip ensued on
various themes, such as where old Aunt Sally got her new
red headkerchief, and how Missis was a going to give
Lizzy that spotted muslin gown, when she'd got her new
berage made up;" and how Mas'r Shelby was thinking of
buying a new sorrel colt, that was going to prove an addi-
tion to the glories of the place. A few of the worshipers
belonged to families hard by, who had got permission to
attend, and who brought in various choice scraps of infor-
mation, about the sayings and doings at the house and on
the place, which circulated as freely as the same sort of
small change does in higher circles.
After a while the singing commenced, to the evident de-
light of all present. Not even all the disadvantage of
nasal intonation could prevent the effect of the naturally
fine voices, in airs at once wild and spirited. The words
were sometimes the well-known and common hymns sung
in the churches about, and sometimes of a wilder, more
indefinite character, picked up at camp-meetings.
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 89
The chorus of one of them, which ran as follows, was
sung with great energy and unction:
"Die on the field of battle,
Die on the field of battle,
Glory in my soul."
Another special favorite had oft repeated the words-
0, I'm going to glory-won't you come along with me?
Don't you see the angels becls'ning, and a calling me away ?
Don't you see the golden city and the everlasting day ?"
There were others, which made incessant mention of
"Jordan's banks," and "Canaan's fields," and the "New
Jerusalem;" for the negro mind, impassioned and imagin-
ative, always attaches itself to hymns and expressions of a
vivid and pictorial nature; and, as they sung, some
laughed, and some cried, and some clapped hands, or
shook hands rejoicingly with each other, as if they had
fairly gained the other side of the river.
Various exhortations, or relations of experience, followed,
and intermingled with the singing. One old gray-headed
woman, long past work, but much revered as a sort of
chronicle of the past, rose, and leaning on her staff, said :
Well, chil'en 1 Well, I'm mighty glad to hear ye all
and see ye all once more, 'cause I don't know when I'll be
gone to glory; but I've done got ready, chil'en; 'pears like
I'd got my little bundle all tied up, and my bonnet on,
jest a waiting' for the stage to come along and take me
home ; sometimes, in the night, I think I hear the wheels
a rattlin', and I'm looking' out all the time ; now, you jest
be ready too, for I tell ye all, chil'en," she said, striking
her staff hard on the floor, "dat ar glory is a mighty
thing It's a mighty thing, chil'en-you don'no nothing
about it-it's wonderful." And the old creature sat
down, with streaming tears, as wholly overcome, while
the whole circle struck up:
"0, Canaan, bright Canaan,
I'm bound for the land of Canaan."
Master George, by request, read the last chapters of Reve-
lation, often interrupted by such exclamations as The
sakes now !" "Only hear that !" Jest think on't !"
"Is all that a coming' sure enough ?"
George, who was a bright boy, and well trained in relig-
flNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
ious things by his mother, finding himself an object of
general admiration, threw in expositions of his own, from
time to time, with a commendable seriousness and gravity,
for which he was admired by the young and blessed by
the old; and it was agreed, on all hands, that a minister
couldn't lay it off better than he did;" that "'t was reely
Uncle Tom was a sort of patriarch in religious matters,
in the neighborhood. Having, naturally, an organization
in which the morale was strongly predominant, together
with a greater breadth and cultivation of mind than
obtained among his companions, he was looked up to with
great respect, as a sort of minister among them ; and the
simple, hearty sincere style of his exhortations might have
edified even better educated persons. But it was in prayer
that he especially excelled. Nothing could exceed the
touching simplicity, the child-like earnestness, of his
prayer, enriched with the language of Scripture, which
seemed so entirely to have wrought itself into his being, as
to have become a part of himself, and to drop from his
lips unconsciously; in the language of a pious old negro,
he "prayed right up." And so much did his prayer
always work on the devotional feelings of his audiences,
that there seemed often a danger that it would be lost alto-
gether in the abundance of the responses which broke out
everywhere around him.
While this scene was passing in the cabin of the man,
one quite otherwise passed in the halls of the master.
The trader and Mr. Shelby were seated together in the
dining room afore-named, at a table covered with papers
and writing utensils.
Mr. Shelby was busy in counting some bundles of bills,
which, as they were counted, he pushed over to the trader,
who counted them likewise.
"All fair," said the trader; "and now for signing these
Mr. Shelby hastily drew the bills of sale toward him,
and signed them, like a man that hurries over some dis-
agreeable business, and then pushed them over with the
money. Haley produced, from a well worn valise, a
parchment, which, after looking over it a moment, he
TNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
handed to Mr. Shelby, who took it with a gesture of sup-
"Wal, now, the thing's done!" said the trader, getting
"It's done! said Mr. Shelby, in a musing tone; and,
fetching a long breath, he repeated, It's done."
Yer don't seem to feel much pleased with it," pears to
me," said the trader.
"Haley," said Mr. Shelby, "I hope you'll remember
that you promised, on your honor, you would'nt sell
Tom, without knowing what sort of hands he's going
"Why, you've just done it, sir," said the trader.
"Circumstances, you well know, obliged me," said
Wal, you know, they may 'blige me too," said the
trader. Howsomever, I'll do the very best I can in
getting' Tom a good berth; as to my treating' on him bad,
you needn't be a grain afeared. If there's anything
that I thank the Lord for, it is that I am never no ways
After the expositions which the trader had previously
given of his humane principles, Mr. Shelby did not feel
particularly reassured by these declarations; but, as they
were the best comfort the case admitted of, he allowed
the trader to depart in silence, and betook himself to a
SHOWING THE FEELINGS OF LIVING PROPERTY ON CHANG-
MR. AND MRS. SHELBY had retired to their apartment
for the night. He was lounging in a'large easy-chair,
looking over some letters that had come in the afternoon
mail, and she was standing before her mirror, brushing
ou.t the complicated braids and curls in which Eliza had
arranged her hair; for, noticing her pale cheeks and hag-
gard eyes, she had excused her attendance that night, and
ordered her to bed. The employment, naturally enough,
suggested her conversation with the girl in the morning;
and, turning to her husband, she said carelessly:
"Arthur, who was that low-bred fellow ?"
I Q' .a^N;
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
'" By the by, Arthur, who was that low-bred fellow that
you lugged in to our dinner-table to-day?"
Haley is his name," said Shelby, turning himself rather
uneasily in his chair, and continuing with his eyes fixed
on a letter.
"Haley! Who is he, and what may be his business
Well, he's a man that I transacted some business with
last time I was at Natchez," said Mr. Shelby.
"And he presumed on it to make himself quite at home,
and call and dine here, ay ? "
"Why, I invited him; I had some accounts with him,"
"Is he a negro-trader!" said Mrs. Shelby, noticing a
certain embarrassment in her husband's manner.
"Why, my-dear, what put that into your head?" said
Shelby, looking up.
Nothing-only Eliza came in here, after dinner, in a
great worry, crying and taking on,.and said you were talk-
ing with a trader, and that she heard him make an offer
for her boy-the ridiculous little goose!"
"She did, hey?" said Mr. Shelby, returning to lis
paper, which he seemed for a few moments quite intent
upon, not perceiving that he was holding it bottom up-
"It will have to come out," said he, mentally; "as well
now as ever."
I told Eliza," said Mrs. Shelby, as she continued brush-
ing her hair, -" that she was a little fool for her pains, and
that you never had anything to do with that sort of per-
sons. Of course, I knew you never meant to sell any of
our people--least of all, to such a fellow."
"Well, Emily," said her husband, "so I have always
felt and said; but the fact is that my business lies so that
I cannot get on without. I shall have to sell some of my
To that creature? Impossible! Mr. Shelby, you can-
not be serious."
I'm sorry to say that I am," said Mr. Shelby. "I've
agreed to sell Tom."
"What! our Tom? that good, faithful creature! been
your faithful servant from a boy! O, Mr. Shelby! and,
you have promised him his freedom, too-you and I have
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
spoken to him a hundred times of it. Well, I can believe
anything now-I can believe now that you could sell little
Harry, poor Eliza's only child!" said Mrs. Shelby, in a
tone between grief and indignation.
"Well, since you must know all, it is so. I have agreed
to sell Tom and Harry both; and I don't know why I am
to be rated,- as if I were a monster, for doing what every
one does every day,"
"But why, of all others, choose these!" said Mrs.
Shelby. Why sell them, of all on the place, if you must
sell at all?"
Because they will bring the highest sum of any, that's
why. I could choose another, if you say so. The fellow
made me a high bid on Eliza, if that would suit you any
better," said Mr. Shelby.
"The wretch!" said Mrs. Shelby, vehemently.
Well, I didn't listen to it a moment-out of regard to
your feelings I wouldn't-so give me some credit."
"My dear," said Mrs. Shelby, recollecting herself, "for-
give me. I have been hasty. I was surprised, and entirely
unprepared for this; but surely you will allow me to inter-
cede for these poor creatures. Tom is a noble-hearted,
faithful fellow, if he is black. I do believe, Mr. Shelby,
that if he were put to it, he would lay down his life for
I know it-I dare say; but what's the use of all this?
I can't help myself."
Why not make a pecuniary sacrifice? I'm willing to
bear my part of the inconvenience. 0, Mr. Shelby, I have
tried-tried most faithfully, as a Christian woman should
-to do my duty to these poor, simple, dependent creat-
ures. I have cared for them, instructed them, watched
over them, and known all their little cares and joys, for
years; and how can I ever hold up my head again among
them, if, for the sake of a little paltry gain, we sell such a
faithful, excellent, confiding creature as poor Tom, and
tear from him in a moment all we have taught him
to love and value? I have taught them the duties of the
family, of parent and child, and husband and wife; and
how can I bear to have this open acknowledgment that we
care for no tie, no duty, no relation, however sacred, com-
pared with money? I have talked with Eliza about her
boy-her duty to him as a Christian mother, to watch
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
over him, pray for him, and bring him up in a Christian
way; and now what can I say, if you tear him away, and
sell him, soul and body, to a profane, unprincipled, man
just to save a little money? I have told her that one soul
is worth more than all the money in the world; and how
will she believe me when she sees us turn round and sell
her child-sell him, perhaps, to certain ruin of body and
"I'm sorry you feel so about it, Emily-indeed I am,"
said Mr. Shelby; and I respect your feelings, too, though
I don't pretend to share them to their full extent; but I
tell you now, solemnly, it's of no use-I can't help myself.
I didn't mean to tell you this, Emily; but, in plain
words, there is no choice between selling these two and
selling everything. Either they must go, or all must.
Haley has come into possession of a mortgage, which, if I
don't clear off with him directly, will take everything be-
fore it. I've raked, and scraped, and borrowed, and all
but begged-and the price of these two was needed to make
up the balance, and I had to give them up. Haley fancied
the child; he agreed to settle the matter that way, and no
other. I was in his power, and had to do it. If you
feel so to have them sold, would it be any better to have
Mrs. Shelby stood like one stricken. Finally, turning
to her toilet, she rested her face in her hands, and gave a
sort of groan.
"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. It is a sin to hold a slave under
laws like ours-I always felt it was-I always thought so
when I was a girl-I thought so still more after I joined
the church; but I thought I could gild it over-I thought
by kindness, and care, and instruction, I could make
the condition of mine better than freedom-fool that I
Why, wife, you are getting to be an abolitionist,
"Abolitionist! if they knew all I know about slavery
they might talk! We don't need them to tell us; you know
I never thought that slavery was right-never felt willing
to own slaves."
96 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
"Well, therein you differ from many wise and pious
men," said Mr. Shelby. You remember Mr. B- 's
sermon, the other Sunday?"
I don't want to hear such sermons; I never wish to
hear Mr. B- in our church again. Ministers can't
help the evil, perhaps-can't cure it, any more than we
can-but defend it! it always went against my common
sense. And I think you didn't think much of that ser-
"Well," said Shelby, "I must say these ministers some-
times carry matters further than we poor sinners would ex-
actly dare to do. We men of the world must wink pretty
hard at various things, and get used to a deal that isn't
the exact thing. But we don't quite fancy, when women
and ministers come out broad and square, and go beyond
us in matters of either modesty or morals, that's a fact.
But now, my dear, I trust you see the necessity of the
thing, and you see that I have done the very best that
circumstances would allow."
"0 yes, yes!" said Mrs. Shelby, hurriedly and abstract-
edly fingering her gold watch-" I haven't any jewelry of
any amount," she added thoughtfully; "but would not
this watch do something? it was an expensive one, when it
was bought. If I could only at least save Eliza's child, I
would sacrifice anything I have."
I'm sorry, very sorry, Emily," said Mr Shelby, "I'm
sorry this takes hold of you so; but it will do no good.
The fact is, Emily, the thing's done; the bills of sale are
already signed, and in Haley's hands; and you must be
thankful it is no worse. That man has had it in his power
to ruin us all, and now he is fairly off. If you knew
the man as I do, you'd think that we had had a narrow
"Is he so hard, then?"
"Why, not a cruel man, exactly, but a man of leather-
a man alive to nothing but trade and profit-cool and un-
hesitating, and unrelenting, as death and the grave. He'd
sell his own mother at a good perceutage-not wishing
the old woman any harm, either."
"And this wretch owns that good, faithful Tom, and
Well, my dear, the fact is that this goes rather hard
with me; it's a thing I hate to think of. Haley wants to
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
drive matters, and take possession to-morrow. I'm going
to get out my horse bright and early, and be off. I can't
see Tom, that's a fact; and you had better arrange a drive
somewhere, and carry Eliza off. Let the thing be done
when she is out of sight."
"No, no," said Mrs. Shelby; "I'll be in no sense accom-
plice or help in this cruel business. I'll go and see poor
old Tom; God help him, in his distress! They shall see,
at any rate, that their mistress can feel for and with them.
As to Eliza, I dare not think about it. The Lord forgive
us! What have we done, that this cruel necessity should
come on us?"
There was one listener to this conversation whom Mr. and
Mrs. Shelby little suspected.
Communicating with their apartment was a large closet,
opening by a door into the outer passage. When Mrs.
Shelby had dismissed Eliza for the night, her feverish and
excited mind had suggested the idea of this closet; and she
had hidden herself there, and, with her ear pressed close
against the crack of the door, had lost not a word of the
When the voices died into silence, she rose and crept
stealthily away. Pale, shivering, with rigid features and
compressed lips, she looked an entirely altered being from
the soft and timid creature she had been hitherto. She
moved cautiously along the entry, paused one moment at
her mistress' door, and raised her hands in mute appeal to
Heaven, and then turned and glided into her own room.
It was a quiet, neat apartment, on the same floor with her
mistress. There was the pleasant sunny window, where
she had often sat singing at her sewing; there a little case
of books, and various little fancy articles, ranged by them,
the gifts of Christmas holidays; there was her simple ward-
robe in the closet and in the drawers-here was, in short,
her home; and, on the whole, a happy one it had been to
her. But there, on the bed, lay her slumbering boy, his
long curls falling negligently around his unconscious face,
his rosy mouth half open, his little fat hands thrown out
over the bed-clothes, and a smile spread like a sunbeam
over his whole face.
"Poor boy! poor fellow!" said Eliza; they have sold
youl but your mother will save you yet!"
No tear dropped over that pillow; in such straits as
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
these; the heart has no tears to give-it drops only blood,
bleeding itself away in silence. She took a piece of paper
and a pencil, and wrote hastily:
Q, missis! dear missis! don't think me ungrateful-
don't think hard of me, anyway-I heard all you and mas-
ter said to-night. I am going to try to save my boy-you
will not blame me! God bless and reward you for all your
Hastily folding and directing this, she went to a drawer
and made up a little package of clothing for herboy, which
she tied with a handkerchief firmly round her waist; and,
so fond is a mother's remembrance, that, even in the ter-
rors of that hour, she did not forget to put in the little
package one or two of his favorite toys, reserving a gayly
painted parrot to amuse him, when she should be called
on to awaken him. It was some trouble to arouse the
little sleeper; but, after some effort, he sat up, and was
playing with his bird, while his mother was putting on her
bonnet and shawl.
"Where are you going, mother?" said he, as she drew
near the bed, with his little coat and cap.
His mother drew near, and looked so earnestly into his
eyes, that he at once divined that something unusual was
"Hush, Harry," she said; "musn't speak loud, or they
will hear us. A wicked man was coming to take little
Harry away from his mother, and carry him 'way off in
the dark; but mother won't let him-she's going to put
on her little boy's cap and coat, and run off with him, so
the ugly man can't catch him."
Saying these words, she had tied and buttoned on the
child's simple outfit, and, taking him in her arms, she
whispered to him to be very still; and, opening a door in
her room which led into the outer veranda, she glided
Itwas a sparkling, frosty, star-light night and the mother
wrapped the shawl close round her child, as, perfectly quiet
with vague terror, he clung round her neck.
Old Bruno, a great Newfoundland, who slept at the end
of the porch, rose, with a low growl, as she came near.
She gently spoke his name, and the animal, an old pet and
" 'runing away, Uncle Tomn