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Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin


by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 10 Summary

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 10

  • On the morning Tom is to head south with Mr. Haley, Aunt Chloe gets up early and cooks him the best breakfast of his life.
  • Tom says goodbye to his children and, obviously, Aunt Chloe weeps. She says she’s trying hard to trust in God, but she’s struggling. She starts to tell Tom that it isn’t right or fair that he’s being taken away, but he stops her.
  • He says if Aunt Chloe loves him, she won’t say stuff like that.
  • Tom refuses to say a word against his master, Mr. Shelby, who was put in his arms as a baby.
  • Tom says his goodbyes to his children.
  • Aunt Chloe watches him with the baby and says, bitterly, that the child should keep on laughing because, one day, her own husband will be sold, too.
  • Mrs. Shelby enters the kitchen and bursts into tears. She wants to help Tom, but she knows she can’t give him money – it would just be taken away from him. She promises that she will bring him back some day and, in the meantime, he should trust in God.
  • The time has come to leave, and all the slaves gather around, crying as Tom gets into Haley’s wagon.
  • Despite Mrs. Shelby’s protests, Haley puts shackles on Tom’s ankles.
  • Mr. Shelby is not home. He can’t quite face what he’s done, so he’s conveniently away on a business trip.
  • Haley and Tom leave and head to a blacksmith’s shop. While Tom waits outside, Haley goes inside to fix a pair of handcuffs.
  • Meanwhile, young George Shelby comes riding up to say goodbye. He tells Tom that if he were grown up, this would never happen. It’s just not fair. George gives Tom a dollar. He’s put a hole in it and a string through it so that Tom can keep it around his neck.
  • Tom urges George to be a good boy.
  • George tells Haley to treat Uncle Tom with care. He says Haley should be ashamed of himself, treating humans like cattle.
  • George and Tom say goodbye and Haley drives away.
  • Haley and Tom have a little heart-to-heart. Haley tells Tom that he plans to treat him fairly but Tom better not try any tricks. Tom reassures Haley that he has no intention of trying to run off.

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 10

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