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Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin


Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 31 Summary

  • Simon Legree, the short, broad, muscular man from the slave warehouse, transports his newly purchased slaves by boat, shackled with chains. They head up the Red River.
  • Legree comes around and tells Tom to stand up and change into different shoes. He steals some of Tom’s personal items and throws others into the river.
  • When Legree finds out that Tom is religious, he says he’ll soon take that out of Tom. He doesn’t want any of his slaves praying or bawling. "I’m your church now," he says.
  • Tom rebels at the very thought.
  • Then Legree proceeds to Emmeline. He tells her to keep up her spirits. Then he threatens another woman that he bought.
  • He tells a gentleman nearby that he likes to break his slaves in quickly by making sure they never know what to expect. He proudly admits that he’s an extremely hard master. He likes to work his slaves until they die; then he buys more cheap labor and works them until to death as well.
  • How long do they usually last? The gentleman asks.
  • Oh, about six years for the strong ones, two or three for the "trashy" ones, he replies.
  • The gentleman sits down and has a conversation with another southerner, who tries to deny that Legree is a typical kind of slave owner.
  • Emmeline and the other female slave discuss their past histories.
  • The boat moves on.

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