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Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 44 Summary

  • George Shelby writes his mother a short note, saying merely that he will be home soon. He cannot bring himself to write about Tom’s death.
  • Aunt Chloe is super excited that he’s arriving but nervous about the fact that he hasn’t mentioned Tom. She thinks it’s "just like" George – not wanting anybody else to spoil the moment.
  • She thinks Tom will hardly know his babies, since it’s been at least five years since he’s last seen them. She leaves the money for Tom out on the table, she’s so proud of it.
  • When George arrives, the first thing he does is tell Aunt Chloe how sorry he is, but Tom has died.
  • Mrs. Shelby cries out, but Aunt Chloe is stoic. She merely goes into the room and removes the money and says she never wants to hear about it or see it again. It’s just as she’d thought – he’s gone and gotten himself murdered on one of those plantations.
  • Mrs. Shelby tries to comfort her while George tells her the story of how he found Tom and how Tom died, loving Chloe to the last.
  • A month later, George Shelby appears in the hall and gathers all the servants together. He tells them all that he is giving them their freedom.
  • But many don’t want to leave him. He explains that they still have their jobs in the Shelby household, but now they will be paid for their work. And he would be sure to teach them how to "use the rights [he gives them] as free men and women."
  • Then George Shelby gives another speech, acknowledging that it was Uncle Tom’s death that helped him decide to give his slaves their freedom. So, whenever you see Uncle Tom’s cabin, he concludes, try to follow in Tom’s steps and be a good Christian.

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