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Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 5 Summary
Mrs. Shelby asks her husband who that "low-bred fellow" he brought to dinner is. Mr. Shelby explains that his name is Haley. Mrs. Shelby wants to know why he’s here, and Mr. Shelby answers that he had some debts with Haley that needed to be settled. Mrs. Shelby asks if Haley is a "Negro trader," because Eliza had come in earlier afraid that Mr. Shelby would sell Harry. Mr. Shelby confesses that he has indeed sold Harry…and Uncle Tom. Mrs. Shelby is outraged and tries to convince her husband not to do it. She feels strongly that selling Harry and Uncle Tom will prevent the Shelby family from living good, Christian lives. Mr. Shelby says that there is nothing to be done. Mrs. Shelby wonders if she could sell something that would take care of the money problem, but Mr. Shelby says that the transaction is already completed and there is nothing to be done about it. Eliza, hidden in a closet, overhears the entire conversation. Horrified, she decides to leave immediately with her child and escape to Canada. She takes her boy and steals outside. First, she stops by Uncle Tom’s to let him know that he, too, has been sold. Aunt Chloe urges her husband to escape with Eliza, but Tom says he cannot betray Master Shelby that way. Eliza asks them to get word to her husband, if they can, that’s she’s on the run. Then she says goodbye and leaves with her child in her arms.
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