Study Guide

Mr. Wilson in Uncle Tom's Cabin

By Harriet Beecher Stowe

Mr. Wilson

Mr. Wilson, George Harris’s boss at the bagging factory, is a timid but good-hearted man. He tries to stick up for George when his master decides to humiliate him, take him away from his job, and put him to work doing menial tasks around the farm – but he has no legal power to prevent this. When Mr. Wilson recognizes George as a runaway slave, he urges George to go back to his master and not to break the law. Mr. Wilson is good-hearted but fails to comprehend George’s desire for freedom. Still, he doesn’t betray George’s whereabouts to anyone and he gives George all the money he has on him to help him find his way to freedom. Stowe uses characters like Mr. Wilson to suggest that plenty of people are actually opposed to the evils of slavery, but they need charismatic leaders to galvanize them into action.