- Year Published: 1852.
- Pages: 496.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin Summary of Chapters
Arthur Shelby is a slave-owner and farmer in Kentucky. He is under debt and forced to sell two of his slaves to a trader, Haley. One slave is Uncle Tom, and the other is his wife’s servant Eliza’s son, Harry. Eliza overhears Haley and Arthur talking, and warns Tom.
Eliza asks him and his wife to run away, while she flees with her son. She succeeds crossing the Ohio River and gets help from the public. Haley appoints two of his men to catch Harry and Eliza. Tom decides not to elope. He gets picked up by Haley and sets towards New Orleans.
Haley had bought more slaves before the journey, and also sold off an infant before letting the mother slave know. The mother commits suicide to this incident. George Harris, Eliza’s husband, who had also escaped slavery and was in disguise, gets the news that Eliza had headed towards Canada. He sets out to look for her and join her. Eliza gets support from a Quaker family and joined by George to get to the next stage of their mission.
On the Mississippi river boat, Tom saves a little white girl from drowning. She is Eva St. Clare, whose beauty and integrity touches the elderly man. Eva requests her father to buy Tom and that is how he accompanies the father, daughter and cousin Ophelia to New Orleans. Eva’s mother is a bigoted woman who looks down at all the slaves in the house. Tom starts having a nice time bonding with the little girl Eva, and reads to her from the Bible. Eva grows to know more about Christianity through him.
George and Eliza with son and two more escaped slaves, were on their way to their next destination, when the slave-catchers tried to overtake them. George wounded one with a pistol and the rest ran. Eliza requests them to carry the wounded man for treatment.
At New Orleans, Tom is ordered to market for the household. St. Clare then writes to Tom’s wife back in Kentucky, to inform her about his well-being. He then buys a young girl named Topsy to raise Ophelia.
Tom’s wife Chloe requests and convinces Mrs. Shelby, to let her work at a bakery in Louisville, to save wages and free Tom. George, Shelby’s son, write to Tom to give him this news. Two years pass, and one fine day, Eva is found to be severely ill. They diagnose that she is soon to die, but before dying she touches everybody in the house by her Christian acceptance. Eva passes away and St. Clare takes interest into Christianity. He promises to free Tom and legally signs Topsy to Ophelia. He also starts protecting his slaves from being sold further. However, he gets killed and his mother resells every slave, including Tom. Tom is bought by plantation owner, Simon Legree, who buys two women for sexual slavery – one for himself and one for his black overseer Sambo.
Tom is made to work at the swamps and he starts picking cotton, but he didn’t lose his hope. Legree’s black concubine named Cassy meets Tom and tells her tragic story. Tom gets mercilessly whipped to help other slaves and Legree promises to either kill him or ruin his spiritual values. Cassy tries her bests to save Tom.
Back in Midwest, a man called Tom Loker warns the Quaker family that George Harris and his family are being sought. However, Eliza disguises herself and they succeed in getting to Canada. On the other hand, Tom keeps getting whipped and is about to lose his faith. He still tries to empower the slaves to keep faith, while Cassy and Emmeline (Legree’s sexual slave) makes a plan to elope. The women hid in Legree’s garret while he was in search for swamps. They succeed in escaping, and Tom refuses to know when Legree asked about them. Sambo and Legree whip Tom till he is almost dead but Legree gets tired and gives up. Tom decides to forgive the men who whipped him.
George Shelby comes to free Tom when he is about to speak his last words. Cassy and Emmeline succeeds in escaping and joins Shelby while they sail to the north. There was another lady in the boat, who admits that she was George Harris’s sister, and Cassy figures out that Eliza is her own daughter. These three women go off to Canada to look for the Harris family. All of them meet in Canada and decide to get to France and finally settle in Liberia. George Shelby gets to Kentucky and sees that his father had died, and tells Chloe about Tom’s death. He frees all the slaves and tells them that they owe their freedom to Uncle Tom.