Explain this quote from Uncle Tom's Cabin and its context: “Yes, I consider religion a valuable thing in a n——-, when it’s the genuine article and no mistake”

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The quote referred to in the question is from Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. It occurs in the opening pages of chapter 1, as a Kentucky farmer, Arthur Shelby, described as a 'gentleman' by Stowe, is in the process of selling a middle-aged slave named Tom, in order to save his heavily indebted farm.

The potential buyer is a pretentious, gaudily-attired slave trader named Haley. Since Haley has refused to meet Shelby's original price for this slave, the farmer goes on to enumerate the many strengths and virtues of Tom, who will become the protagonist of the novel. He is extremely capable, managing Shelby's entire farm, "like a clock," and eminently steady, honest, and trustworthy.

The skeptical Haley replies, "You mean honest as n-----s go." But Shelby rejects these demeaning words, describing Tom, not only as a steady worker, but as a deeply pious and spiritual man, who "got religion" at a camp-meeting and was transformed by the experience. Haley says he is willing to accept the idea that an African American can be religious, having sold a slave with such a character. As he says, "Yes, I consider religion a valeyable thing in a n-----, when it's the genuine article, and no mistake."

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