How does St. Clare die in Uncle Tom's Cabin?

In Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, St. Clare dies after being stabbed while trying to break up a fight. On his death bed, he asks Tom to pray for him, joins Tom in prayer, and finally finds peace and joy.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Augustine St. Clare is Uncle Tom's third owner in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. He goes out for a walk one day and stops at a cafe simply to read the newspaper. While he is sitting and reading, a conflict arises between two mostly drunk men. St. Clare and some others jump up and try to stop the fight, but one of the men stabs St. Clare in the side.

The wound proves fatal, and St. Clare is carried home. St. Clare knows that he is dying, and he asks Tom to pray. St. Clare has long resisted becoming a Christian, both out of laziness and out of a revulsion for the hypocrisy he sees in many Christians. But now on his death bed, he himself joins in Tom's prayer, asking God for mercy on his soul. When the doctor thinks that St. Clare's “mind is wandering,” the dying man cries out, “No! it is coming HOME, at last!” He has finally found faith, hope, love, and peace with the assistance of Tom.

In his final moments, St. Clare opens his eyes and seems to see his mother, whom he has always loved dearly. His face is filled with light and joy, and he says, “Mother!” before he slips away into death, happy at last.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial