Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 6: Summary and Analysis
by Harriet Beecher Stowe

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Chapter 6: Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Sam and Andy: slaves on the Shelby plantation

Mr. and Mrs. Shelby are brought news the following morning of Eliza’s escape. Mrs. Shelby reacts gratefully while her husband is less than thankful. The surprising report spreads throughout the house as the servants tell one another about the event.

Haley arrives at the plantation to pick up Uncle Tom and Harry. Much to his annoyance, he too learns of Eliza’s and Harry’s escape. He tells Mr. Shelby about the unfairness of the situation. Mr. Shelby responds angrily that he will not be accused of helping the fugitives run away. He then invites Haley in for breakfast to discuss what can be done.

Sam and Andy, two slaves on the Shelby plantation, are introduced in this chapter. They prepare some horses to aid Haley in his pursuit of Eliza. Andy, however, explains to Sam that Mrs. Shelby does not want Eliza caught. In fact, Mrs. Shelby tells Sam not to ride too fast because the horses should not be exhausted. Sam understands her implications to delay the chase.

To stir up trouble for Haley, Sam places a beechnut under the trader’s saddle. When Haley mounts his horse, the animal bolts and throws its rider. Shouting and waving, Sam pretends to chase Haley’s horse. He then explains to Haley that the horse must be rubbed down and rested after its exertions. Mrs. Shelby meanwhile invites Haley to stay for dinner, further detaining the hunt for Eliza and Harry.

Tensions arise between Mr. Shelby and Haley when both discover Eliza’s disappearance. The two immediately realize that Eliza has fled to keep Harry from being taken from her. Despite having a bill of sale for Harry, Haley winds up with only Tom. He indirectly blames Mr. Shelby for failing to keep his part of the bargain. As Haley complains, “I did expect fair dealing in this matter, I confess.” Mr. Shelby is insulted by Haley’s insinuations that he would cheat the trader.

The author relies on humor in her depiction of Sam and Andy. Both speak in dialect , and assume to know more than they sometimes do. When Mr. Shelby orders them to saddle horses to accompany Haley, Sam and...

(The entire section is 570 words.)