Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 13: The Quaker Settlement Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Eliza and Harry are safely hidden in the home of Simeon and Rachel Halliday, Quakers who help runaway slaves along the route to Canada. Rachel asks about Eliza’s plans in her new country—she will have to work—and tells Eliza not to fear her present circumstances, because no slave has ever been recaptured on the Quaker settlement. Ruth Stedman, a neighbor, arrives with a cake for Harry and greets Eliza warmly.
The Quakers believe in radical non-violence and the equality of all people before God. Beecher Stowe finds their faith and, more importantly, their willingness to defend their faith with non-violent action to be appealing, courageous, and deeply Christian.
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Simeon enters, announcing to his wife and friends they will leave tonight with Eliza and Harry. He also reports that an escaped slave named HarrisGeorge—has entered the settlement, and Ruth convinces him to tell Eliza the news immediately. Rachel does so, and Eliza faints with joy. She awakes later with Harry and her husband by her side.
This coincidence, like the arrival of Eliza and Harry at the Kentucky senator’s home, might be seen as “unnatural” to some. But it is necessary for the furtherance of the plot and of Beecher Stowe’s argument in the text.
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The Quakers and the Harrises eat together the next morning. It is the first time George has eaten as a free man, at a table with whites. Simeon’s son asks what his father would do if caught again—it is implied he has been caught before—harboring slaves. Simeon answers that he will take his punishment. When his son curses slavery and slave-owners, Simeon replies that he would help an owner in peril just as he helps escaped slaves. George tells Simeon he does not wish to cause difficulty in the family, but Simeon claims to help not for George’s sake, but for “God and man” generally.
A new instance of “home.” George Harris believes that, to have a home, a man must be free, able to dine and converse with others as an equal. The Quakers demonstrate here, too, their willingness to help all mankind, even sinners like slave-owners. This sentiment is echoed by Tom later in the book, when George Shelby curses Simon Legree’s cruelty.
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