Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Augustine St. Clare Character Analysis

A slave-owner in New Orleans, St. Clare is Tom’s second owner. He is a character of complex morality: he does not condone slavery and believes God will strike back against this injustice, but until Eva’s death and Tom’s intervention, he does not know what he can do to help the plight of Southern slaves. After he resolves to free Tom and live a more Christian life, he is killed accidentally in a fight at a café.

Augustine St. Clare Quotes in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The Uncle Tom's Cabin quotes below are all either spoken by Augustine St. Clare or refer to Augustine St. Clare. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Bantam Books edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin published in 1981.
Chapter 14: Evangeline Quotes

And you shall have good times . . . . Papa is very good to everybody, only he always will laugh at them.

Related Characters: Eva St. Clare (speaker), Uncle Tom, Augustine St. Clare
Page Number: 172
Explanation and Analysis:

Evangeline (Eva) and Augustine are two of the more interesting characters in the novel. Augustine has married a woman who does not love him, and who is cruel and harsh to their slaves. Eva is the apple of Augustine's eye - he will do anything to please her, and she is an extremely well-behaved and kind child. She is, in this sense, her father's daughter, and not her mother's.

Eva notes to Tom that Augustine is a man who wishes to treat his slaves well, who believes that they are his equals, but who also believes in social conventions to the extent that he will not free his slaves right away. Indeed, Augustine's moral evolution over the course of the middle of the novel is one of the book's most important dramatic arcs. For, though in the beginning he maintains his position in the slave system, by the end of the book he no longer believes this to be the ethical or Christian thing to do.

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Chapter 19: Miss Ophelia’s Experience and Opinions (Continued) Quotes

On this abstract question of slavery there can, as I think, be but one opinion. Planters, who have money to make by it—clergymen, who have planters to please—politicians, who want to rule by it—may warp and bend language . . . they can press nature and the Bible . . . into their service; but, after all, neither they nor the world believe in it one particle the more.

Related Characters: Augustine St. Clare (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Bible
Page Number: 252
Explanation and Analysis:

Augustine makes plain exactly the intellectual system that allows people in the South to defend the practice of slavery. For Augustine, the system is not a "natural" one, and it does not derive from any inferiority of African Americans to white Americans. Instead, slavery is a business system, an interaction of those who own land and capital (the plantation owners) and those who would, under different circumstances, sell their labor to the farms (the slaves). Under the system, as Augustine notes, owners have taken away the workers ability to work where they please - they have established instead a system of rules that prevent the recognition even of the humanity of the workers. This has not been done in accordance with any universal principle, and it is by no means the only way for the world to work. It is, instead, the way the South works at this moment - and all the moral or religious arguments defending slavery come after this economic reality, not before. Though Augustine sees the truth of his society, he despairs at the thought of the Southern system changing any time soon. 

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Augustine St. Clare Character Timeline in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The timeline below shows where the character Augustine St. Clare appears in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15: Of Tom’s New Master, and Various Other Matters
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
St. Clare’s family history is told. He, Augustine, comes from a rich Louisiana family. His mother was a French Protestant, and his uncle... (full context)
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
The boat stops in New Orleans, and the three enter St. Clare’s large, opulent estate, which Miss Ophelia finds impressive but “heathenish.” St. Clare’s domestic slaves are... (full context)
Chapter 23: Henrique
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
St. Clare’s brother, Alfred, visits the Lake Ponchartrain home with his son Henrique. Henrique is a handsome,... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
Alfred and Augustine watch this scene from afar. When Augustine quotes Thomas Jefferson, that “all men are created... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...set an example of what not to do for their young white masters. Alfred asks Augustine why, considering his opinions, he does not simply free his slaves. Augustine replies that the... (full context)
Women Theme Icon
Eva and Henrique return from riding, and Augustine is concerned that his daughter has ridden too much for her health. Eva tells her... (full context)
Chapter 28: Reunion
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
St. Clare’s personality changes: he begins reading the Bible and attempts to increase his oversight of household... (full context)
Chapter 29: The Unprotected
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...“unprotected” by any laws, left to the designs of those who wish to buy them. St. Clare’s slaves, upon hearing of his death, are panicked with the exception of Tom, who prepares... (full context)