Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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George Shelby, Sr. Character Analysis

The head of the Shelby family, Mr. Shelby must sell Tom and Harry to pay off a debt he owes to Haley, the slave-trader. Mr. Shelby treats his slaves well but he considers them essentially different from white people—he allows them to form marriage-like relationship and takes pride in the continuity among slaves on his estate, but he is willing to alter Tom’s life in order to maintain the Shelby family’s financial security. On his death, his estate passes to his son, George, Jr.
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George Shelby, Sr. Character Timeline in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The timeline below shows where the character George Shelby, Sr. appears in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: A Man of Humanity
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At his estate in Kentucky, Mr. Shelby, a gentleman and farmer, discusses repayment of a debt he owes to Haley, a rough... (full context)
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When an attractive young four or five year old slave, Harry, enters the room, Shelby has the boy perform for his and Haley’s amusement. The boy’s mother Eliza, a beautiful... (full context)
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...without upsetting Eliza too much, if she is kept away from the scene of separation. Shelby asks for time to think over the deal and privately curses Haley's business advantage, which... (full context)
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...and overhears that Haley wishes to buy someone on the estate, but she hears Mrs. Shelby calling and must leave before she finds out whom. Later, when Mrs. Shelby wonders why... (full context)
Chapter 2: The Mother
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Eliza, Mrs. Shelby's maidservant, is a fair-skinned mixed-race slave, married to another mixed-race slave named George Harris. George... (full context)
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...Eliza got married while George was still at the factory in a formal ceremony on Shelby's estate, and the couple later watched two children die in infancy. As a result, Eliza... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Husband and Father
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Soon after Haley’s visit to Shelby, George visits Eliza at the Shelby estate. He bitterly complains of having to return to... (full context)
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...that they may be sold separately, or Harry may be sold, and even if the Shelbys are against it now, they might die and cause their slaves to be scattered. Eliza... (full context)
Chapter 4: An Evening in Uncle Tom’s Cabin
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...practices his writing diligently and is tutored by “Mas’r George,” the thirteen-year-old son of George Shelby. As Tom perseveres at his lessons, Aunt Chloe remarks that reading and writing, and other... (full context)
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...Chloe replies that Jinny’s cooking is serviceable but plain—the Lincons, she continues, don’t have the Shelby’s manners and good breeding. When George admits to having bragged about the quality of Chloe’s... (full context)
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Meanwhile, in the main house, Mr. Shelby and Haley the trader are finalizing the sale of Uncle Tom and Harry. Shelby appears... (full context)
Chapter 5: Showing the Feelings of Living Property on Changing Owners
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That evening, Mrs. Shelby asks who visited Mr. Shelby earlier, and Mr. Shelby admits it was a slave-trader. Mrs.... (full context)
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Shelby insists that he did not want to sell anyone, and that he did not offer... (full context)
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Mrs. Shelby grows even more upset, arguing that slavery is a curse, something she has never agreed... (full context)
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...as she leaves, and Eliza reports the news of the impending sale, saying that neither Shelby wishes it to be done. Eliza says it is wicked to leave, but she must... (full context)
Chapter 6: Discovery
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After Eliza doesn’t respond to the Shelby’s bell the following morning, they see her empty room and realize she and Harry have... (full context)
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...greatly angered at the news of their flight. He speaks brusquely of this to Mr. Shelby, who asks him to maintain gentlemanly “decorum,” makes clear that he had nothing to do... (full context)
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...to aid in the search for Eliza and Harry. Andy also informs Sam that Mrs. Shelby doesn’t actually want them captured. Sam understands this subterfuge and slips a nut under Haley’s... (full context)
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...claims they’ll need to wait till after a meal to let the horses rest. Mrs. Shelby laughs at the morning’s chaos, Haley is furious, and Sam reports to Andy that his... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Mother’s Struggle
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Back at the Shelby estate, Aunt Chloe prepares a meal for Haley and others with great care, following Mrs.... (full context)
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Tom reports to the parlor and tells Shelby and Haley he will report to be sold on the appointed day, with no “trickery.”... (full context)
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...floe in a manner that seems miraculous. She reaches Mr. Symmes, an acquaintance of the Shelby’s, on the Ohio side. He is impressed by her courage and directs her to a... (full context)
Chapter 10: The Property is Carried Off
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...and the Lord will protect him. Tom won’t allow Chloe to speak ill of Mr. Shelby. Tom argues, that Shelby is only doing what he must, that Shelby can’t be expected... (full context)
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...Chloe can’t contain her weeping. Uncle Tom is quiet, sadly resigned to his fate. Mrs. Shelby arrives, claims she can offer no gift of use to Tom now, and promises again... (full context)
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Haley shackles Tom, arguing that he has already lost 500 dollars at the Shelby estate. Tom gives his love to Master George, who is away at a friend’s and... (full context)
Chapter 21: Kentuck
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Back in Kentucky, on the Shelby plantation, Mrs. Shelby tells her husband that Tom’s letter to Aunt Chloe has arrived. Mr.... (full context)
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Mrs. Shelby likes the idea and plans to run it by Mr. Shelby. Young George arrives, pleased... (full context)
Chapter 30: The Slave Warehouse
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...plantation owner living by the Red River who does not believe that Tom managed the Shelby’s farm in Kentucky. Emmeline is also sold to Legree. Susan, her mother, is sold to... (full context)