Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Haley Character Analysis

A slave-trader, Haley is owed a debt by Mr. Shelby and is given, as payment, Uncle Tom and Harry. Harry and Eliza escape, thus angering Haley, and he dispatches Tom Loker and Marks to find the two runaway slaves. He is able to sell Uncle Tom to Augustine St. Clare. Haley professes that slavery, for him, is “just business,” and although he is not nearly so cruel as other masters in the novel, he believes that slaves should only be treated humanely enough to keep their prices high.

Haley Quotes in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The Uncle Tom's Cabin quotes below are all either spoken by Haley or refer to Haley. 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 1: A Man of Humanity Quotes

Lor bless ye, yes! These critters an’t like white folks, you know; they gets over things, only manage right.

Related Characters: Haley (speaker)
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

Shelby owes Haley money, and Shelby, considering himself a gentleman, feels he must repay that debt. Shelby does not wish to give up Uncle Tom and Eliza, whom he considers to be his best slaves. But neither Shelby nor Haley considers that Tom and Eliza themselves might not want to leave the Shelby plantation in Kentucky - that, for them, that place is home, and they, like anyone else, would be reluctant to leave their families behind.

Thus Haley argues, for his part, that no African American is capable of this kind of human feeling. Shelby's attitudes are more moderate than Haley's, but Shelby nonetheless feels that, in a slave system as practiced in the South, there is nothing inherently wrong with owning slaves and putting them to work, so long as the master is somewhat kind to them, and treats them nicely (if paternalistically). Shelby is an example in the novel of the "good" slave-owner who, all the same, participates in an unjust system of human ownership.

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Chapter 12: Select Incident of Lawful Trade Quotes

I know this yer comes kinder hard, at first, Lucy . . . but such a smart, sensible gal as you are, won’t give way to it. You see it’s necessary, and can’t be helped!

Related Characters: Haley (speaker), Lucy, or “Luce”
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:

Haley has bought Lucy's child but not Lucy - thus, he has separated mother from child. This kind of separation is a central part of the novel, and is portrayed by the author as one of the essential cruelties of slavery - that African American families can be broken apart simply by the will of white men and owners, who seem not even to believe that African Americans can have any kind of family feeling at all. 

Haley attempts to "reason" with Lucy, telling her that nothing else could be done, that he is a businessman and businessmen must profit by things. If this profit comes at the expense of her own happiness, or of the prospect of her life with her child, then that's an unfortunate thing, but it's simply the way the system is designed to work. The author here shows that the logic even of "benevolent" slavery is a terrible and brutal logic, producing only suffering and dehumanization for African Americans. 

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Haley Character Timeline in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The timeline below shows where the character Haley 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
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
...Kentucky, Mr. Shelby, a gentleman and farmer, discusses repayment of a debt he owes to Haley, a rough and coarse slave-trader. Shelby offers to sell his most reliable slave, called Uncle... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
...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 mixed-race slave, soon comes to retrieve Harry. After... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
Haley replies by arguing that black people don’t feel for their children as white people do,... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Eliza is standing near the door and overhears that Haley wishes to buy someone on the estate, but she hears Mrs. Shelby calling and must... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Husband and Father
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Soon after Haley’s visit to Shelby, George visits Eliza at the Shelby estate. He bitterly complains of having... (full context)
Chapter 4: An Evening in Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Meanwhile, in the main house, Mr. Shelby and Haley the trader are finalizing the sale of Uncle Tom and Harry. Shelby appears displeased after... (full context)
Chapter 5: Showing the Feelings of Living Property on Changing Owners
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...truth, Shelby reveals that business conditions have forced him to sell Tom and Harry to Haley. (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...did not want to sell anyone, and that he did not offer Eliza even though Haley wished dearly to purchase her. Mrs. Shelby, at first upset and surprised, apologizes to her... (full context)
Chapter 6: Discovery
Women Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...realize she and Harry have run off. Although Mrs. Shelby is relieved, Mr. Shelby fears Haley might think he has arranged for Eliza’s flight; he claims that this “touches [his] honor.”... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Haley arrives to pick up the slaves and is greatly angered at the news of their... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...Shelby doesn’t actually want them captured. Sam understands this subterfuge and slips a nut under Haley’s saddle, to aggravate the horse and disrupt the chase. Mrs. Shelby, emerging on the balcony,... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
When Haley attempts to mount his horse, the hidden nut causes it to buck and run away;... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Mother’s Struggle
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
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Back at the Shelby estate, Aunt Chloe prepares a meal for Haley and others with great care, following Mrs. Shelby’s implied desire to slow down the search... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
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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.” Mrs. Shelby... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...that his hat is blown off, and calls out, thus alerting Eliza to their presence. Haley sees her as she flees from the house with Harry. At the river, extremely cold... (full context)
Chapter 8: Eliza’s Escape
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
As Eliza flees, Haley finds a tavern and mulls his fate. He runs into his acquaintance Tom Loker, a... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
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Haley repeats to Loker his theory of slave-trading: always keep profits in mind, and only be... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
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Marks proposes that he and Loker will catch the two, return Harry to Haley, and sell Eliza into enslaved prostitution in New Orleans, since she is fair-skinned and attractive.... (full context)
Chapter 10: The Property is Carried Off
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Haley shackles Tom, arguing that he has already lost 500 dollars at the Shelby estate. Tom... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Haley stops with Tom at a blacksmith’s shop to tighten his shackles. The smith claims that... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
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George promises Tom he will be good and bring Tom back. When Haley returns outside to the carriage, George argues with him, saying it is evil to trade... (full context)
Chapter 12: Select Incident of Lawful Trade
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Tom and Haley ride to the riverboat. Haley thinks of how he might market Tom on the trading... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
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...woman named Aunt Hagar worries that her fourteen-year-old son, Albert, will be sold without her. Haley offers to buy Albert for plantation work but not Hagar, since she is too old... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
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On La Belle Riviere, a riverboat, Haley tells the assembled slaves, including Tom, to behave on the journey south. Above-deck, white families... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
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...husband, is informed that they have instead been tricked by their master and sold to Haley. Haley meets a man who offers to buy the child for 45 dollars; Haley agrees,... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
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...felt Lucy brush by and heard her fall overboard. Others on the boat remark on Haley’s cruelty, and Beecher Stowe argues that they, and anyone, who even allows the institution of... (full context)
Chapter 14: Evangeline
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
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La Belle Riviere continues down the Mississippi. Tom’s conduct has convinced Haley he is trustworthy; Tom is therefore allowed to sleep without fetters and to walk as... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
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The next day, St. Clare does in fact offer to buy Tom from Haley. Haley sets the price at $1300. St. Clare jokes that Tom’s Christianity, intelligence, and trustworthiness... (full context)