Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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A neighbor of the Shelbys, Mr. Symmes helps Eliza and Harry to escape by not providing information of their whereabouts to their former master. He claims that, although Mr. Shelby might be angry, he feels he has no obligation to turn over slaves who desire their freedom so ardently, and work so hard to get it.

Mr. Symmes Quotes in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The Uncle Tom's Cabin quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Symmes or refer to Mr. Symmes. 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 7: The Mother’s Struggle Quotes

Besides, I don’t see no kind of ‘casion for me to be hunter and catcher for other folks, neither.

Related Characters: Mr. Symmes (speaker)
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:

Mr. Symmes is a neighbor of the Shelby family. He lives close to the Ohio River, and is on the Ohio side, the "free" side, as Ohio does not participate in the slave economy. Symmes behaves here in a manner that, importantly, is in violation of one of the primary laws of the time - the Fugitive Slave Act, which forced any person to return an escaped slave to the South, if confronted with that escapee (since slaves were, in the eyes of the courts at that time, "property"). Thus, by this brutal and inhumane logic, any person helping an escaped slave was helping in the "theft of property."

Symmes, of course, does not ascribe to this logic. He feels that Eliza wishes to be free, along with her child - and he is not going to return them to a man, Haley, whom he knows to be a brutal and overbearing master. Thus Symmes' act is one of heroism, and a notable one in the novel. 

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Mr. Symmes Character Timeline in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Symmes appears in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7: The Mother’s Struggle
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...Harry and jumps from floe to 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... (full context)