Chains

by

Laurie Halse Anderson

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Master Bellingham Character Analysis

Master Bellingham is a Patriot living in New York. He owns and enslaves Curzon and is supposedly desperate to arrest the Locktons. Curzon trusts Bellingham and convinces Isabel to spy for the Patriots because he believes that Bellingham will free Isabel and Ruth if Isabel can provide useful intelligence. But Isabel realizes that she and her information seem unreliable because she isn’t able to pass along certain details about the Locktons, so Bellingham never frees her. Though it’s never confirmed whether Bellingham would’ve kept his word if Isabel had given him more, later events call Bellingham’s commitment to enslaved people’s freedom and well-being into question. Though Curzon sees it as a kindness when Bellingham promises to free Curzon if Curzon signs up for military service in his place, for instance, other enslaved people insist this actually just guarantees that Curzon will die during the war.

Master Bellingham Quotes in Chains

The Chains quotes below are all either spoken by Master Bellingham or refer to Master Bellingham. 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:
Freedom Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Atheneum Books for Young Readers edition of Chains published in 2010.
Chapter 6 Quotes

“They won’t say anything in front of me.”

“You are a small black girl, Country,” he said bitterly. “You are a slave, not a person. They’ll say things in front of you they won’t say in front of the white servants. ’Cause you don’t count to them. It happens all the time to me.”

Related Characters: Isabel (speaker), Curzon (speaker), Master Elihu Lockton, Master Bellingham
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Chains LitChart as a printable PDF.
Chains PDF

Master Bellingham Character Timeline in Chains

The timeline below shows where the character Master Bellingham appears in Chains. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...Lockton shouldn’t have come back at all, and then curses when he sees another man, Bellingham, coming. Following Bellingham is a tall, thin man and an enslaved boy in a red... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Bellingham greets Lockton as Lockton hisses to his companions to act like “happy rebels.” The enslaved... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Bellingham tells the soldiers to search the cargo and agrees that Lockton and Madam Lockton can... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...enslaved boy, steps up and offers to help Isabel, since he’s running an errand for Bellingham in the same area. The Locktons agree and warn Isabel to not dawdle. When Isabel... (full context)
Chapter 10
Freedom Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...silently asks Momma to protect her, opens the gate, and runs. She figures getting to Bellingham’s house and Curzon will be easy, but that’s not the case. Isabel dodges soldiers on... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...Isabel tells him all about the Locktons’ trunk and asks if this is enough for Bellingham to be able to send her home. Curzon tells her to go home; he’ll pass... (full context)
Chapter 11
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
...to finish and goes downstairs—and when she opens the door, Isabel’s heart sings. It’s Master Bellingham and patriot soldiers. (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Madam races downstairs, enraged, as Bellingham’s men start to remove the windows with metal bars. As Master Lockton appears, Bellingham explains... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...Isabel knows there’s a false bottom to the chest, but she can’t say anything. Is Bellingham going to blow Isabel’s cover now that it looks like she lied? Bellingham instead arrests... (full context)
Chapter 16
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...Madam’s threat is serious—the girls have to get out of the city. Isabel knows that Bellingham won’t listen to her after the linen chest debacle; she’ll have to go straight to... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...writing desk. When Isabel tells the man nobody can vouch for her except for Master Bellingham’s boy Curzon, he sends her away. Isabel struggles and says that she has proof the... (full context)
Chapter 26
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...and says that Curzon is enslaved, just like the rest of them. Curzon argues that Bellingham is going to free him in exchange for joining up in Bellingham’s place, but the... (full context)