The Devil and Tom Walker


Washington Irving

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Devil and Tom Walker can help.
The earthly owner of the swamp where Tom Walker meets Old Scratch, Deacon Peabody is more truly the devil’s property himself, hypocritically scrutinizing his neighbors’ sins and overlooking his own as he does. Old Scratch points out a tree in the swamp into which Peabody’s name is carved: like Peabody himself, it is thriving on the outside (Peabody made his riches trading shrewdly with the Native Americans) but rotten on the inside.

Deacon Peabody Quotes in The Devil and Tom Walker

The The Devil and Tom Walker quotes below are all either spoken by Deacon Peabody or refer to Deacon Peabody. 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:
Greed Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Devil and Tom Walker published in 2008.
“The Devil and Tom Walker” Quotes
Tom looked in the direction that the stranger pointed, and beheld one of the great trees, fair and flourishing without, but rotten at the core, and saw that it had been nearly hewn through, so that the first high wind was likely to blow it down. On the bark of the tree was scored the name of Deacon Peabody, an eminent man, who had waxed wealthy by driving shrewd bargains with the Indians.
Related Characters: Tom Walker, Old Scratch, Deacon Peabody
Related Symbols: Old Scratch’s Swamp
Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Devil and Tom Walker LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Devil and Tom Walker PDF

Deacon Peabody Character Timeline in The Devil and Tom Walker

The timeline below shows where the character Deacon Peabody appears in The Devil and Tom Walker. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
“The Devil and Tom Walker”
Greed Theme Icon
Wealth, Religion, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...his grounds; Tom retorts that the swamp belongs not to the black man but to Deacon Peabody . The black man says that the Deacon will be damned if he doesn’t look... (full context)
Greed Theme Icon
Wealth, Religion, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Tom asks the black man what right he has to burn Deacon Peabody ’s timber. “‘Prior claim,’” the black man responds. He tells Tom that he is known... (full context)