A cruel master, hateful of religion, superstitious, and determined to “break” Tom, Simon Legree is the novel’s antagonist. His plantation near the Red River is characterized by its state of physical and moral disrepair. Legree encourages his slaves and overseers, Sambo and Quimbo, to be cruel to one another in order to maintain total control over the lives of those on his estate. Legree beats Tom to death and cannot be tried for his crime, because there were no white witnesses to the act, and, according to law, he has only destroyed his property. Nevertheless George Shelby, Jr., curses Legree.
Simon Legree Quotes in Uncle Tom's Cabin
The Uncle Tom's Cabin quotes below are all either spoken by Simon Legree or refer to Simon Legree. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bantam Books edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin published in 1981.).
Chapter 33 Quotes
Chapter 40 Quotes
O, Mas’r! don’t bring this great sin on your soul. It will hurt you more than ‘twill me! Do the worst you can, my troubles’ll be over soon; but, if ye don’t repent, yours won’t never end!
Simon Legree Character Timeline in Uncle Tom's Cabin
The timeline below shows where the character Simon Legree appears in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 30: The Slave Warehouse
Chapter 31: The Middle Passage
The stranger argues to another gentleman that, if all slave-owners were as vile as Legree, the system would collapse under its own cruelty. Benevolent slave-owners are the ones who perpetuate... (full context)
Chapter 32: Dark Places
Chapter 33: Cassy
Though Tom is tired and uncomfortable, he quickly adapts to his work on the plantation. Legree notices Tom’s abilities and resolves to “harden” him to make him suitable for overseeing other... (full context)
Chapter 34: The Quadroon’s Story
Chapter 35: The Tokens
Chapter 36: Emmeline and Cassy
Chapter 38: The Victory
Chapter 39: The Stratagem
...to be the most superstitious. Later, after turning over the garret’s haunting in his mind, Legree asks Cassy if she believes in spirits, and she answers, cunningly, that “it doesn’t matter”... (full context)
Chapter 40: The Martyr
Chapter 41: The Young Master
Chapter 42: An Authentic Ghost Story
Chapter 45: Concluding Remarks
...composite of different tales, it is based heavily in fact. Eliza, Uncle Tom, Old Prue, Legree, and others all come from stories Beecher Stowe has heard from others. St. Clare, too,... (full context)