Uncle Tom's Cabin

Other characters

There are a number of secondary and minor characters in Uncle Tom's Cabin. Among the more notable are:

  • Arthur Shelby – Tom's master in Kentucky. Shelby is characterized as a "kind" slaveowner and a stereotypical Southern gentleman.
  • Emily Shelby – Arthur Shelby's wife. She is a deeply religious woman who strives to be a kind and moral influence upon her slaves and is appalled when her husband sells his slaves with a slave trader. As a woman, she has no legal way to stop this, as all property belongs to her husband.
  • George Shelby – Arthur and Emily's son, who sees Tom as a friend and as the perfect Christian.
  • Chloe – Tom's wife and mother of his children.
  • Augustine St. Clare – Tom's third owner and father of Eva. St. Clare is complex, often sarcastic, with a ready wit. After a rocky courtship he marries a woman he grows to hold in contempt, though he is too polite to let it show. St. Clare recognizes the evil in chattel slavery but is not willing to relinquish the wealth it brings him. After his daughter's death he becomes more sincere in his religious thoughts and starts to read the Bible to Tom. He plans on finally taking action against slavery by freeing his slaves, but his good intentions ultimately come to nothing.
  • Marie St. Clare – Wife of Augustine, she is a self-absorbed woman without a hint of compassion for those around her, including her own family. Given to an unending list of (apparently imaginary) physical maladies, she continually complains about the lack of sympathy she is receiving. She has separated her personal maid, Mammy, from her own two children because they would interfere with her duties. As Marie drives Mammy to exhaustion, she criticizes her for selfishly seeking to attend her own family. Upon the unexpected death of Augustine, Marie countermands the legal process that would have given Tom his freedom.
  • George Harris – Eliza's husband. An intelligent and clever half-white slave who is fiercely loyal to his family.
  • Topsy – A ragamuffin young slave girl. When asked if she knows who made her, she professes ignorance of both God and a mother, saying "I s'pect I growed. Don't think nobody never made me." She is transformed by Eva's love. During the early-to-mid 20th century, several doll manufacturers created Topsy and Topsy-type dolls. The phrase "growed like Topsy" (later "grew like Topsy") passed into the English language, originally with the specific meaning of unplanned growth, later sometimes just meaning enormous growth.[30]
  • Miss Ophelia – Augustine St. Clare's pious, hard-working, abolitionist cousin from Vermont. She displays the ambiguities towards African-Americans felt by many Northerners at the time. She argues against the institution of slavery yet, at least initially, feels repulsed by the slaves as individuals.
  • Quimbo and Sambo – slaves of Simon Legree who act as overseers of the plantation. On orders from Legree, they savagely whip Tom but afterward tearfully repent of their deeds to Tom, who forgives them as he lies dying.

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.