Uncle Tom's Cabin

Who were the Shelby's?

The Shelby's

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Arthur Shelby

Tom's master in Kentucky. Shelby is characterized as a "kind" slaveowner; he is the stereotypical Southern gentleman. When Shelby experiences a financial crisis because of gambling debts, he sells Tom and the little boy Harry to save his plantation.

Emily Shelby

Mr. Shelby's wife is a deeply devote woman who strives to be a kind and moral influence upon her slaves. She is appalled when her husband negotiates to sell his slaves with a slave trader, and realizes that slavery is wrong and very unchristian.

George Shelby

The master and mistress' son. At the beginning of the novel he is thriteen years old and teaches Tom to read. He vows to find Tom when he is sold. This he does, but not until many years later when Tom is near death. Inspired by his beloved Tom, young Shelby frees the slaves on his deceased father's plantation.