Stowe provides further details about her story based on actual events in A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
As W.B. Allen points out in this week’s commentary, Sam has a misconception of his citizenship. He is in pursuit of moving up in the ranks on the Shelby plantation, but the “citizenship” that he believes in is not legally there. As Stowe notes in A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a slaves life is always in the hands of his master, not his own. “…for a slave is not generally regarded as legally capable of being within the peace of the State. He is not a citizen, and is not in that character entitled to her protection.” (pg. 137) This will always be the case, no matter how high in rank Sam climbs on the plantation and no matter how much false citizenship he is granted by the Shelbys.
The full story of this connection can be read in Part II, Chapter II “What is Slavery?” of A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.