A Key to Chapter 28 (continued)

Stowe provides further details about her story based on actual events in A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Chapter 28:

“It is often supposed that domestic servitude in slave-states is a kind of paradise; that house-servants are invariably pets; that young mistresses are always fond of their “mammies,” and young masters always handsome, good-natured, and indulgent.

Let anyone in Old England or New England look about among their immediate acquaintances, and ask how many there are who would use absolute despotic power amiably in a family, especially over a class degraded by servitude, ignorant, indolent, deceitful, provoking, as slaves almost necessarily are, and always must be.

Let them look into their own hearts, and ask themselves if they would dare to be trusted with such a power. Do they not find in themselves temptations to be unjust to those who are inferiors and dependants? Do they not find themselves tempted to be irritable and provoked, when the service of their families is negligently performed? And if they had the power to inflict cruel punishments, or to have them inflicted by sending the servant out to some place of correction, would they not be tempted to use that liberty?” (pgs. 58-59)


The full story of this connection can be read in Chapter VIII, “Marie St. Clare”  of A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Chapter and Commentary Table of Contents



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