A Key to Chapter 3

Stowe provides further details about her story based on actual events in A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Chapter 3:

The character of George Harris was disputed by some due to his intelligence and overall character. In regards to his intelligence, Stowe presents real advertisements in A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for enslaved men who are described as “bright” and with “great skill”.

The character of George Harris is said to be based on the life of a man named Lewis Clark. Clark was a quadroon with European features. He experienced the cruel separation of his family and escaped to his own freedom in Canada.

George Harris’ intelligence has also been compared to the life of Fredrick Douglass. In A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the Life of Fredrick Douglass is recommended to readers with a particular interest in “the workings of an intelligent and active mind through all the squalid misery, degradation, and oppression of slavery.” (pg. 25)

The full story of these connections can be read in Part 1, Chapter IV  “George Harris” of A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Chapter and Commentary Table of Contents


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