A Key to Chapters 36 & 37

Stowe provides further details about her story based on actual events in A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Chapter 36 & 37:

In A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe with clarity and full purpose again cites notices found in southern newspapers. This particular one is reminiscent of Tom, later George Harris, and combines 2 aspects of consequences upon which to lay the burden on anyone who harbors an escaped slave from his or her owner:


Ranaway from the subscriber, residing in the County of Halifax, about the middle of last August, a Negro Man, Ned, aged some thirty or forty years, of medium height, copper colour, full forehead, and cheek bones a little prominent. No scars recollected, except one of his fingers—the little one probably—is stiff and crooked. The man Ned was purchased in Richmond, of Mr. Robert Goodwin, who resides near Frederick-Hall, in Louisa County, and has a wife in that vicinity. He has been seen in the neighbourhood, and is supposed to have gone over the Mountains, and to be now at work as a free man at some of the Iron Works; some one having given him free papers. The above reward will be given for the apprehension of the slave Ned, and his delivery to R. H. Dickinson and Bro., in Richmond, or to the undersigned, in Halifax, Virginia, or twenty-five if confined in any jail in the Commonwealth, so that I get him.

JAS. M. CHAPPELL, [Firm of Chappell & Tucker.]”


And concerning an escaped and jailed female slave, who could be a ‘Cassy’:


Was committed to the jail of Shelby County, on the 30th ult., a negro woman, who says her name is NANCY; of a bright complexion, some 20 or 21 years of age, will weigh about one hundred and forty pounds, about five feet high, no scars, and says she belongs to John Pittman, living in Memphis, Tenn. The owner of said slave is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take her away, or she will be dealt with as the law directs.”

The full story of this connection can be read in Chapter IX, Part III , “Slaves as They Are, On Testimony of Owners,”  of A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Chapter and Commentary Table of Contents

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