Slavery on Trial: Law, Abolitionism, and Print Culture

By Jeannine Marie Delomnard | Go to book overview

5 REPRESENTING THE SLAVE: White Advocacy and Black Testimony
in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Dred

Combing through the trial transcripts and newspaper clippings in A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin, a dedicated reader of Harriet Beecher Stowe's first antislavery novel might have been pleased to come across a fictional vignette featuring two of the book's best-known characters, Simon Legree and Tom. Unlike the novel, however, in which the cruel master's brutality leads to the humble slave's death, this scene imagines the conflict between slaveholder and bondsman not in sentimental terms, as demonic violence and Christian martyrdom, but in juridical terms, as a legal dispute mediated by a benevolent white man.

Stowe offers the scene to demonstrate the futility of a South Carolina protective act that ostensibly guaranteed basic necessities to slaves by allowing concerned whites “to make complaint to the next neighboring justice in the parish” on their behalf.1 “Now suppose,” Stowe introduces the scene, that Simon Legree's slaves, “getting tired of being hungry and cold, form themselves into a committee of the whole, to see what is to be done.”2 The leader who quickly emerges in this scene of nascent organized resistance is a “broad-shouldered, courageous fellow” named Tom, who, “having by some means become acquainted with this benevolent protective act, resolves to make an appeal to the horns of this legislative altar … determined that, if there is such a thing as justice to be got, he will have it.”3 “After considerable research,” Tom finds a “white man … verdant enough to enter the complaint for him,” a Master Shallow.4 In due time, Legree is brought before the justice of the peace to answer the charges against him. After some whiskey and conversation, the judge finally turns to “this nigger business,” demanding, “How plagued did you ever hear of that act, Shallow? I'm sure I'm forgot all about it.”5 Cursing and rifling through his law books, Justice Dogberry reminds Shallow, “The act says you must make proof, you observe”:

-151-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Slavery on Trial: Law, Abolitionism, and Print Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I: Banditti and Desperadoes, Incendiaries and Traitors 33
  • 1: The Typographical Tribunal 35
  • 2: Precarious Evidence 71
  • Part II: At the Bar of Public Opinion 99
  • 3: Eyewitness to the Cruelty 101
  • 4: Talking Lawyerlike about Law 125
  • 5: Representing the Slave 151
  • 6: The South's Countersuit 177
  • Conclusion - All Done Brown at Last: Illustrating Harpers Ferry 199
  • Notes 223
  • Bibliography 277
  • Index 309
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 330

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.