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‘ [79] I exclaimed within myself, How long, O Lord, how long shall this abominable system of slavery be permitted to curse the land! My mind was introduced into sympathy with the sufferer. I thought of the agony he must have endured before he could have resolved upon that desperate deed. He knew what he had to expect, from what he had experienced in the West Indies before, and he was determined not to submit to the same misery and degradation again. By his sufferings he was driven to desperation; and he preferred launching into the unknown regions of eternity to an endurance of slavery.’

An inquest was summoned, and after a brief consultation, the coroner brought in the following verdict: ‘Suicide occasioned by the dread of slavery, to which the deceased knew himself devoted.’

Romaine and his wife were very good looking. They gave indications of considerable intelligence, and had the character of having been very faithful servants. His violent death produced a good deal of excitement among the people generally, and much sympathy was manifested for the wife and child, who had escaped.

The master had procured a certificate from the mayor of Trenton authorizing him to remove his slaves to the West Indies; but the jury of inquest, and many others, were of opinion that his proceedings were not fully sanctioned by law. Accordingly,

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