was detained in prison several months to await his trial.
Eminent counsel were employed on both sides; Jared Ingersoll
for the claimant, and Joseph Hopkinson
for the defendant.
A certificate was produced from the municipality of Guadaloupe, showing that Etienne had been an officer in the French
army for several years, and had filled the station in a manner to command respect.
The National Decree abolishing slavery in that Island was also read; but Mr. Ingersoll
contended that when the decree was revoked, Etienne again became a slave.
In his charge, Judge Shippen
said that the evidence for and against freedom was about equally balanced; and in that case, it was always a duty to decide in favor of liberty.
The jury accordingly brought in a unanimous verdict that Etienne was free.
The court ordered him to refund the twenty dollars, which Anslong had paid for his passage; and he was discharged.
He was a dark mulatto, tall, well-proportioned, and stylish-looking.
His handsome countenance had a remarkably bright, frank expression, and there was a degree of courteous dignity in his manner, probably acquired by companionship with military officers.
But he belonged to a caste which society has forbidden to develop the faculties bestowed by nature.
Such a man might have performed some higher use than cutting hair, if he had lived in a wisely organized state of society.
However, he made the best of