The wood-sawyer started off with the note with great alacrity, and delivered it to Friend Hopper
, saying in very animated tones, ‘Squire Todd
thinks I am free!’
He was in a state of great agitation between hope and fear.
When he had told his story, he was sent home to get receipts for all the money he had paid his master since his arrival in Philadelphia
It was easy to prove from these that he had been a resident in Pennsylvania
, with his owner's consent, a much longer time than the law required to make him a free man. When Friend Hopper
gave him this information, he was overjoyed.
He could hardly believe it. The tidings seemed too good to be true.
When assured that he was certainly free, beyond all dispute, and that he need not pay any more of his hard earnings to a master, the tears came to his eyes, and he started off to bring his wife, that she also might hear the glad news.
When Friend Hopper
was an old man, he often used to remark how well he remembered their beaming countenances on that occasion, and their warm expressions of gratitude to God.
Soon after this interview, a letter was addressed to Perry Boots, informing him that his slave was legally free, and that he need not expect to receive any more of his wages.
He came to Philadelphia
immediately, to answer the letter in person.