neighbors in North Carolina
Samuel denied that he was a slave, and showed his certificate of freedom.
The stranger admitted that the document was authentic, but he insisted that the real name of the person who had possession of the paper was Manuel
He said he knew him perfectly well, and also knew Samuel Curtis
, who was a free colored man in his neighborhood.
The mayor decided that he could not receive parole evidence in contradiction to a public record; and Samuel Curtis
was set at liberty.
To the honor of this worthy magistrate be it recorded that during forty years whilst he was alderman in Philadelphia
, and twenty years that he was mayor, he never once surrendered a fugitive slave to his claimant, though frequently called upon to do so. He used to tell Friend Hopper
that he could not conscientiously do it; that he would rather resign his office.
He often remarked that the Declaration, ‘All men are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;’ appeared to him based on a sacred principle, paramount to all law.
When Samuel Curtis
was discharged, he deemed it expedient to go to Boston
; thinking he might be safer there than in Philadelphia
But he had not been there many days, before he met the same man who had previously arrested him; and he by no