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[151] workman, offered to advance one hundred dollars toward purchasing her freedom. But when Isaac T. Hopper and Thomas Harrison attempted to negotiate with the claimant for that purpose, he treated all their offers with the rudest contempt. They tried to work upon his feelings, by representing the misery he would inflict on her worthy husband and innocent children; but he turned a deaf ear to all their entreaties. They finally offered to pay him four hundred dollars for a deed of manumission, which at that time was considered a very high price; but he stopped all further discussion by declaring, with a violent oath, that he would not sell her on any terms. Of course, there was nothing to be done, but—to await the issue of the trial.

When the magistrate asked the woman whether she were a slave, Friend Hopper promptly objected to her answering that question, unless he would agree to receive as evidence all she might say. He declined doing that. Friend Hopper then made some remarks, in the course of which he said,

The most honest witnesses are often mistaken as to the identity of persons. It surprises me that the witnesses in this case should be so very positive, when the woman was but sixteen years old at the time they say she eloped, and such a long period has since elapsed.

The question at stake is as important as life itself to this woman, to her honest husband, and to her.

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Isaac T. Hopper (2)
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